Extending Your Reach on Hulu

It’s no secret that today’s TV viewers are watching less linear TV and streaming more.

Cord-cutting is accelerating, and many young consumers are opting to never start a cable subscription, creating a growing population of viewers that cannot be reached through traditional TV.

With this shift in landscape, marketers are looking to extend their traditional media spend on streaming platforms to reach viewers who watch less or no TV, since these viewers are hard to reach with traditional ad buys.

Hulu is a great place to reach those “hard to reach” viewers. Not only does Hulu allow advertisers to reach a cordless, light TV audience, who often have not seen their ads on traditional TV, but Hulu also offers premium content served in a brand safe environment, a lighter ad load than traditional TV, and consumption that eclipses most other OTT apps. And Hulu now has more than 58 million ad-supported unique viewers.

Cordless & Light TV Viewers are on Hulu (& Growing)

More than half of Hulu viewers are either light linear viewers or non-viewers of TV. And Hulu’s cordless audience is growing, reaching 21 million cordless ad-supported viewers – all of whom cannot be reached on linear TV.

At the campaign level, based on an average of multiple extended reach studies conducted with Nielsen, 85% of viewers who saw a campaign on Hulu are considered light linear TV viewers (up +5 percentage points from the previous benchmark).

Half of the Viewers Who Saw Your Campaign on Hulu Never Saw it on TV

Across our incremental reach norms, we see that 53% of viewers who saw a campaign on Hulu never saw the campaign on TV.

Hulu’s ability to extend the reach of traditional TV campaigns is demonstrated across a wide range of brands:

Hulu Success Story: Kroger

In a recent national campaign for Kroger’s Simple Truth, the brand saw 82% exclusive reach on Hulu for their target demo of people A25-54.

In addition, 95% of viewers reached by the campaign were light linear TV viewers (i.e. viewers with little exposure to linear TV).

Kendra Clune, Associate Media Director for Kroger, shared:

“Our customers don’t differentiate between linear and OTT, and it’s more difficult to reach our younger customers through linear, so we’ve adjusted our media planning and buying approach to look at video more holistically and to maximize reach across all formats. The landscape is still fragmented and most providers have limited scale, so we are leaning in with select partners that can provide the scale and incrementality Kroger requires.”

Hulu Success Story: Lexus Tier 2 Auto

In a recent locally targeted campaign for Lexus, the brand saw 72% exclusive reach on Hulu and 83% of the campaign audience consisted of light TV viewers.

Linda Ranieri, Lexus Dealer Association, Media Director, shared:

“As marketers, we know the video landscape is evolving and fragmenting across more consumer choices for video consumption. The LDA invested streaming dollars with Hulu because the platform allowed us to target our customers in local markets to deliver commercials within premium, brand-safe content. Hulu’s capability to provide an in-demo guarantee based on Nielsen was also important to us. We take a holistic approach to video, combining streaming delivery with traditional broadcast/cable for an overall video communications goal. The XCR studies – we have participated in two – empowered us to illustrate to our clients the importance of taking a holistic approach to video. Both studies showed that a significant majority (over 65%) of Hulu viewers we reached had not seen our ads on traditional television. Hulu provided critical exposure for our client amongst light TV viewers and cord cutters/cord-nevers.”

Success Story: DTC Brand

In a recent campaign for a DTC brand, the brand saw 72% exclusive reach on Hulu. Overall, 85% of the campaign audience consisted of light TV viewers.

Hulu’s Campaign Reach Studies Are Third Party Verified

Measurement of Hulu and linear TV reach is conducted by Nielsen, via Nielsen’s Extended Reach Study (a custom study commissioned by Hulu) which measures a campaign’s reach across platforms. Hulu’s relationship with Nielsen enables them to measure exposure across the Hulu audience. This exposure is then matched with Nielsen’s industry standard TV data and to Nielsen’s Cross Platform Homes panel, enabling calculation of a campaign’s total and de-duplicated reach across television and connected TV platforms.


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Q: What does native frame rate mean?

A: Native frame rate refers to the frame rate the source footage was shot. Whenever possible, we require all videos to be delivered in their native frame rate. This means that no frame rate conversion should be performed, which includes adding 3:2 pulldown for broadcast.

Stress mark should be marked with [capitals] to indicate the primary stressed syllable, as in: news・pa・per [NOOZ-pey-per] in・for・ma・tion [in-fer-MEY-shuhn]

On living room, mobile, and tablet devices, the color gradient overlay is dynamic and will change based on the cover story art. It is not something we can control on our end.

If the tagline/date messaging doesn’t fit within the 11 syllables max, it can be included as text.

On living room, mobile, and tablet devices, the color gradient overlay is dynamic and will change based on the cover story art. It is not something we can control on our end.

  • No symbols such as registered marks, copyrights, etc.
  • If symbols are required, they will be presented in standard text such as" Brand (TM)".

Q: When is letterboxing allowed and not allowed?

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.

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.

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.

The use of Graphik is acceptable in cases where the Client cannot supply their own typeface.

