Last week, the popular professional video content site Hulu revamped its site and video player. While we’ve noted that Hulu appears to be struggling to support its content through ads alone, they may have hit on a way to net better ad rates: having users target themselves.
Before, users could us a thumbs up/thumbs down button on ads to indicate whether they liked them—but thenew system asks users to tell whether the ad is relevant—a very different question—with the “Ad Tailor”:
Additionally, sometimes Hulu will give you a survey instead of an ad:
Ad Tailor tries to improve ad relevance in another way. Occasionally, when you’re watching a video, we’ll also serve up a single or multi-question survey in place of an advertisement. Answer any single question and we’ll return you to your video immediately, and answer any multiple question survey and we’ll reward you with some ad-free viewing. Answering these questions is always optional, and any responses given will be kept confidential.
Naturally, the more information you provide, the more targeted your ads can be—and it’s likely that highly targeted ads will command a premium for advertisers (which, of course, is a trade off for the reach of a less-targeted campaign). Assuming, of course, that people are interested in providing feedback and information about themselves to advertisers.
Other improvements include volume control for commercials (THEY ARE ALWAYS LOUDER!!!!)(but now you can fix that), heatmaps that show how popular a video is its duration, a preview window for the seek function, closed captioning, a bigger player and more customization features. Sounds pretty slick.
What do you think? Will people actually use the Ad Tailor? Will you?