Hulu selected LiveRail’s Video Private Exchange technology in part because the platform’s granular controls enable “real-time decisions on the value of individual impressions.” Hulu believes this will improve ad relevancy.
“Our rule is that we will never serve the same creative more than two times per stream,” Naylor said in an earlier interview. “We want to try and fight ad fatigue and consistency is very important. We have the ability to run many ads per pod, but restraint is the key to consumer acceptance.”
Although Hulu had been long considering programmatic, it will not replace Hulu’s higher-touch upfront sponsorships and formats. For instance, Hulu rolled out Custom Integrated Commercials during the NewFronts, co-branded video ads where Hulu creates custom 30-second spots or branded “stories” to fit its viewers’ interests.
The launch of Hulu’s private exchange coincides with The Wall Street Journal’s report that the video streaming service has explored launching an ad-free version of its service. Other video platforms like YouTube have recently flirted with ad-free, subscription-based services.
But at its May NewFronts presentation, Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins called advertising “a huge part of our business, [which gives] us the firepower we need to provide a great experience,” noting there’s no “autoplay, muted or below-the-fold video ever on Hulu.”