Hulu Will Start Running Ads When Paused

Viewers streaming a favorite show on Hulu may soon notice something new on the screen when the pause button is hit.

Today, the streaming platform announced that it would be introducing the Pause Ad, "which provides a non-intrusive, viewer-initiated ad experience that is both delighting to viewers and effective for brands."

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Hulu Paused ads

Rather than interrupting the show with the audio and video of a full commercial, the pause ad works by displaying an image on the screen during moments when the viewer has chosen to pause the show.

The announcement includes a short video to preview the way the pause ad will appear: the Hulu-exclusive show Runaways is selected and streamed, then paused. After a few seconds, a still image including a company's art and logo appears on one side of the screen, backed by a gradient and the word "advertisement" to separate it from anything within the streaming content.

When the viewer ends the pause, the ad disappears and the show will continue as it normally would.

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While this will presumably affect Hulu's ad-supported base subscription, it's not clear whether this will affect Hulu's "No Ads" subscription tier as of this writing.

Hulu calls the advertising method "non-disruptive and viewer-initiated", and reports a positive response from viewers. The company will be testing the pause ad format in the second quarter of this year, beginning with ads from Coca-Cola beverages and Charmin bath tissue.


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