One of the best promotions I took advantage of this year was a free subscription to Hulu through my Spotify Premium account. I’m not sure I ever would have paid for Hulu otherwise, but I have discovered a few great shows that I would have missed out on otherwise without spending an extra $6 per month. The only downside of the promotion is that it comes with the basic Hulu plan, which includes ads during every movie and TV episode.
Thankfully, Hulu is introducing a new ad experience this week that should help to cut down on the number of times that everyone with a basic plan is interrupted while watching a bunch of episodes in a row. As Hulu’s Jeremy Helfand explains in a recent news release, “the binge ad experience is tailored to the viewer’s situation and will reward them for bingeing with the next episode commercial-free or a personalized offer from a brand.”
Once you reach the third consecutive episode of a show during a single viewing session, Hulu will detect that you have been binge watching, at which point it will reveal that the next episode of the show you’re watching will be ad-free, or you will be presented with a unique offer from one of Hulu’s brand partners.
According to Hulu, 75% of US consumers say that they partake in binge watching, and Hulu’s own figures show that users on its own ad-supported plan spend 50% of their viewing time this way. Binge watching is defined as watching at least three episodes of a given series in a row, so not only will viewers who typically watch about an hour or so of TV at once be rewarded, but anyone who was thinking of putting an end to their viewing session might suddenly be tempted to stick around and watch one more — suddenly ad-free — episode.
Having spent at least half a dozen hours watching Letterkenny with my dad over the Thanksgiving holiday, I know that we would have taken advantage of this feature more than once. If you want to see what this new ad experience looks like in action, head over to Hulu’s press site, where there are a few video samples.