Advertising Week Recap


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Advertising Week Recap

Advertising Week New York 2019 has ended, but one of its key players – from multiple appearances on panels to a ground-floor interactive display that provided much-needed charging stations, a “market” full of snacks, and multiple options for infused water – Hulu was one of the bright lights of the entire week. Cynopsis looks back at what we learned from the event, Hulu-related and otherwise:

  1. Collaboration is uppermost on everyone’s mind. Not just in-house and in a creative sense, but there seemed to be a yearning for a shared hub of agnostic data on which everyone could draw, the way Nielsen ratings used to be the ne plus ultra of the industry. “Fragmentation is going to make it even harder for the industry to adopt standards, a single way of buying, everyone is going to be defining their audience targets in different ways,” said Noah Levine, CRO, 605 in the Trying Video on for Size panel. 
  1. Passive viewing is out; interactive experiences in branding and advertising are in. But the content must be relevant. “Viewers want a better experience, and they’re demonstrating that in their behaviors,” said Jeremy Helfand, VP, Head of Advertising Platforms for Hulu during the What it Takes to Win in the Next Era of TV panel. 
  1. AI sorting of mass data points is the future, but nuance is required.If you can very clearly state what it is that you want to solve with algorithms, then it’s easy to transfer your ability from one place to another. The key is to understand the business – are there limitations to the data you have? Should you start collecting data you haven’t had before?” wondered Jaya Kolhatkar, Chief Data Officer for Hulu in the Applied Artificial Intelligence for Enterprise … Really panel.


During her three years at Hulu, VP and Head of Integrated Marketing Nicole Sabatini has been merging her traditional television background with the emerging streaming space. She was one of several Hulu reps on panels during AWNY, appearing on Wednesday’s Calling All Cord Cutters. Cynopsis pulled Sabatini aside for a quick chat to discuss the channel’s integrations at the convention, how they’re organizing the playing field as a leading streaming company, and whether the Walt Disney Company‘s buyout of Comcast to take control of the service early this year foretells any shifts.
Hulu really jumped in with both feet at Advertising Week; last year you had a large presence. Why is this important for the service?
Sabatini: Our presence started to accelerate last year when we became a partner in a much more significant way. Bringing the event all into one location made it the right opportunity for us to speak to the full attendee list in an impactful way. There are a handful of opportunities throughout the year where you have such a heavy volume of brands, advertisers and marketers who are all in one location that are really looking to collaborate and learn about the ever-evolving landscape, so for us that’s a real opportunity to have that conversation in various ways.
Last year, you had regular snacks every afternoon. This year you went even bigger. I’m sure that helped fix Hulu’s presence in at least some minds, apart from your messaging.
Sabatini: Exactly. We wanted to be experiential and bring that fun element of our brand out, so we surprised attendees with surprise treats. We took a different approach this year, but still that key element of surprise and delight and bringing the essence and fun of our brand was out there.
Hulu’s a well-established company, but do you still have a feeling like you’re in the Wild West of streaming and cord cutting these days?
Sabatini: We are definitely at a place where the industry is a lot more educated about the importance of being in that space. We’re now at a place where we have the ability to have these deeper conversations about how we take this to the next place. What’s exciting for us is to have the opportunity to tap into that more, to find out how you can leverage the advertiser and how to engage with viewers in a different way. That’s where the conversation is now, advertisers wanting to know how we take that next step.
A generation of viewers has grown up knowing how to skip or avoid advertising, and Hulu has a no-ads option that helps fuel that. How do you convince advertisers of Hulu’s value when there’s also a subscription model?
Sabatini: There’s huge value in the people who do opt to have the ad-supported platform, and that’s where we focus when we’re talking to advertisers. We know those who have opted in, and there’s still a responsibility to make that advertising experience better for them. That’s what we focus on every day, and we’re constantly looking at how we can focus on how to lighten the ad load, how often the ads show up, and the ways we create new ad experiences. If it feels more integrated and seamless, it’ll be a better experience.
Disney now has operational control over Hulu, and they’re excited about their own streaming service, Disney+. Is there any concern about the value add Hulu has under that new system?
Sabatini: From where I sit, no.
What do you most look forward to at Advertising Week?
Sabatini: I look forward to any industry event where you have so many fantastic thought leaders from so many different parts of the business who share their thoughts, their thinking and really have smart, interesting conversations about how we are in one of the most exciting times of this industry. Hearing from so many different people and perspectives makes us all individually stronger and our business stronger.

* 28 million paid subscribers
* Ad-supported audience grew to more than 58 million viewers; of which, 21 million viewers are cordless
* Brands advertising with Hulu’s pause ad unit saw a 68% increase in ad recall. That’s 5x the industry benchmark for a static ad experience.
* Hulu customers are engaging 70 percent more with Hulu Originals than they did a year ago
* Social media activity around Hulu and our Originals has increased more than 40% over the past quarter
* Every new Hulu Original series Hulu has launched in 2019 has been certified fresh by Rotten Tomatoes (and all have scored above 80%): PEN15, Shrill, The Act, Ramy, Catch-22
Source: Hulu
* 4 days
* Over 100,000 attendees (up from 98,000 in 2018)
* 368 events, including workshops (up from 290 in 2018)
* 1,244 speakers (up from 1,216 in 2018)
* 396 registered press members
Source: Advertising Week New York
* OTT streaming video is set to increase 20% in 2019 to $2.6B
* US advertisers will spend $69.2B on linear TV
* 58% of US advertisers polled say that precise targeting is a leading benefit of OTT advertising
* 204.9M people in the US are expected to view OTT content in 2019, up from 199.9 in 2018
* US users are spending 92.43 minutes per day with digital video in 2019, up 7.3% in 2018
Sources: Winterberry Group, Advertiser Perceptions, eMarketer
* Live TV median age: 56
* 77 percent increase in brand safety incident rate from 2015 to 2019
* Only 29 percent of viewing time is done by 18-49 audiences on TV
* More than half of total viewing time is now done by 55+ viewers
* 70 percent of brands experienced at least one unsafe brand exposure
* 85 percent of households have fewer than 3 subscription services
* $2.5 billion is projected for addressable TV spend in 2019 – but it’s still just 3 percent of the total TV spend
Source: Tubi panels at Story Crafters Stage
* 70% of marketers prioritize content quality over quantity
* Titles with 6 to 13 words attract the highest and most consistent amount of traffic
* Content marketing generates more than three times as many leads as outbound marketing (and costs 62% less)
* 51% of content consumption derives from organic search
* By 2022, mobile traffic (via smartphones) is expected to increase tenfold
Sources: Point Visible, HubSpot, Content Marketing Institute, Kuno Creative, Ericsson

“Prime time is any time, that’s how we think about it.” – Hulu’s Nicole Sabatini, in the Calling All Cord Cutters panel
If you’d like to be part of the AWNY Cynopsis newsletter next year, be sure to reach out to us once panels are announced. We’d love to have your input!
By Randee Dawn
Cynopsis Ad Sales
Mike Farina

Albert Nassour

Cynopsis Job Listings Sales
Trish Pihonak

Director of Operations

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