Hulu Plus Disney: Why Jason Kilar “Gets It”

This morning I had the pleasure of meeting Hulu CEO Jason Kilar, who speaks elegantly about balancing his company’s three key customers: viewers, content producers and advertisers. His focus on convenience and simplicity of video content is unmatched, and is quickly turning Hulu into more than a website (Hulu recently jumped to #3 in online video, surprisingly beating Yahoo Video but not surprisingly beating “wheezing” AOL Video according to comScore).

Hulu CEO Jason Kilar
Hulu CEO Jason Kilar

Kilar agreed to be in one of my goofball videos, but was not surprisingly swept away mid-morning as news broke of the Disney/Hulu deal. Catch ya next time, Kilar. We’re not offended that WVFF didn’t get an exclusive on the Disney deal before the networks.

A few notables from his talk private presentation (which I had the sad task of following). And, no, Nalts will not be appearing on Hulu. It’s focused on “professional” content, so I need not apply.

  • Awareness, message association, brand favor-ability and audience intent increase from 4-20% after Hulu ads.
  • He’s got a great new feature that allows consumers to select the ad, and an even cooler one that lets the advertiser survey the viewer (which gives the viewer fewer interuptions).
  • Still struggling with distribution beyond computers, because television can put him at odds with cable and networks. He doesn’t appear to be soon helping me watch Hulu on AppleTV. 🙁
  • A lot has changed since Hitchcock Presents (his mom’s favorite show- Kilar’s is Speed Racer, and he used to run home from school, only to catch it 9 minutes late). Hitchcock ran 4 minutes of ad times (with 26 minutes of show). But The Office runs 8 minutes of ads (with about 22 minutes of show). Hulu strives to keep ads to about 1/15th of program time, which seems more than fair. Consumers can choose to watch a 3-minute movie preview, then enjoy uninterrupted full episodes of shows.
  • Brand recall on Hulu is nearly twice what broadcast or cable provides (58% to 34% and 28% respectively). Same as message recall.
  • I expected to hear from an old-media junky, desperately pitching prerolls. Instead met an incredibly humble Pittsburgh dude who has a vision for how consumers can enjoy ad-supported content with higher convenience than television. He was at Amazon before Amazon was Amazon, and launched Hulu while launching his 3rd kid. He seemed mildly receptive to me renting his kids for videos.
  • Kilar likened Hulu to Starbucks, where consumption grows because of convenience. So watch for Hulu ubiquity via mobile, web and other mediums. Kilar reminded us of The Onion’s article: Starbucks Puts a New Starbucks Inside a Starbucks Restroom.”