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Hulu Taps Adobe Exec Jeremy Helfand as Head of Ad Platforms

Jeremy Helfand is leaving Adobe Systems after more than six years to join Hulu as VP, head of advertising platforms.

Helfand reports to chief technology officer Dan Phillips, who just joined Hulu from TiVo, and is based out of the company’s Santa Monica, Calif., headquarters. In the new role, Helfand is responsible for the development of Hulu’s advertising strategy, product innovation, technology development, and ecosystem partnerships.

“Excited to join Hulu as Head of Advertising Platforms,” Helfand wrote in a post on LinkedIn. “Huge thanks to Peter Naylor [senior VP of advertising sales for Hulu] who was a big advocate and will be my partner on the business.”

At Adobe, Helfand led the development and launch of the Adobe Primetime internet TV platform and oversaw Adobe’s media and entertainment industry team. He joined Adobe in 2011 with its acquisition of video-advertising technology firm Auditude, where he had been CEO. Prior to that, he worked for United Online, Advertising.com and Arthur Andersen.

Hulu has run advertising on its streaming platform since its inception in 2007. The company says that in 2018, it’s investing more in ad infrastructure and services: In addition Helfand’s hire, a rep said Hulu is hiring for 40 additional positions to enhance its advertising offerings.

Recently, Hulu began testing dynamic ad-insertion for Hulu With Live TV on select cable networks, with plans to widen it to additional channels over the coming months. Hulu also announced an ad-supported download feature, which will let subscribers watch TV shows and movies on mobile devices on the go without an internet connection.

More than 60% of Hulu’s 20 million-plus subscribers (as of May 2018) are on the ad-supported subscription VOD plan, CEO Randy Freer said in an interview last week at the Cannes Lions festival.

“We believe that advertising, rather than being commercial interruption, can be a strategic advantage for us,” Freer said in the interview. “We offer consumers choice. They can have ads or not have ads.”

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