I hate to break it to anyone with a satellite dish hanging off their roof right now, but gone are the days of cable TV.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love relaxing on the couch to binge-watch my favorite shows and movies as much as the next person. Luckily, that enriching activity won’t be out of the picture anytime soon. However, how we do that is what’s changing. 6 out of 10 adults in the US now stream content through major streaming service subscription platforms like Hulu, Netflix, Peacock, Max by HBO, Showtime, Disney+, and more. In fact, people are watching twice as many hours of content each day via a streaming service as they do via live television. So, while old-school television might become a blast from the past, streaming is here to stay.
Of course, this transition to on-demand content opens tons of new opportunities for you to advertise your business. With Hulu being the top ad-supported streaming platform in the US, it’s a natural fit for anyone looking to start out in streamed advertising. However, unlike more established online advertising platforms such as Google Ads or Meta Ads, Hulu launched its advertising platform only a few years back in 2020 and it’s still in beta. So, if you have questions about how to get started with Hulu advertising, that’s more than understandable—which is why we’re breaking down everything you need to know to set your Hulu ads up for success!
What is Hulu advertising?
Before you get to know Hulu advertising, you’ll want to first be familiar with Hulu as a platform. Hulu is a streaming app that allows its subscribers to watch movies and TV shows on demand. You can stream Hulu on virtually any device, such as mobile phones, gaming consoles, tablets, or smart or connected TVs (CTV).
Hulu ads are a type of over-the-top (OTT) advertising that includes non-skippable video ads that are shown before, during, and after streamed content on Hulu.
How does Hulu advertising work?
All Hulu ads are purchased via the Hulu Ad Manager—which, again, is still in beta. However, it can be helpful to know that Hulu is owned by Disney, so you may have heard of businesses buying Hulu ads through Disney Ad Manager. Disney Ad Manager and Hulu Ad Manager are one and the same. You can sign up for the Hulu Ad Manager beta and either choose to pay for ads that solely show on Hulu, or also show ads on other Disney-owned streaming platforms, like Disney+, as well.
We’ll walk through how to get started with Hulu advertising in a bit.
Who can advertise on Hulu?
Since Hulu is only currently available in the US, any US-based business can advertise on Hulu.
How much does Hulu advertising cost?
Hulu requires a minimum spend of $500 per campaign. Of course, how much you put behind your total Hulu advertising costs is dependent on what’s feasible for your marketing budget and objectives. That said, it’s been found that your typical Hulu video ad costs anywhere from $10 to $30 per one thousand impressions.
Types of Hulu ads
All Hulu ads are video-based and between 15 to 30 seconds long. However, there are a few different types of Hulu ad placements advertisers can choose from that serve different purposes. Some, like the branded slate and cover story brand placement ads, are more suited for enterprises or entertainment corporations that partner with Hulu and Disney.
Others can be a fit for small businesses starting out with Hulu advertising, like:
- Ad selector ads: With ad selector ads, you provide two to three ads, and this gives your viewers the option to choose which ad from your business they’d prefer to view.
- Binge ads: Binge ads are similar to typical Hulu video ads, but instead of showing before or after a streaming selection, they’re shown throughout a binge session of three or more episodes streamed in a row.
- Interactive ads: These Hulu ads could be a video or more of a still-frame image, but the differentiator here is that they prompt users to click off to your business’s landing page.
- Pause ads: Pause ads overlay the pause screen of a show or movie (pro tip: pause ads can be a great way to implement QR code marketing).
- Video commercial: These are your typical Hulu video ad shown before, during, or after a streamed program.
You can find a complete list of all available Hulu ad products here.
Benefits of Hulu advertising
With a full understanding of all that Hulu advertising entails, you can start to think about whether it’s a good fit for your business’s marketing strategy. Consider these statistics:
- With 112 million monthly US viewers, Hulu is the leading ad-supported TV streaming service.
- Hulu’s ad selector feature has proven to be 150% more effective than regular TV ads at developing recall and 24% better at creating viewer purchasing intent.
- Hulu ads are nearly 200% more effective in creating top-of-mind awareness when compared to other ad formats.
