- Streaming has been a bright spot for Disney amid the pandemic, and Hulu in particular has grown “tremendously,” with engagement up 40% year-over-year, marketing head Patrizio Spagnoletto said.
- He said that the streaming service was capitalizing on the momentum by prioritizing emotional connections and improving the user experience.
- The company’s long-term objective was to establish itself among the top three streaming services, he said.
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While parent company Disney’s parks and cruises business takes a hit in the pandemic, its streaming services like Disney+, ESPN+, and Hulu have been a bright spot.
With more people staying indoors and looking for things to watch, Hulu’s organic demand, signups, retention and engagement all grew “tremendously,” said Patrizio Spagnoletto, SVP and head of marketing at the company, who was also among Business Insider’s 2020 CMOs to Watch list.
“On average, people are watching nine titles a week, and our engagement has gone up 40% year-over-year,” Spagnoletto said, speaking during the session “Trials & Triumphs: Going behind the scenes with a top streaming TV marketer” at Advertising Week conference this week.
But with a growing number of competitors fighting for viewers, Hulu is using ad campaigns and user tweaks to make sure it stays top of mind with users.
The latest “Hulu Sellouts” campaign used athletes to promote its live-television service that includes live sports; and “Hulu Has Whatever You’re Feeling” was a nod to all the emotions people are having during the pandemic.
Beyond advertising, Hulu is also trying to improve the user experience, recently redesigning its interface.
“We know that the experience of a subscriber is well past just an ad campaign –it’s every time they log in, every email they receive, and every customer service call is a touch point,” he said. “And our job is to make sure that those touch points become the creative to what ultimately becomes brand love.”
With small businesses bearing the brunt of the pandemic, Hulu is also trying to make it easier for them to advertise, partnering with American Express to provide early access to its self-service solution so they can reach their customers.
Looking ahead, Spagnoletto said that Hulu had a “healthy” number of originals coming out over the next few months that it would be heavily promoting. He said that the service was playing for the long-term in establishing itself among the top three streaming services.
“Over the long run, consumers are going to get frustrated by the now-hundreds of apps that are out there, and at some point they’re going to go back to picking their top two-three,” he said. “So our objective is in the short term, but also really playing the long game about being in that top three, and more specifically, we believe that we are the best place to start your TV experience.”
Disclosure: Mathias Dopfner, CEO of Business Insider’s parent company, Axel Springer, is a Netflix board member.