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Landmark Hulu Ad Discovery: Consumers Like Choice!

A new test reveals that the vast majority of Hulu users prefer the option of watching a two-minute ad the beginning of a 22-minute program to having four 30-second commercials evenly-spaced throughout the viewing experience. According to the internal study, a whopping 88% of Hulu users prefer the two-minute option. The long-form ads are opt-in; the high opt-in rate suggests that viewers like being able to control which ads they see. They are also more likely to be engaged with the ads they choose.

"The opt-in rate is proving this is something people want," said Christina Lee, a Hulu spokeswoman. "We are trying to break down a lot of these very traditional ways of thinking about advertising, so this is a way to experiment and an example of something you'll see us doing," TriStar, American Express, Hyatt, Paramount Pictures, Sprint and Capital One are among the advertisers buying the longer form ads on Hulu.

According to Lori Schwartz, senior VP and director of the Interpublic Emerging Media Lab, the Hulu data reinforces a couple of commonly held notions by marketers: that consumers aren't averse to ads and they do like choices. "What consumers don't like is being stuck watching long pre-rolls or being forced to participate and being forced to watch stuff that isn't relevant," Ms. Schwartz said. "When you give them a choice, you are thinking about them, and that gets them excited. We are in this culture now where people expect participation and expect to be included and expect two-way communication to happen."

Read the whole story at Advertising Age »

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