Hulu's ad-supported tier may allow you to stream some of your favourite movies and TV shows without having to pay a pretty penny, but of course, you will need to suffer through a few seconds of ads every now and then. The company is now introducing a new type of ad that shows up when you pause a video.
These new ads will only show up a few seconds after you've paused the video, though, in order to ensure that if you've just paused an episode of Marvel's Runaways to quickly reply to a text, you won't be hit with an ad immediately.
They're also designed to be as unobtrusive as possible, and will not be in the format of a video or contain audio. Instead, they're designed to be akin to translucent banners that show up on the right side of the screen and serve as a quick reminder or message from the advertiser without taking up too much of your time or attention.
The company's Vice President and Head of Advertising Platforms, Jeremy Helfand, argued that this new format takes into account both the viewers' experience and the requirements of advertisers. It's not very obtrusive, thus guaranteeing the viewer's immersion, while also ensuring that advertisers aren't paying for a 30-second ad that a viewer could simply skip by unpausing the video.
Pause Ads, as the company is calling them, will also not appear on any episodes rated TV-MA, in order to ensure there are no concerns about advertisers' brands showing up at inappropriate times. They will be introduced by the second quarter of the year and Hulu has currently partnered with Coca-Cola and Charmin as its first two advertisers to take advantage of the new ad format.
Helfand suggested that Hulu is betting on incorporating more of these 'non-disruptive formats' into its advertising offerings, with the hopes of having them account for as much as 50% of the company's ad revenues in the next three years.