Hulu’s Digital Identity Exploration

Fifteen years ago it would have been ludicrous to think about connecting with a stranger via a phone and hopping into their car to get from one place to another. Yet, today its commonplace thanks to ride-sharing apps like Lyft. What changed? Without realizing it, people have journeyed through several steps before taking their first Lyft ride.

The average digital journey likely started with an email address. This email address was then needed when setting up a profile on social media. Once a baseline of comfort has been set on social media, they may have started using a streaming service, seeking more content. From there someone may have eased into online banking apps, which made them comfortable with imputing credit card information onto their mobile device. As a next step, they likely to started looking for apps that make things convenient, like Lyft.

With this step-by-step process in mind, Hulu partnered with Latitude Research to understand this consumer journey through the digital funnel and the range of digital fluency outside of the constructs of age. Here’s a look at what we found:

Digital Fluency Is A Spectrum.

Within the fluency spectrum, our research shows there are seven identity-types: Averse, Minimalist, Enlightened, Confident, Connected, Maximizers and Creators. Across the identity-types, there are unique motivations informing various types of digital fluency.

Digital Fluency Is Similar Across Generations.

Younger generations are likely to evenly fall on both ends of the fluency spectrum. In fact, we found the largest composition of both technology Maximizers and Creators as well as digital “Minimalists” among Gen Z & Millennials – indicating that for every super-user in these generations, there’s another who is actively choosing to “unplug.”

What’s more, younger generations find more happiness and inspiration from technology. While we see similar levels of agreement across generation for “I am generally open to new technologies,” and “I find it pretty easy to learn new technology” we see the biggest difference when it comes to love of technology.

Media Is Core To Digital Identity. And Hulu Is Core To Media.

Not only did we uncover that media is the foundation to consumer’s digital fluency, but we found that there is a Hierarchy of Digital Needs. Media is the gateway for people into a digital life and Hulu sits at the core of Media.

After getting comfortable with media, consumers begin transacting online – whether it’s making a financial transaction, mobile payment, or using an online shopping app.  Later, consumers begin to dabble with apps and services to simplify their lives from ride share apps to having food delivered (i.e. GrubHub) – they are all about the convenience that technology brings.

At the end of the funnel, they ultimately begin to use digital to curate a lifestyle for themselves through “luxury” services such as digital stylist and wine delivery subscriptions.

Most People Are Digitally Savvy. This Is Especially True Among Hulu Users.

Not surprisingly, we found that most consumers, in general, are pretty far along the digital spectrum. In fact, 2/3 consider themselves to be highly digitally savvy in relation to their peers. And the majority of consumers are Confident and Connected when it comes to technology – they fully embrace the digital world for practicality and to stay connected.

Hulu users are even more likely to be digitally savvy – with 71% self-identifying as highly digitally savvy. Specifically, they are more likely to engage with all forms of digital video from live streaming to VOD to social. They also over index for use of all digitally-forward services across a variety of categories including streaming, finance, and wearables/fitness trackers.

What’s The Takeaway For Marketers?

If you represent a digital brand, it’s helpful to know where your brand falls within the digital adoption funnel. As an example, if you are selling a convenience app, you’d likely be looking to adopt users who have already dabbled in media apps and transactional apps, as those tend to fall earlier in the digital funnel than convenience apps.

Likewise, for brands placing media on Hulu, it’s important to know that the audience is slightly more tech-savvy than the norm. And advertisers can benefit from talking to viewers with that tech-savviness in mind.


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A: When the native aspect ratio is 1.78:1 or 1.33:1 throughout the entire program, there should not be any letterboxing (black bars on top and bottom), nor should there be any pillarboxing (black bars on either side). We should should see an active picture take up the full frame. If the aspect ratio is wider than 1.78:1, such as 2.35:1, matting on the top and bottom is permissible. Additionally, if there is a creative choice to add matting or if there is a mix of native aspect ratios, this is usually waived, but please reach out to your Hulu representative to confirm.

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Q: Should the bitrate be constant if delivering ProRes codec?
A: No, since ProRes codec is built to be variable, this is waived.

Q: Can you accept bitrate higher than 30 Mbps?
A: Yes, we can accept bitrate beyond the recommended range for H.264 and ProRes. In the case of ProRes, bitrate will often exceed 30 Mbps due to its variable setting.

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Q: Why do you ask for progressive?

A: The Hulu player, unlike traditional broadcast, does not play back interlace scan, so we require that all videos be delivered with their scan type set to progressive. If your video is natively interlaced, you must de-interlace it to progressive and you must employ a de-interlace filter that does not result in blending or ghosting artifacts. We recommend an auto-adaptive de-interlace if available.

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