Hulu launches new private marketplace for its OTT ad inventory

The new programmatic marketplace will launch at the start of the new year.

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Hulu is opening up its sought-after video inventory to programmatic buyers with a new private marketplace that will launch Jan. 1.

How will inventory be bought and sold? Hulu is partnering with video management platform Telaria, which has an ad server designed for programmatic and direct-sold video and connected TV and over-the-top (OTT) inventory. Hulu is approaching a few demand-side platforms (DSPs) for the initial launch.

Hulu said programmatic buys will be on a level playing field with direct and upfront buys, with all brands treated equally regardless of how they transact. Brand frequency caps and category separations will be available.

What inventory will be available? Inventory for standard commercial breaks of 30-second spots will be available through the PMP, which will only include Hulu-owned ad inventory. Opportunities such as product placements and program sponsorships will continue to be direct-sold.

There will be spend minimums and pricing floors, but Hulu declined to provide more details.

Why you should care. Increasingly, digital marketers have been embracing PMPs and the ability to activate digital audiences in OTT inventory. Hulu’s new PMP has more bells and whistles than the one it launched in 2015, which functioned more as a tool for sales teams to automate their deals.

By offering its inventory through PMP deals, Hulu can offer advertisers the flexibility — and potentially more audience targeting capabilities — of programmatic with the inventory guarantees they can get when buying direct through a sales rep. It may add appeal to digitally-focused buyers who are already accustomed to buying programmatically.

Hulu’s subscriber base of more than 20 million trails that of Netflix’s 58 million US subscribers, but it is growing. CEO Randy Freer said Hulu will add more subscribers in the second-half of 2018 than it did in the first half of the year, suggesting it will have 23 million subscribers by year-end.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Ginny Marvin
Ginny Marvin was formerly Third Door Media’s Editor-in-Chief, running the day-to-day editorial operations across all publications and overseeing paid media coverage. Ginny Marvin wrote about paid digital advertising and analytics news and trends for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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