Hulu’s advertising strategy places its popularity in peril

Hatred over Hulu’s advertising has increased since 2011, when the company decided to boost the amount of ads seen per viewing in order to boost revenue. The intent was to gain more network content by proving that you could advertise easier online. Not only have the ads increased in frequency, they’ve increased in length, and signing up for Hulu Plus doesn’t spare you any oversaturation of ads. The ads are interactive, allowing you to indicate if an ad is relevant to you, sometimes allowing you to choose which ad you’d like to watch, and occasionally allowing you to watch a trailer at the start of a show to avoid seeing ads throughout…

However, that hasn’t done much to truly tailor the ad experience, as it doesn’t seem to matter how often you click “no” on if an ad is relevant to you. If they need to show AllState ads, you’re going to see AllState ads, and you’re going to see them many times during the same show. While Jason Kilar, former CEO of Hulu whose recent departure meets with speculation over the company’s future viability, reported a $700 million dollar increase in annual revenue, the site doesn’t even make it in the top ten ranked video streaming sites. However, it shows up as number five of the top video ads viewed…

What this tells us is that Hulu was quite successful in implementing a t.v.-modeled advertising system in online video- and that success is likely going to be the death of them. Given new apps developed specifically to block ads on Hulu, and a growing number of complaints from users, it’s only a matter of time before advertisers pull their content, and networks determine their presence useless. Perhaps they’ll again find a way to be innovative and change the way online streaming operates, but with the loss of Kilar, whose creative vision is responsible for the successes of the company, that doesn’t seem likely.

Nikol Hasler
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Nikol Hasler