The head of Hulu took to the stage at the annual meeting of the American Association of Advertising Agencies to describe the future of television, a medium that currently attracts the lion's share of ad dollars.
Jason Kilar, CEO of Hulu, the streaming service owned in part by News Corp., Disney and Comcast, said the future of TV will be personalized, the way the online radio service Pandora takes a listener's favorite song and finds other he should like. "The notion of of turning on the TV and not getting something you want is a travesty," he said.
Another aspect the future of TV will provide the viewer with will be a comprehensive selection of premium video. It will also be social to its core. "Weather and TV are the things people talk about," Kilar said. "With digital we and other services out to be able to make the social TV experience come alive."
TV will be "crazy convenient," he added, saying the need to go to a particular room to watch is "going to be the kind of things our grandkids laugh about."
And while today content largely comes in short clips or 22-minute episodes, "you're going to see new formats" and a tremendous amount of experimentation.
For marketers, the changes in television will mean "more relevant, higher value advertising."
In addition to working to make the TV experience better for viewers, Hulu has been working on improving TV for advertisers by avoiding showing shampoo ads to bald people or diaper spots to households with no children. Those efforts helped Hulu reach more than $400 million in revenue last year, and Kilar says growth is accelerating from last year's pace.
When it launched, Hulu provided an on-screen button that asked viewers whether or not the ad they were seeing was relevant to them. If they said no, that category was suppressed for that viewer.
More recently Hulu set up Ad Swap, which let viewers get rid of an ad they don't want to see and choose a replacement. The unwanted advertiser doesn't get charged and recall is enormous for the ad selected by the viewer.
Thanks to the on-demand nature of Hulu and its advertising innovations, brand recall for spots on Hulu is 51%, compared to 30% on broadcast and 23% on cable and ad message recall is 43% on Hulu, versus 24% on broadcast and 17% on cable, Kilar said.