NewFronts

Hulu Will Deliver Interactive Ads Built Specifically for the Living Room

Partners With Nielsen to Measure Ads' Audiences on Roku, PlayStation, Xbox and Apple TV

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Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins speaks on stage during the 2016 Hulu Upfront on May 4 in New York.
Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins speaks on stage during the 2016 Hulu Upfront on May 4 in New York. Credit: Photo by Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Hulu

Hulu is looking to improve the ad experience on its service and help marketers better measure the effectiveness of their media buys on over-the-top devices.

The company announced at its NewFront presentation at Madison Square Garden on Wendesday morning that it has partnered with BrightLine to deliver the first interactive advertising built specifically for connected TVs. Havas Media will be the exclusive charter agency for the new product, which will debut this summer.

It is also working with Nielsen to enable the measurement of ads through so-called over-the-top video delivery devices like Roku, PlayStation, Xbox and Apple TV. This will allow Hulu to deliver accurate measurement of ad campaigns' viewership beyond the PC.

Through a partnership with market research firm Millward Brown, Hulu is developing more ad insights and tools related to viewing in OTT environments. Magna Global will also be a partner on that initiative. (Inicidentally, Magna Global also said Wednesday that it is switching $250 million in client ad spending to YouTube's best inventory from TV.)

And following the trend of other presenters during the Digital Content NewFronts this week, Hulu is continuing to invest in virtual reality content. It partnered with Live Nation for a virtual reality concert performance series.

The series, which will be available on Hulu's recently introduced VR app, will immerse fans in live performances, allow them to hang out backstage with artists before the show, experience walking on stage in front of packed arena and watch the show from the best seat in the house.

Hulu VR app is currently available for Samsung Gear VR with additional platforms coming soon.

Hulu saw a 30% increase in subscribers over the past year and will hit 12 million this month.

The company renewed "The Path" for a second season and "The Mindy Project" for its fifth season (counting its run on Fox before it became a Hulu original), and plans to air another election special from Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog, set to premiere later this year.

Hulu acquired Ron Howard's documentary, "Beatles: Eight Days A Week."

The company also highlighted two brand integrations, with Goose Island Beer Company being featured in the original series "Casual," and Lexus partnering with "The Mindy Project."

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