Rumors about Hulu’s new live TV service have been making their way around the industry for months now, but it is finally official. Hulu announced their live TV service in late April, and while many of the details are in line with rumors, Hulu had a few more tricks up its sleeve.
Let’s start off with the expected. The service will start at $39.99 a month and offer 50 channels, including NBC, CBS and ABC. Subscribers will offer be able to record up to 50 hours of content and will have access to Hulu’s on-demand programming, which normally goes for $7.99 a month.
The service will also include the, much hyped, dynamic advertisement functionality. Dynamic ads will essentially allow advertisers to serve their ads to more specifically targeted audiences; i.e. the viewers of a particular show etc. These dynamic ads will come in 15 or 30 second segments; though Hulu has made it clear that there will be additional advertising opportunities within the navigation menu.
Now for the unexpected. Hulu has added a substantive e-commerce element to this service. In partnership with a company called Brightline, Hulu announced an on-TV shopping service designed for the living room. The new e-commerce advertising unit will allow viewers to to engage directly with a commercial and make a purchase from their television. For example, during an ad for a new movie an overlay would appear at the bottom of the screen showing nearby movie theaters where you can buy a ticket. Other categories like retail and restaurants are expected to support this feature by early 2018.
Hulu is working closely with Nielsen to apply Nielsen’s Digital Ad Ratings to all of these new advertising features. These tools will help Hulu monitor the effectiveness of their advertising campaigns and provide them with even more valuable data to help to continue growing their advertising revenue.
There is no question that the advent of connected television is changing how advertising for TV is approached. Hulu’s new live TV service seems to be at the forefront of such changes. Whether that is a positive or a negative for the company remains to be seen.