Over the past decade, media has shifted quite a bit from its original medium such as magazines and television to online outlets. This shift has caused a tremendous change in the way that we seek out our entertainment. Just a few years ago in 2005, YouTube was created as a video-sharing website that users could upload, share and view various videos on the Internet. Thinking that You Tube is less than ten years old blows my mind considering I don’t even remember life without it. Social Media has increased a significant amount and almost everyone in the world is now connected through one thing that is: the Internet. This movement towards the Internet is also causing people to watch less and less live television. This is posing a threat to advertisers who rely heavily on TV advertisements to sell their brand or products. More and more companies have been shifting gears towards Internet advertising as a result of this shift.
Many of those who watch television online use sites such as Netflix and Hulu. Hulu is a website subscription service that offers ad-supported on-demand streaming of TV shows, movies, webisodes and other new media clips as well as behind-the-scenes footage from companies such as NBC, Fox, ABC, TBS and many other networks/studios.
Hulu conducted a research project with 1,500 people in order to help them better understand what their users really want from an advertising service. When watching videos online, almost all of them are introduced with an ad. Through this research, Hulu found that users wanted more choice and control over ads. When ads are irrelevant to users it would only make sense for users to simply ignore them. Hulu has always believed that choice and control are key components in developing the world’s most effective video advertising service, so Hulu created the Hulu Ad Selector in 2008.
The Hulu Ad Selector allows users to choose to watch one out of three choices of ads from the same brand or one ad from a selection of three different brands. Hulu’s Ad Selector allows users to select an ad rather then forcing them to watch one specific ad while their content loads. Hulu then went on to create Hulu Ad Swap. Hulu Ad Swap is an ad innovation designed to drastically improve the advertising experience for users and results for advertisers. Hulu Ad Swap lets the user control their ad experience by allowing them to instantly switch out an ad for one that is more relevant to the individual.
When an ad begins to play, a user can click on the Hulu Swap Ad icon that brings up a number of ad choices, customized to that specific user’s profile and previous ad viewing preferences. As the user views more ads, the ad experience will become more specific to that user.
Hulu explains Ad Swap and it’s features at https://www.hulu.com/ADSWAP