With the recent COVID-19 pandemic, Americans are streaming more TV than ever. With audience attention being pulled away from traditional media channels and towards streaming services like Hulu, Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video, etc., advertisers are rethinking their marketing/media plans and/or relying more on programmatic ad buying. But TV is only for the big advertisers that have millions or even BILLIONS of dollars in their budget, like Coca-Cola, Nike, Amazon, General Motors…right? Small and medium size businesses can’t play on TV…right? Well, the team at Hulu is thinking big or should I say small with their recent offering.
The new self-service ad platform by Hulu (right now in beta) allows users with as little as $500 per month to reach the growing streaming market. For a small business, $500 a month is still a lot. But if you believe your message and content is best received alongside award winning shows, then this might be a great product to test. Hulu claims that their new service will offer a simple user interface that will allow the brand to target their audience and reach them with “measurability and reporting.”
“Is Hulu the best service to advertise on?” It will take some time to better understand the targeting and ROI of this product, but I find the possibility of their first mover’s advantage to be very intriguing. Currently most of Hulu’s competition runs a SVOD or “Subscription Video On-Demand” model. This means that with your subscription, you unlock the content (ad free). Free ad-supported streaming video services like YouTube, Crackle, Roku, etc still exist, but few offer the breadth and quality of content that SVOD providers give. Somebody has to pay to create content and Americans have voiced their opinion that they prefer ad-supported options over high cost subscription services.
If Hulu can figure this out, they are in a position to get a larger audience that is less susceptible to churn. More audience means more advertisers. More advertisers means that Hulu will have more funds to create more/better content. And the cycle goes round and round.
Content and production costs will still be a barrier for some, but with content creators getting more savvy with their production and audiences becoming more used to less polished creative, the option is real. So for all you small and medium businesses/agencies out there, TV might just be a part of your marketing mix in the near future!