Hulu Tries Binge Watch Creative Advertising while ROKU Ad Platform Blocked by Amazon Fire TV

Recently, Hulu raised their TV streaming plan pricing for the second time in 2019. Unfortunately, they also started having more reliability problems. Hulu is now the most costly streaming TV options. Sling is the least expensive. Playstation Vue is closing its service at the end of January 2020. There are some ad-supported streaming TV options.

We haven’t subscribed to any live TV streaming for awhile and just canceled our Hulu plan after a free month.

Hulu makes subscribers go through a half dozen “are you sure you want to cancel” confirmations

One thing I did not appreciate was how many “are you sure you want to cancel” messages. I didn’t count, but it was like a half dozen or so screens. Yes, I’m sure. I’m sure. I’m really sure. Really. Seriously.

Annoying.

I only subscribed to watch a few mostly-exclusive movies and the Stephen King adapted miniseries 11/22/63 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ for anniversary of the JFK assassination.

I should have chosen the ad-free option for the free month rather than the version with the ads, but after spending a month using the service, found the ads throughout the month not to be very intrusive. In fact, they seemed almost intelligent at times.

Turns out that they kinda are, as the technology watches what we watch and then implements ads based on viewing patterns.

These “binge watch ads” utilize machine learning techniques to predict when a viewer has begun to binge watch a show, then serves up contextually relevant ads that acknowledge a binge is underway. This culminates when the viewer reaches the third episode, at which point they’re informed the next episode is ad-free or presents a personalized offer from the brand partner.

Hulu launches its viewer-friendly ‘binge watch ads’ | TechCrunch

This is a smart way to implement advertising.

If you’ve ever watched Sony’s Crackle, you know just how intrusive advertisements can be in exchange for “free” movies. I have watched free movies with ads on a few channels like VUDU and The ROKU channel.

Amazon Fire TV blocking ROKU’s DataXU

At the beginning of November, ROKU acquired DataXU ad targeting tech and it appears Amazon Fire TV, in a bid to increase usage of its own ad platform, is now blocking/preventing this third party ad blocking programs like DataXU:

Amazon’s move to restrict access to its inventory through third-party DSPs signals confidence from the company that it can grow demand for its ads without DataXu’s ad buyers. Amazon has a strong search ad business for its online marketplace, and it’s already the third-largest digital advertising company in the United States. 

Amazon Just Put a Dent in Roku’s Latest Acquisition

Clearly the swords are clashing over who will dominate the ad-free TV and movie marketplace. Amazon Prime Video shows one short ad for another Amazon Original before watching movies even in the paid subscription plan. Netflix doesn’t show ads, but does autoplay other shows when pausing on some screens or doing the hover-over when you click, which is also somewhat annoying.

Do you watch any ad-supported channels for movies or stick mostly (like us) with paid subscription channels?

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