Why Hulu Might Be the Next Advertising Channel in Your Marketing Mix.

Search, Social, and now Streaming.


Self-service advertising continues to grow across almost all digital touchpoints. With several companies such as Google, Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, and TikTok all having their own ad managers, Hulu will be jumping into the mix. They began beta testing their self-serve ad-buying tool early last year and will continue to allow businesses to RSVP for a chance to try out their platform. 

Hulu boasts over 92 million ad-supported viewers and reaches 40% of connected TV households. By opening up its advertising channels to smaller and mid-sized businesses, Hulu can tap into much more diverse and targeted ad content. This move is a win-win as it will improve relevance for Hulu viewers and allow small to mid-sized brands to appear next to popular network hits, Hulu originals, and various cable series without having to adhere to Hulu’s previously high spend minimums.

What We Know

So far Hulu has only disclosed a certain amount of information regarding how their ad manager will work and what it will feature, but here’s what we know so far: 

  • Each campaign will support one 15-30 second video, and ads will be reviewed/approved within 72 hours of upload
  • Advertisers can schedule their campaign dates and determine their own audiences 
  • According to Hulu’s website, audiences can be selected by state, DMA (designated marketing area), city, ZIP code, or any combination 
  • The minimum campaign spend will be $500, compared to Amazon’s typical minimum set at $35,000
  • Hulu will provide standard performance metrics such as hourly updates on ad spend and impressions, but not in-depth details such as what programs the ad aired on

Since the platform is still in the beta testing stage, there is very limited knowledge on how Hulu will manage demand between new advertisers and its current big-ticket brands. Hulu is just the most recent platform to make moves towards a self-serve advertising model, and it’s expected that other big names in the streaming industry will continue to follow suit.  Amazon, Vizio, Samsung, and Roku are already tapping into the ad-supported audiences on their platforms and we’re betting that self-serve models will be coming soon!

Why It’s Important

The shift from managed service to self-serve models will undoubtedly change the advertising landscape. More and more consumers are turning to streaming services for movies, shows, sports, and live television coverage and Hulu’s decision to make their platform more accessible to smaller and mid-sized companies will benefit both Hulu and advertisers alike.  Hulu will now have access to localized advertising content that small companies with lesser budgets can provide, in addition to generating a new stream of revenue for the company. This move will provide advertisers with access to highly targeted audiences as well as open up CTV advertising to almost any business that can afford the $500 minimum. 

This will be a fantastic new touchpoint for smaller brands to reach their target audience without the heavy burden of meeting high spend thresholds. If you’re looking for more ideas on how to develop a CTV strategy that meets your objectives and budget parameters, the team at Parallel Path would be happy to help.

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