Last month, Hulu began talking about a new form of advertising it had in the works that it called "pause ads." At the time, the company said it tested numerous versions of the format, but they all boiled down to showing subscribers some form of advertising every time they hit pause on a video in Hulu.

hulu pause ads 2
The final version of pause ads has now been decided, and they'll begin rolling out in the second quarter of 2019. When they do, pause ads will not play video or audio when you pause a show or movie in Hulu, but instead they will showcase static images with taglines from various brands.

Just as consumers’ viewing habits have evolved, their expectations for advertising have also changed. Viewers no longer accept an irrelevant, intrusive ad experience and appreciate when brands tell their stories in authentic and integrated ways. To stand out and continue engaging their target audiences, brands must rise to the challenge and flex their creative muscles to go beyond the traditional commercial break.

Enter Hulu’s new Pause Ad, which provides a non-intrusive, viewer-initiated ad experience that is both delighting to viewers and effective for brands.

Hulu says pause ads will be "contextually relevant" and have background gradients that change to distinguish the ad from the paused scene. The company calls the ads "non-disruptive", and the final form was decided upon after extensive user testing found that consumers preferred ads that don't play extensive audio and video when pausing movies and TV shows.

The first two brands to debut with pause ads will be Charmin and Coca-Cola. When pause ads roll out they will appear within "select content" in Hulu's streaming library, presumably for those subscribed to Hulu With Limited Commercials. In today's press release, an example of a pause ad is shown in the Hulu Original show Marvel's Runaways, so it appears that even Hulu's own original content will have the new ads.

Tag: Hulu

Top Rated Comments

MikeVarney Avatar
66 months ago
So when I want to pause a TV show because I get a phone call and can’t hear, now I’m going to get a loud commercial? Sounds great
The title of the story, the image, AND the text of the story all contradict this. You're 0/3.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
earthTOmitchel Avatar
66 months ago
So when I want to pause a TV show because I get a phone call and can’t hear, now I’m going to get a loud commercial? Sounds great
"...pause ads will not play video or audio when you pause a show or movie in Hulu, but instead they will showcase static images with taglines from various brands."
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
keysofanxiety Avatar
66 months ago
What an absolute crock. Ads aren't an experience or "delighting to viewers". They're an intrusion, however you try and spin it.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
djeeyore25 Avatar
66 months ago
It's fitting that Hulu considers Charmin a "contextually relevant" sponsor for their offerings.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
erinsarah Avatar
66 months ago
I'm not a Hulu fan by any means (I see it as legacy TV trying desperately to keep a toe-hold as the industry moves on) but my partner subscribes. Maybe this will end Hulu in our household entirely.
I don't see much of an issue with it. Whether you're looking at a paused image of the show you're watching, or a picture of toilet paper, it shouldn't matter so long as you're not missing the show while you're waiting for your popcorn to microwave.

What I REALLY, REALLY wish Hulu, and others like it, would do is SELL MORE ADS. Seriously. These streaming apps each seem to have less than a dozen ads that they cycle through over and over and over again. I mean how many times can I see the same gaggle of hipsters walk into a room where they are amazed by the same lousy collection of Chevy SUVs hiding behind a wall? I get it...Chevy is swell. Move on.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sinsin07 Avatar
66 months ago
So when I want to pause a TV show because I get a phone call and can’t hear, now I’m going to get a loud commercial? Sounds great
It's OK to be the first post.
Not OK to get it wrong.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 17

iOS 17.4 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Monday February 19, 2024 6:52 am PST by
Apple last month confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March, and the update includes several new features and changes for the iPhone. Key new features in iOS 17.4 include major App Store changes in the EU and Apple Podcasts transcripts. The update also adds new emoji and includes preparations for the launch of next-generation CarPlay later this year. More details about the new...
apple wallet drivers license feature

Apple Said iPhone Driver's Licenses Will Expand to These 8 U.S. States

Monday February 12, 2024 7:51 am PST by
In 2021, Apple introduced a feature that lets residents of participating U.S. states add their driver's license or ID to the Wallet app on the iPhone and Apple Watch, providing a convenient and contactless way to display proof of identity or age. Unfortunately, states have been slow to adopt the feature since it was first announced in September 2021, with IDs in the Wallet app only available ...
samsung galaxy ring

'Apple Ring' Allegedly in Development to Rival Samsung Galaxy Ring

Tuesday February 20, 2024 2:27 am PST by
Apple is speeding up development of a smart ring that can be worn on the finger to track users' health biometrics, claims a new report coming out of Korea. Teaser image of Samsung Galaxy Ring shown at Galaxy Unpacked in January Apple has toyed with the idea of a ring wearable for several years, as indicated by several patents, but with Samsung preparing to bring its own product to market, the ...
New Macs iPads iOS 17 4

New Macs and iPads Coming Soon: What to Expect

Saturday February 17, 2024 3:00 am PST by
Following the launch of Apple's Vision Pro headset, attention has shifted towards what is next on the company's agenda this year. As usual, March should be eventful for Apple, as it is expected to release new MacBook Air, iPad Pro, and iPad Air models during the month. In a recent press release, Apple also confirmed that iOS 17.4 will be released in March. Below, we recap what to expect...
Apple Watch Series 9

5 Major New Features Rumored for This Year's Apple Watch

Sunday February 18, 2024 3:00 am PST by
Thinking about upgrading your Apple Watch or buying one for the first time? If your current smartwatch is doing its job just fine and it's only the idea of a good deal that's piqued your interest, it could be worth holding out until later this year when Apple unveils its next-generation version. Here's why. There are already several rumors from reputable sources that suggest 2024 could be a...
m3 macbook pro 14 16

Apple Now Selling Refurbished M3 Pro and M3 Max MacBook Pro Models

Monday February 19, 2024 5:04 pm PST by
Apple today began offering refurbished versions of the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models with M3 Pro and M3 Max chip options, offering the machines at a discount for the first time since their October 2023 release. The release of M3 Pro and M3 Max models on Apple's refurbished store comes almost two weeks after the entry-level 14-inch M3 MacBook Pro first appeared on the store....