Agency of the Year 2009: Supplier of the Year: Hulu

AOY 2009: Supplier of the Year: Hulu

Living up to the hoopla

Given News Corp.'s war on free content, and NBC Universal's future under cable king Comcast, Hulu's path is looking unclear at best. In 2009, however, the joint video venture - between News Corp., NBCU and, more recently, Disney - reigned supreme as the Web's premier platform for premium content and the closest the medium has come to a major broadcast network.

Not only has Hulu established itself as a safe and trusted place online, but it has taken pains to give advertisers plenty of room to breathe. "We strive to maintain a strong balance between the amount of advertising a viewer sees and the amount of content they are able to see," explains Jean-Paul Colaco, senior vice president of advertising at Hulu. "As a result, Hulu is a clean and clutter-free service that is not only good for users, but also enables us to have an efficient platform for marketers that offers a high level of advertising effectiveness."

Hulu has also built a critical mass of more than 40 million unique viewers, according to comScore, so it can offer advertisers sufficient scale for their marketing messages and ROI. "We've been able to take advantage of the unique attributes that exist online that can make for a more targeted, interactive and effective advertising experience," says Colaco. "We have also been able to have strong two-way dialogue with our clients to provide custom solutions for our advertisers that drive successful results."

What does Colaco have to say about the many challenges facing Hulu in 2010? "We strongly believe that media is an impulse business, so making online video easy to use and consume when, where and how people want is where we're headed in the future," he says. "That said, Hulu will remain a free, ad-supported online service intended for the PC for the time being, but may explore complementary revenue models in the future."

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