Hulu recently announced that they hope to put more ads in your programming. What they are referring to is the fact that the company plans on putting ads on your TV or device when you have your content paused.
The reason for this is clearly unknown, but could be a reason for how they plan to get some of their money back after they dropped their price of their ad-tier plan down to $5.99 a month just this year. While there Live TV prices did go up and the ad-free version staying the same price, clearly Hulu with looking to raise even more revenue in 2019.
In 2018, Hulu’s ad revenue surpassed over $1 billion for the first time ever, whereas in 2017, the company got up to $1 billion in ad revenue. Again, they are clearly trying to find more ways to give you more advertisements.
This is all quite similar to what Amazon does with their Kindle tablets and Fire TV, and even Roku’s screensaver. Although Prime Video does not have traditional ads in it (sometimes they show an ad to their one of their original shows or movies when starting a TV show or movie), they do show ads on the home screen on their Kindle and Fire TV devices.
On the Kindle, it is something similar to it, but instead, they show ads on your lock screen and sometimes on your home screen or on a different page of apps. For example, you could turn on your Kindle and on the lock screen, it might show an ad for a game like Angry Birds.
When it comes to the Fire TV, they will show ads on the home screen for new movies or TV show premieres such as PBS Masterpiece’s Victoria. From there, it will show you what apps and service you can use to stream the new episodes.
Hulu could very well easily do what a lot of TV networks do to promote their programming. When airing one show, they typically have some sort of banner or bug ad in the corner of the screen that promotes another show.
So, say you paused an episode of Home Improvement on Hulu, Hulu could then put some sort of banner ad that promotes Tim Allen’s other TV show, Last Man Standing, which does have actors from Home Improvement throughout the series.
There is currently no timetable from Hulu as for when this change is going to come, but I would suspect it will be here by summer 2019. With every student and kid having time away from school, they’re going to want to take advantage of that.
Hulu is currently available for the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Mac and Apple TV.
UPDATE (02/01/2019): Hulu plans to have these pause screen ads out by the second quarter of 2019.