Tech

Disney's Hulu is trying to make it easier for small businesses to buy ads

Key Points
  • Hulu is launching a "self-service" tool to make it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to buy ads on its service. 
  • In a post, the company said it has "long enjoyed collaborating with many of the top 200 brands in the U.S." but also wants to accommodate businesses with more modest budgets, and who might not already buy ads on streaming TV. 
  • The new tool lets advertisers buy with a minimum campaign spend of $500. 
Signage is seen at the 2019 Deadline Contenders Hulu Reception at Paramount Theater on the Paramount Studios lot on April 07, 2019 in Hollywood, California.
Rachel Murray | Getty Images

Disney-owned Hulu is launching a "self-service" tool to make it easier for small and medium-sized businesses to buy ads on its service. 

Hulu's new Ad Manager tool is launching Wednesday, the company's Faye Trapani, director of self service platform sales, said in a company blog post set to publish later in the day. The company said it is recruiting businesses to join its beta test. 

In the post, the company said it has "long enjoyed collaborating with many of the top 200 brands in the U.S." but also wants to accommodate businesses with more modest budgets, and those who might not already buy ads on streaming TV. 

The new tool lets advertisers buy with a minimum campaign spend of $500 and will enable advertisers to buy without the help of a sales team, but will have access to support. That's far cheaper than typical ad buys on Hulu, and opens the platform up to a broader range of sponsors. The company said advertisers and ads will be vetted through a series of automated and human-review processes. 

Trapani added in the post that opening the platform will also be a benefit for consumers by "giving viewers more creative diversity and relevancy to their ad experience." That might mean more variety in ads for viewers of Hulu, some of whom have bemoaned the platform showing them the same ad over and over again. 

Hulu is the second major company to launch a self-serve ads platform this month: Last week, TikTok officially opened up a self-serve ad platform that lets companies buy and manage ad campaigns directly. The company also said it would be providing $100 million in advertising credits to small businesses, which it said "are uniquely at risk as local economies ceased activity in efforts to protect public health." 

Major online advertising platforms like Google and Facebook have allowed small businesses to buy directly for years. Snap last year attributed the opening of its own self-serve ad platform, which it launched in 2017, as a factor in its accelerating revenue growth as the company saw increased engagement. 

Hulu's announcement comes the same day as Comcast's NBCUniversal launches Peacock, its new TV and movie service that will compete directly with the likes of Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max and Disney+. The service has a free, ad-supported tier. 

Disclosure: NBCUniversal is the parent company of CNBC.

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