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Hulu Notes How Television Has Changed: Report From DMEXCO '17
Not long ago, programmers told viewers when their favorite shows would air and when they needed to watch. Now, viewers hold the power—while programmers and marketers need to keep up.

Hulu is already 10-years-old, and it's seen some changes in the last decade. When it started, its viewing was 100 percent on desktop. Now, it's only 9 percent desktop, with the rest on connected living room devices.

"There's a new playbook," explained Peter Naylor, senior vice president of advertising sales at Hulu, speaking today at DMEXCO 2017 in Cologne, Germany. The rules of TV are changing for creators and marketers: Viewers are now in control, and companies need to figure out how to keep up.

In the1980s, 60 Minutes was a hit with a 28.2 rating. This year, NBC's This Is Us is a hit with a miniscule 4.2. Naylor calls that "a sign of the times that TV has forever changed."

Consider Hulu's show The Path: When Hulu began marketing season 2, it found a 40 percent increase in unique viewers catching up on season 1 before the new season debuted. In the old days, if fans didn't watch a show within 7 days their view didn't count and the show was liable to get cancelled. Now, shows are free to grow an audience.

"Over time, the accumulated audience is much bigger than the accepted standard of today," Naylor said.

Today, consumers have more choice over what and how they watch, so commercials need to change from interruptions to enhancements. The old way of advertising on TV included brand integrations, custom content creation, and brand placement. Today, marketers can add in interactivity, viewer choice, and effective viewer targeting.

"The viewer is totally in control," Naylor said. Reach them by using data to present relevant ads to the right viewers, which are then seen with more enthusiasm. "We're the best of traditional TV and the best of digital all coming together in this beautiful Venn diagram of marketing magic."

Old TV was always ad-supported, while new TV is either ad-supported for ad-free, Naylor said. Shows are free from having a set length or format, and dynamic ad insertion allows for one-to-one marketing at scale. Streaming shows have a lighter ad load than traditional broadcast does, which keeps viewers happy. And while DVR viewers are still free to skip ads, Naylor noted that streaming shows have unskippable ads and video-on-demand viewing is now more popular than DVR playback

Old methods of measurement include C3 and C7 reporting models, while new methods include digital measurements from ComScore and Nielsen using advanced targeting.

The title of Naylor's talk heralded "TV's tipping point," but as he concluded, that moment has passed. It's now up to marketers to move forward in new terrain.

"TV's tipping point, we've already tipped," Naylor said. "We're not going to un-ring the bell, we're not going to turn back time."

Visit OnlineVideo.net for more reports from DMEXCO 2017.

Peter Naylor at DMEXCO 2017

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