on by in Advertising

2014 Hulu Deadbeat WOrld Premiere at SXSW

The Hulu Original “Deadbeat” was met with critical acclaim at its world premiere at SXSW on March 11; one of six series screened at the festival alongside HBO’s Mike Judge comedy “Silicon Valley,” Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful,” AMC’s “Halt and Catch Fire,” FOX’s “COSMOS: A SpaceTime Odyssey” and Robert Rodriguez’s “From Dusk Till Dawn: The Series.” Indiewire’s Ben Travers attended the screening and praised the series, calling it promising, comparable to network pilots and even “better than some of the dreck that’s been picked up over the years.” “Deadbeat” premieres on Hulu and Hulu Plus on April 9.

Leading up to SXSW, Hulu debuted three spooky “Deadbeat” trailers exclusively on Entertainment Weekly, which noted, “Hulu is amping up its original programming game with a new bingeworthy series.” Hulu created horror themed trailers for a classic 1940s, a vintage grindhouse ’70s and a retro ’80s version of the show. Here is the 1980s horror trailer.

Hulu also made a splash at SXSW to support the show and its stars. On the ground, the marketing team kept SXSW-goers refreshed and tuned into our April 9 launch with a “Deadbeat”-branded slushy truck. The Q&A panel and after-party featured the cast and ghoulish interactive installations.


Hulu’s marketing team also pushed out an innovative social media campaign with white-hot secret sharing app Whisper. ADWEEK’s Garret Sloan posted a story profiling the Whisper campaign, where viewers can use “Deadbeat” branded stills as backgrounds to their anonymously posted secrets. Hulu is the first content brand partnering with Whisper in a promotional marketing capacity, and the press took note.



Fore more videos and show information, check out the Deadbeat show page on Hulu.


on by in Advertising

<Earlier today, I sent the following note to the Hulu team.>

Since I joined Hulu a little over three months ago, one of my main focuses has been to seek out the best leaders across the industry, who are passionate about the mission we are on, and thrilled at the opportunity to join us as we serve our many customers—users, distributors, content owners, and of course, our advertising partners. To that end, I’m thrilled to be welcoming Peter Naylor, who joins us as Senior Vice President of Sales.

Peter officially starts next week, but will be in the Santa Monica office on Wednesday and the New York office next Tuesday to meet you all. Interim head of sales Jim O’Donnell will continue to work closely across functions at Hulu headquarters as VP, West Coast Sales & Advertising Sales Operations, reporting to Peter. I’d like to thank Jim for stepping up in a big way over the past several months, and helping usher in Peter. 

You have all built our incredible sales organization from the ground up and made Hulu into the video advertising platform it is today, leading the industry in ad innovation and effectiveness as you serve our over 1,000 advertising partners. And you may be interested to know that Peter contributed during the early days of Hulu during his time at NBC, when he was involved in the process of identifying Hulu’s charter advertisers. We’ve come a long way since then. 

Peter is equally impressed as I, by the tenacity with which you all go out into the market and talk to advertisers every day about the power of what Hulu can do to drive results for brands. And that’s exactly what Peter has been doing over his past 25 years in advertising sales—driving results for brands. Peter was most recently Executive Vice President of Ad Sales for NBC News Digital and has worked across news, sports, and entertainment at NBC. He has also served as a member of the board of directors of the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) and the Online Publishers Association (OPA) for over 10 years. Prior to his post at NBC Universal, Naylor was SVP of sales for iVillage Properties.

2013 was a record year for consumption, as Hulu viewers streamed more than 1 billion content videos in each quarter. And throughout the year, Hulu remained #1 in engagement among top ad supported online video sites, and #1 in market share of all premium online video providers. Hats off to the team—these are incredibly impressive achievements.

As we are coming off Hulu’s record breaking year, I see 2014 being even stronger—you are already above target for the quarter, and we’re not even halfway through it. Keep up the good work. Under Peter’s leadership, I’m confident that our advertising team will continue to excel. 

Please join me in giving Peter a warm Hulu welcome!

- Mike

on by in Advertising

With hundreds of channels, Hulu, Netflix, Xbox, tablets and smartphones, people have more access to more great content than ever before. What makes it even more amazing is that once a year 110 million of us sit down and watch the same thing — together.