On top of this, it’s important to reiterate that Hulu’s unique ad selector feature allows your audience to choose to view your ad—resulting in a viewership that’s eager to learn more about your business. Plus, its ability to allow advertisers to target via a combination of program genre, audience interest, and zip code is something other emerging platforms, like TikTok Ads, don’t necessarily have yet.
How to get started with Hulu advertising
Here are the steps to get started with Hulu advertising:
- Navigate to and sign up for Hulu Ad Manager (this would be considered your RSVP to the Hulu Ad Manager beta program).
- Follow the prompts to set up a new campaign schedule and budget.
- Select who you want your ads to show to with the prompts for audience targeting. This is where you determine settings like locations, audience interests, program genres, and more.
- Upload a video ad for review. (If you don’t have the resources to create your own video ad, you could check out Hulu’s list of recommended creative providers, or see how our solutions can help!)
- Once you upload your ad for review, you’ll be prompted to add a credit card for payment.
- Congratulations, your business is officially using Hulu advertising! Now, you can hop back into Ads Manager regularly to view your campaign performance and measure your success.
3 quick Hulu advertising tips
Now that you’re ready to take advantage of all that this marketing channel has to offer, here are some Hulu advertising tips to keep in mind.
1. Follow video creative best practices
To increase your chances of getting your ads approved, you’ll of course want to abide by all the technical requirements and specifications Hulu outlines for its ads.
For example, all Hulu ads should be between 15 and 30 seconds long and come in the form of a .mov or .mp4 file. Additionally, your ad file size can’t exceed 10 GB.
You can find a complete outline of technical specs from Hulu here, but aside from what’s required, there are some recommended creative best practices for your Hulu ads as well:
- Get your point across quickly. Since you won’t have a lot of time to convey your message to your audience, you’ll want to ensure that the main points of your ads shine through in both the imagery and the script.
- Keep your branding consistent. You’ll want your business to stand out as your audience is watching your Hulu advertising. For example, including your small business logo and brand colors across all your video frames can help reinforce your brand. In fact, Hulu found that the top-performing 15-second ads were also 12 times more likely to include branding throughout the ad.
2. Regularly measure your Hulu ad performance
With at least $500 on the line, you don’t want to just set and forget your Hulu ads. Luckily, Hulu makes it easy to track performance right from within the Hulu Ad Manager. Simply log in and, on the ad manager homepage, you’ll get a breakdown of all your campaigns.
To help keep track of your success, be sure to set measurable goals to track your campaigns against. You’ll likely want to benchmark your progress along the way. You could even refer to industry benchmarks of other top ad platforms to see how your Hulu ads compare to channels like Google Ads.
3. Frequently upload fresh ads
We can all probably recall a commercial we’ve sadly seen far too many times. Hulu subscribers tend to stream on the platform in large chunks—which means it’s more likely that your audience could see your ad multiple times. The last thing you want to do is overtire your audience with a repetitive ad!
Avoid this by refreshing and reuploading your ads regularly. However, it’s a best practice to let any sort of marketing campaign run for at least a month before you judge its efficacy. So, instead of stressing to refresh your ads weekly, try revisiting them monthly or quarterly. That way, you can make data-backed decisions on how you might want to tweak them.
If you’re short on ideas to keep your ads fresh, try leaning into seasonal themes. For example, you could use a marketing calendar (like the one below from our friends at LocaliQ) to pre-plan your Hulu ad video content. That way, you’re always prepared to change up your ad as needed.
Get started with Hulu advertising ASAP
The best part about Hulu advertising? It’s still in beta, so odds are, your competitors aren’t yet on the platform. This provides an opportunity for your brand to stand out and reach your audience in a more intimate way as they’re streaming content. If you get started with Hulu advertising and still have questions, we’ve got you covered.
To recap, here is a summary of the steps to get started with Hulu advertising:
- Navigate to and sign up for Hulu ad manager.
- Follow the prompts to set up a new campaign schedule and budget.
- Select your audience targeting.
- Upload a video ad for review.
- Add a credit card for payment.
- Congratulations, your business is officially using Hulu advertising!