I hate to break it to anyone with a satellite dish hanging off their roof right now, but gone are the days of cable TV.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love relaxing on the couch to binge-watch my favorite shows and movies as much as the next person. Luckily, that enriching activity won’t be out of the picture anytime soon. However, how we do that is what’s changing. 6 out of 10 adults in the US now stream content through major streaming service subscription platforms like Hulu, Netflix, Peacock, Max by HBO, Showtime, Disney+, and more. In fact, people are watching twice as many hours of content each day via a streaming service as they do via live television. So, while old-school television might become a blast from the past, streaming is here to stay.
Of course, this transition to on-demand content opens tons of new opportunities for you to advertise your business. With Hulu being the top ad-supported streaming platform in the US, it’s a natural fit for anyone looking to start out in streamed advertising. However, unlike more established online advertising platforms such as Google Ads or Meta Ads, Hulu launched its advertising platform only a few years back in 2020 and it’s still in beta. So, if you have questions about how to get started with Hulu advertising, that’s more than understandable—which is why we’re breaking down everything you need to know to set your Hulu ads up for success!
Before you get to know Hulu advertising, you’ll want to first be familiar with Hulu as a platform. Hulu is a streaming app that allows its subscribers to watch movies and TV shows on demand. You can stream Hulu on virtually any device, such as mobile phones, gaming consoles, tablets, or smart or connected TVs (CTV).
Hulu ads are a type of over-the-top (OTT) advertising that includes non-skippable video ads that are shown before, during, and after streamed content on Hulu.
All Hulu ads are purchased via the Hulu Ad Manager—which, again, is still in beta. However, it can be helpful to know that Hulu is owned by Disney, so you may have heard of businesses buying Hulu ads through Disney Ad Manager. Disney Ad Manager and Hulu Ad Manager are one and the same. You can sign up for the Hulu Ad Manager beta and either choose to pay for ads that solely show on Hulu, or also show ads on other Disney-owned streaming platforms, like Disney+, as well.
We’ll walk through how to get started with Hulu advertising in a bit.
Since Hulu is only currently available in the US, any US-based business can advertise on Hulu.
Hulu requires a minimum spend of $500 per campaign. Of course, how much you put behind your total Hulu advertising costs is dependent on what’s feasible for your marketing budget and objectives. That said, it’s been found that your typical Hulu video ad costs anywhere from $10 to $30 per one thousand impressions.
All Hulu ads are video-based and between 15 to 30 seconds long. However, there are a few different types of Hulu ad placements advertisers can choose from that serve different purposes. Some, like the branded slate and cover story brand placement ads, are more suited for enterprises or entertainment corporations that partner with Hulu and Disney.
Others can be a fit for small businesses starting out with Hulu advertising, like:
You can find a complete list of all available Hulu ad products here.
With a full understanding of all that Hulu advertising entails, you can start to think about whether it’s a good fit for your business’s marketing strategy. Consider these statistics:
On top of this, it’s important to reiterate that Hulu’s unique ad selector feature allows your audience to choose to view your ad—resulting in a viewership that’s eager to learn more about your business. Plus, its ability to allow advertisers to target via a combination of program genre, audience interest, and zip code is something other emerging platforms, like TikTok Ads, don’t necessarily have yet.
Here are the steps to get started with Hulu advertising:
Now that you’re ready to take advantage of all that this marketing channel has to offer, here are some Hulu advertising tips to keep in mind.
To increase your chances of getting your ads approved, you’ll of course want to abide by all the technical requirements and specifications Hulu outlines for its ads.
For example, all Hulu ads should be between 15 and 30 seconds long and come in the form of a .mov or .mp4 file. Additionally, your ad file size can’t exceed 10 GB.
You can find a complete outline of technical specs from Hulu here, but aside from what’s required, there are some recommended creative best practices for your Hulu ads as well:
With at least $500 on the line, you don’t want to just set and forget your Hulu ads. Luckily, Hulu makes it easy to track performance right from within the Hulu Ad Manager. Simply log in and, on the ad manager homepage, you’ll get a breakdown of all your campaigns.
To help keep track of your success, be sure to set measurable goals to track your campaigns against. You’ll likely want to benchmark your progress along the way. You could even refer to industry benchmarks of other top ad platforms to see how your Hulu ads compare to channels like Google Ads.
We can all probably recall a commercial we’ve sadly seen far too many times. Hulu subscribers tend to stream on the platform in large chunks—which means it’s more likely that your audience could see your ad multiple times. The last thing you want to do is overtire your audience with a repetitive ad!
Avoid this by refreshing and reuploading your ads regularly. However, it’s a best practice to let any sort of marketing campaign run for at least a month before you judge its efficacy. So, instead of stressing to refresh your ads weekly, try revisiting them monthly or quarterly. That way, you can make data-backed decisions on how you might want to tweak them.
If you’re short on ideas to keep your ads fresh, try leaning into seasonal themes. For example, you could use a marketing calendar (like the one below from our friends at LocaliQ) to pre-plan your Hulu ad video content. That way, you’re always prepared to change up your ad as needed.
The best part about Hulu advertising? It’s still in beta, so odds are, your competitors aren’t yet on the platform. This provides an opportunity for your brand to stand out and reach your audience in a more intimate way as they’re streaming content. If you get started with Hulu advertising and still have questions, we’ve got you covered.
To recap, here is a summary of the steps to get started with Hulu advertising:
Susie is the Senior Content Marketing Specialist at WordStream, where she uses her experience as a PPC consultant to share tips, tactics, and best practices in the ever-evolving marketing and advertising space. Outside of work, Susie loves to get outside for some snowboarding or (once the cold weather melts away) hiking!
See other posts by Susie Marino
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