Business Marketing: Hulu Going Ad Free and Why it Matters to You

July 24, 2015 / by Jessica Miley

Remote_controlIt’s happening - the numbers from Nielsen are showing that TV watching is going down and the number of subscribers to online streaming services is going up. One of the popular services, Hulu, may be making a marketing move that will not only please its customers but will bring in more revenue. The billion dollar a year company might be going ad free. But as a business owner, why should you care about this weeks’ business marketing news?  

What is Hulu?

First let’s start with the basics. Hulu is an online streaming service that focuses on providing access to TV shows right after they air on TV and well before they hit Netflix. Currently there are two different versions for streaming: a free option and one that costs subscribers $7.99 a month. The free option has limited viewing capability but does include past and current season TV programs. The paid version allows for mobile viewing, streaming on tablets and more. This option also has more programming available than the free option.

Even though we can watch a new episode of a show the next day after it airs on Hulu, Netflix and Amazon offer something that Hulu cannot: ad-free streaming. It is said that Hulu is discussing a third option for subscribers which would mean paying more (estimated $12-$14 a month) to watch TV shows without the ads. Which means that I can watch How to Get Away with Murder without having to watch the ads. Sign me up!

Why are they just now thinking about doing this? The thing is, having an ad-free option isn’t a new thought for Hulu. Instead, the company wanted to use the money from the ad revenue to purchase more content to bring the streaming service to where it is now. This gives them a competitive edge. So as we wait for the final say on the monthly price of NOAH (No Ad Hulu), what does this have anything to do with your business marketing?

Why it Matters to You

This is a great example of how a business can benefit from knowing its competition, but also by recognizing goals and keeping strategy aligned with those goals. Hulu has had the goal of purchasing more content from different networks and knew that it was going to take years to get to its goal. This goal was more important than providing ad-free streaming at the time. Hulu analyzed the cost-benefit of the different options and knew that the ad-free streaming needed to wait until later. Hulu is up from 6 million subscribers from last year to 9 million currently. This trend goes to show that patience pays off.

Let’s take a look at your company. Do you let your competitors and their actions control your goals and strategies? Don’t get me wrong, your team needs to constantly keep tabs on what your competitors are doing because you want to prevent any threats to your company. But you don’t want to miss any new opportunities because you are trying to keep up with the competition.

Need some tips on how to write a business plan that includes identifying your opportunities and your competition? Check out this article on creating and implementing a S.W.O.T. analysis that can help you with strategy. This analysis with help you and your team see the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of your company. This exercise is always a great way to start creating a new strategy that is inclusive of your company’s needs.

If you would like hands on help with your marketing strategy or business marketing in general, then contact us at Half a Bubble Out.

Contact us today to see how we can help

Since 2002, Half a Bubble Out has been dedicated to providing marketing, advertising and small business consulting that meet the needs of our clients. We specialize in powerfully telling stories through inbound marketing to grow your business filled with more passion and provision. Based in Chico California, we serve clients throughout Northern California and across the country to New York.

Topics: Business Development, News

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