That’s the Super Bowl, and that’s a big reason that the big game remains big business for advertisers. This year 30 seconds of Super Bowl time will cost advertisers $4 million. And that’s just the time. They’ll spend millions more to create their spots, promote them on the web and build marketing strategies around them that last long after the game is over. 

Here at Advertising Age, we talk about ads all year long. But this is the one time of year everyone talks about them. Indeed, the ads are part of the Super Bowl experience, and since this big audience comes just once a year, advertisers know they have just one chance to get it right. One chance to entertain YOU. 

Over the years, some have gotten it very, very right. Here are five of the top Super Bowl ads of all time, as picked by Advertising Age editors:

Apple: ’1984′

Coca-Cola: ‘Mean Joe Greene’

Budweiser: ‘True’ (Wassup)

Volkswagen: ‘The Force’ 

McDonald’s: ‘The Showdown’


Last year brought a bumper-crop of great ads. Here five great ones from 2013:

Samsung: ‘Next Big Thing’

Budweiser: ‘Brotherhood’

Coca Cola: ‘Security Cameras’

Ram Trucks: ‘Farmer’

Tide: ‘Miracle Stain’


To keep track of who’s buying what in the Super Bowl this year, check out our handy tracker and follow along for all our coverage of the business behind the Big Game


on by in Advertising

It has been a big year at Hulu. I feel very fortunate to have stepped into a company that has such a strong team, showing such incredible performance. I’m humbled by the work that the team has done this year, and the focus that they have continued to demonstrate. I’m pleased to report the results of the team’s great efforts this year.

Revenue. Hulu will reach $1 billion in revenue in 2013. That’s up from $695 million in 2012. When you think about the fact that Hulu first launched out of beta in 2008, it’s quite an impressive feat to scale the business from zero to $1 billion over the course of just six years. 

Hulu Plus. Earlier this year, we reached 5 million subscribers. Roughly 50% of those subscribers are now streaming exclusively on devices, with living room viewing accounting for over half of all content consumption on the service. Hulu Plus is now accessible on more than 400 million Internet connected devices in the U.S., including the all-new Xbox One, PlayStation®4, Chromecast, Nintendo 3DS and Windows Phone 8.* We also provided a refreshed and redesigned Hulu Plus experience on Apple TV, iPad, and millions of Samsung, Roku, and Wii devices. It is our goal to provide the best user experience possible on every device, so consumers can take their favorite TV shows with them on-the-go.

Content. We are continually adding to the content available on Hulu and Hulu Plus–this year, we grew our Hulu and Hulu Plus offerings to include premium programming from more than 488 content partners, providing over 86,000 TV episodes, 2,900 TV series, and 68,000 hours of video on Hulu and Hulu Plus (and growing). 

Hulu Plus is the only online video subscription service that offers current season content from five of the six largest U.S. broadcast networks. Hulu users can watch seven of the top 10 TV shows in primetime, anytime and anywhere, including Modern Family, The Voice, The Blacklist, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Scandal, Grey’s Anatomy, Sleepy Hollow and many more.**

We launched more than 20 Hulu Originals in 2013, and plan to double that number over the next few years. Shows like The Awesomes, Behind the Mask and The Wrong Mans performed extremely well on the service, and were among the top 10 most-watched shows on Hulu each week a new episode aired.

We were excited to bring you over 2,000 new episodes and 144 titles through a content deal with BBC Worldwide North America that includes internationally-beloved favorites like Doctor Who, Luther, Top Gear and Sherlock. Additionally, we added the first four seasons of the critically acclaimed drama The Good Wife to the Hulu Plus library as part of our multi-year licensing agreement with CBS. And your kids will be entertained for hours with the new content we added to the Hulu Kids hub from the Jim Henson Family TV Library, giving Hulu Plus the rights to more Jim Henson Family titles than any other video subscription service in the U.S., including Fraggle Rock. We also added classic titles from PBS Kids and Lionsgate including Sesame Street and Thomas & Friends, as well as Spanish-language kids programming. 

We look forward to increasing our overall content offerings, and will continue to invest in last night’s TV, original first-run TV programming, and great library TV from the U.S. and other markets.

AdvertisingIn 2013, we saw our roster of advertisers expand to more than 1,000 brands–a 15% increase over last year. It was also a record year for consumption as Hulu viewers streamed more than 1 billion content videos in each quarter, and stayed with us for approximately 50 minutes per session in Q4. And throughout the year, Hulu remained #1 in engagement among top ad supported online video sites, and #1 in market share of all premium online video providers, maintaining our commitment to building the world’s most effective video advertising service and delivering industry-leading results for our advertising partners.

