Digital Content NewFronts: The Hulu Upfront

By Amanda Hechinger, Senior Associate, Mobile Activation & Strategy, Mindshare NA

Twelve million: that’s how many subscribers Hulu says they’ll have by the end of the month, contributing to 30MM unique monthly views. At the Hulu Upfront, they also revealed that the hours per viewer on their platform is up 30% from last year, with 84% of subscribers falling in the 18-49 age group.

Here’s a look at some of their other key insights and announcements:

70% of Hulu’s audience watches shows in their living room on the big screen. With this insight in mind, they announced a partnership with BrightLine to support in-ad consumer interactivity. Individuals will now have the capability to interact with the ads on their screen, shop items, book travel, or learn more about products, all through Hulu.

An upcoming collaboration with both Nielsen and Millward Brown to capture viewing/TV ratings on a campaign-level basis and measure purchase intent in a living room environment.

Virtual Reality is big on everyone’s mind, which is why Hulu developed a VR app for Oculus devices. They indicated that the average time spent on the Hulu VR app is 12 minutes (6x higher than the “normal VR app”). Plus, they’re launching a new VR series in partnership with Live Nation for music fans.

Hulu is entering the live programming space, soon to be showcasing sports, entertainment, and other live events on the platform. This new feature will bridge the gap between linear TV and OnDemand, as subscribers won’t need a cable or satellite subscription to watch. Other streaming providers, like Crackle and their partnership with Comcast, are also playing in the linear TV space, which seems to be a trend at this years’ Newfronts/Upfronts.
The biggest takeaway for brands is the live TV component as well as Hulu’s integration of ad interactivity. Both have the potential to become quite valuable: CPGs can link to products on branded sites or e-commerce partners, finance and insurance clients can offer added info on their services, travel brands can enable people to book reservations, and QSR brands can direct users to nearby locations. And, with live TV on Hulu, advertisers will have an opportunity to reach consumers as they engage with their ads in a real-time.