Hulu Offers No Commercial Interruptions for Viewers Who Interact With One Ad Upfront

Follows Introduction of Entirely Ad-Free Tier

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Hulu has been letting users choose ads, like these options from Bank of America. Now it will offer an interactive ad at the start of some programs in exchange for no interruptions later.
Hulu has been letting users choose ads, like these options from Bank of America. Now it will offer an interactive ad at the start of some programs in exchange for no interruptions later. Credit: Courtesy of Hulu

Hulu, which recently introduced an entirely commercial-free service, will now offer uninterrupted viewing on its ad-supported tier for consumers who engage with an interactive message before some shows.

The interactive ads, which use technology from 21st Century Fox's TrueX unit, will provide a branded experience roughly 30 seconds long as an alternative to commercial breaks, according to TrueX.

Fox Networks Group, also part of 21st Century Fox, is the first programmer on Hulu to participate. Marketers trying to approach at the start include Mondelez, which will run interactive ads for Swedish Fish, Halls and Ritz, TrueX said.

"Interactive ad models are great for the viewer and the advertiser," said Peter Naylor, senior VP-sales, Hulu, in a statement. "Bringing the TrueX technology to Fox content on Hulu will bring more choice to viewers and allow them to view their content in their preferred environments."

Hulu already offers interactive ad units to marketers and gives consumers some choices over the ads they see. The TrueX model of offering one ad upfront instead of ad breaks throughout is similar to Hulu's Branded Entertainment Selector ad unit, which lets consumers choose between watching one long-form commercial or traditional commercial pods.

Fox has been vocal about its goal of improving the viewer experience in digital viewing, which is often stacked with repetitive advertising. This summer, the network partnered with the California Milk Advisory Board to give viewers the option of interacting with a 60-second ad before episodes of "MasterChef Jr." on Fox.com to then watch the rest of the episode sans commercials.

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