Q: Why do you prefer PCM codec?

A: PCM codec is lossless audio quality, so whenever possible, please deliver PCM audio.

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Hulu Newfront

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Q&A With
Gadi Amit

Founder, New Deal Design

Gadi: The development of serendipity in recommendations is very important. An analogy I use is that of a restaurant. If you go to a good restaurant, you don’t always want to see what you’re looking for. You’re looking for surprises. It’s not the expected, it’s the unexpected. You trust in the restaurant’s atmosphere. You don’t know exactly what you’re getting, but you trust their creativity and that you’ll enjoy whatever they serve you.

Do you think it is possible for a streaming service to become that “restaurant” - a trusted source of serendipitous recommendations?

Gadi: I absolutely do. But it is difficult. It’s a long game. It requires them to build trustworthiness with audiences through genuine content recommendations over the years.

Q&A With
Gandi Amit

Found New Deal Design

Gandi: The development of serendipity in recommendations is very important. An analogy I use is that of a restaurant. If you go to a good restaurant, you don’t always want to see what you’re looking for. You’re looking for surprises. It’s not the expected, it’s the unexpected. You trust in the restaurant’s atmosphere. You don’t know exactly what you’re getting, but you trust their creativity and that you’ll enjoy whatever they serve you.

Do you think it is possible for a streaming service to become that “restaurant” -- a trusted source of serendipitous recommendations?

Gandi: I absolutely do. But it is difficult. It’s a long game. It requires them to build trustworthiness with audiences through genuine content recommendations over the years.

Q&A With
Jonathan Miranda

Emerging Strategy Principal, Salesforce

Another expectation among younger generations seems to be personalization. How are you seeing this play out in media?

Jonathan: If you go into the world of advertising and marketing, customized, personalized advertising is more important than ever before. There’s a realization that eight years of funny commercials that we’ve showed everybody probably for the fourth time, doesn’t work anymore. So there’s a lot of companies moving towards specialized advertising.

How does this type of personalization translate to personalizing content beyond advertising? Who’s going to predict what people will want to watch, and do it first?

Jonathan: It’s not about being the first to predict what people want to watch. It's different. It’s about getting viewers to browse. You want to show them the value of all of the money Hulu has spent and the great range of TV and film for them to choose from.

Q&A With
Julie DeTragila

Head of Research & Insights, Hulu

Julie: There are vast differences between the way under 35-year-olds watch TV and over 35-year-olds watch TV. I grew up in a world where there were maybe 10 channels, and my viewing changed as technology and options changed. Younger viewers started from a really different place. Everything has always been on-demand. Anything they ever wanted to see was available to them, and they therefore have different expectations for TV.

How so?

Julie: One of the things we found with Gen Z is that they really want to be immersed in something for a long time. They want to have content that they can live with for a while; it’s like this long, seamless storytelling. They’ll knock off a couple episodes a night and it will last a couple of months. And then they’ll re-watch it a million times over.

What other shifts have you seen happen-with Gen Z but also more broadly-with the rise of streaming?

Julie: For years, television had to deliver a specific rating. Shows had to appeal broadly or else they wouldn’t survive. And those days are long gone because, with streaming services, shows can reach hundreds of thousands of people or tens of thousands of people and still be considered successful. There’s more experimentation with the types of content; we’re not locked into an hour, a half hour, a comedy, etc. The industry can create really niche shows to appeal to niche audiences, but also simultaneously create big, broad experiences that are shared by millions.

Q&A With
Larissa May

Founder, #HalftheStory

Your work focuses a lot on Gen Zs who, for better or worse, are dubbed “digital natives.” How do you think a generation of digitally native audiences view digital content differently than older generations?

Larissa: I think for young people digital content is a way they’re able to explore their own identities through the story... They want to see themselves and their stories in the content that they’re engaging with.

Tell us a little more about this digital content as Gen Z’s form of self-reflection.

Larissa: Digital content is sort of like a currency. I find that young people want to watch things that their friends are watching so that they can have conversations about it. For example, with Euphoria, young people were just kind of in love with the characters. It was very timely and a bit provocative, and then there was a way that they could see themselves in these stories and connect with their friends about the topics and ideas in the show.

And then also they could almost embody these characters in their own life. I really do think that the TV shows that young people are buying into are actually influencing their culture and their trends and even their language that they’re using.

Q&A With
Richard Frankel​

Global Creative Director, Spotify

What does the future of personalization look like?

Richard: I think it’s all down to trust. We're going to see more opportunity on platforms like Hulu and Spotify where the user trusts us.

That’s really interesting. Another area we wanted to explore is podcasts, and their relationship to video. For example, the show Homecoming is an adaptation of a podcast; the podcast Office Ladies is a spin-off from a TV show. Why do you think the two formats work so well together?

Richard: Anything at all that drives conversation in pop culture, and TV does a lot of that, is worthy of consideration in a podcast environment. Any of these conversations can become multiple audio streams that evolve with experts, interviews, and all kinds of narrative threads that can flesh out characters, or narrative development, or whatever's happening in those shows.