Another story from Variety on the tension between Hulu and its owners over advertising sales. The story notes that in recent months NBC has exercised its option to sell ads for some of its shows exclusively and that it's far easier for NBC ad sales to sell an online package that includes Hulu and NBC.com than it would be if it was just NBC.com.
"People are getting more defensive," says Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey. "You've got the ad exec who has their quota, and to keep the advertiser, they bad-talk about how ineffective the digital (spots) are. I mean, he's got his own Porsche payment to make. I sympathize."
Variety doesn't touch on it, but I'm far more interested in how the networks who own Hulu deal with Hulu once Nielsen's TVandPC measure is rolled out, which is scheduled to happen in the first half of 2011.
TVandPC will count online viewing within 3 days of original telecast into the Nielsen C3 ratings (commercial ratings, live plus 3 days) as long as the shows carry the same ads that ran in the TV telecast. The C3 ratings are the ratings used to broker television advertising.
Since the networks still get paid more for TV ads and want to capture all the viewing they can in the C3 ratings it will be very interesting to see what happens. It seems unimaginable they won't try to make sure there are full commercial loads online within 3 days of the telecast, but they won't need Hulu to sell those ads since they've already been sold by the TV networks.
Hulu CEO Jason Kilar has been pretty vocal about not thinking full advertising loads make for a good online experience. But let's face it, full ad loads don't make for a great TV viewing experience either, and that hasn't stopped anyone.
When it comes to tension between Hulu and its owners, "we ain't seen nothing yet."