Hulu is thinking big by trying to get some of the smallest video advertisers to start buying commercials.
The Disney-controlled streaming-video hub has long worked with Madison Avenue giants like Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble, but on Wednesday unveiled a concerted effort to get marketers with less heft to start considering Hulu as a choice as well.
Advertisers willing to spend at least $500 will be able to utilize a new self-service product, Hulu Ad Manager, that will allow small-and-medium sized businesses to launch, manage and track commercials on Hulu.
Video advertising on TV and other outlets has long been a go-to technique for big-spending ad stalwarts, but digital giants like Google and Facebook draw in millions each year by working with local businesses, start-up and regional marketers. Hulu can serve ads to its subscribers using details about geography and location, among other attributes. Hulu already does business with regional and local marketers, but giving those clients new control over their relationship with the outlet could prove to be an enticement.
Disney gained operating control of Hulu after acquiring the bulk of 21st Century Fox in 2018, and has in recent months worked more aggressively to burnish the service to advertisers while aligning it with the rest of its media portfolio. In October, Disney plans to relesee an advertising product it calls Disney Hulu XP, which will give advertisers a chance to place their commercials across both Hulu and Disney’s TV networks – the first time the two media outlets have been united under a single sales proposition. Disney also plans to provide clients a chance to buy so-called “programmatic” inventory, or advertising that his placed according to a predefined set of data, across Hulu and the networks.
Giving small businesses a “dashboard” of sorts that allows them to schedule and monitor ad flights is a technique that has been used frequently over the years. Now Hulu will see if doing so can lend its business a boost.