Hulu Japan. Hulu Japan is on track to end 2013 having more than doubled the number of subscribers from the beginning of this year. We now have over 50 content partners offering users more than 12,000 assets of TV dramas and movies, and Hulu is available on more than 90 million devices (PCs not included). 

Team. Over the course of the year, we hired over 260 new team members. Currently, the Hulu team is 725 members strong; that’s nearly 20% growth in our employee base year-over-year. In the last two quarters alone, we added over 140 new hires. I’d like to thank the Hulu team for their incredible commitment and execution, evidenced by the company’s continued growth.

It’s exciting for me to see the continued growth of the business and be part of such a great team. As we scale the business in 2014, we will continue to invest in content, technology and people. 2014 will bring even more opportunity as we find new ways to grow the business from the strong foundation we have built. Thank you for being users and fans of Hulu–we couldn’t do it without you.

*Not including laptop and desktop computers.
**Source: Nielsen NPM, October 2013.


on by in Advertising

<Earlier today, I sent the following email to the Hulu team>

We’ve recently had folks from the early days of Hulu hit their six year anniversaries.  And as expected for any company as it matures, we’ve had some important contributors make the difficult decision to head off to exciting new chapters of their lives beyond Hulu.  That’s part of the natural evolution and maturation process for any company, and I’m proud to see Hulu alums make their mark in other great companies, despite being very sorry to see them go.

It’s with that mix of emotions today that I share one such departure with you:  Jean-Paul (JP) Colaco (“our Chief Canadian Officer”) has decided to move on from Hulu later in October and pursue one of a few new startup opportunities he has in front of him.

Six years ago, JP Colaco and I both got the call to come join a new start-up that was setting out to change the way people find and watch their favorite TV shows.  It wasn’t called Hulu yet and it was a pretty risky opportunity . . . both from our perspectives as well as that of the press, who soon dubbed it “ClownCo”.  It was a tricky joint venture, funded by competitors in the broadcast world, and we all realized that you had to be a little bit crazy to sign on for this adventure.  But despite the risks, we couldn’t help ourselves.  The chance to help change how viewers watched TV was just too great to pass up, as was the opportunity to build a great place to work with the strong culture needed to thread all the needles required to make Hulu a success.  I remember JP in those early days meeting my then 3 year old son, Max, and demonstrating what a fun place Hulu was to work by holding him upside down by his ankles.  Max got the message and believed it, as did the many incredibly talented team members that joined us in the beginning and throughout the years that followed.  And for this great team, JP has served as a tremendous role model in driving truly world class execution but never letting anyone forget how important it is to have a lot of fun along the way.

JP is a Hulu builder through and through. As one of the original team members from the Fall of 2007, JP helped lay the foundation upon which everything since then has been built.  He drove much of the innovation in advertising that Hulu has become known for – including Ad Swap, Ad Selector, and 100% Completion Rate. Most importantly, JP has hired and mentored one of the most talented ad sales teams in the business.  The Hulu advertising team has driven revenue growth that is is truly unparalleled.  And in a testament to JP’s leadership, his team has the bench strength to carry on and continue to knock it out of the park without missing a beat.  That’s one of the highest accolades any leader can receive, and JP has built a fantastic team that will do exactly that.

Though we’re very sorry to lose him, JP will leave us with the company firing on all cylinders in terms of outputs.  2013 so far has been the strongest year yet for Hulu in terms of business results, including revenue and Hulu Plus subscriber growth.  We’re on track for revenue in the neighborhood of a billion dollars this year and subscriber growth remains strong. These great results are allowing us to continue to add great talent—we’ve added more than 90 new hires in the past 90 days.  That’s an incredible rate of growth, especially when we consider how high our bar is for talent.  I couldn’t be more proud of all of you Hulugans out there for staying so focused this year and continuing to deliver for our content partners, advertisers, and most of all, our loyal viewers who’ve made us such a big part of their lives.

JP has played a big role in allowing us to deliver these impressive results, and I’m very proud of what he’s accomplished here. JP and I are working through the transition plan, but in the meantime, please join me in thanking him for all his contributions and wish him the best in all he does in the future.