Hulu Teams With Facebook’s LiveRail and Oracle to Sell Ads This Fall

Tests programmatic advertising waters

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After emulating traditional, linear TV networks by returning to a weekly release schedule for its new series, Hulu is also following their lead when it comes to advertising.

The streaming-video service, owned by Fox, NBCUniversal and Disney, is partnering with Oracle Data Management Platform and Facebook-owned video-ad platform LiveRail to offer programmatic advertising options—automating the buying, placement and optimization of ads—for the first time.

The rollout will happen this fall and won't be specifically tied to any of Hulu's major fall premieres. (The Mindy Project debuts Sept. 15, new comedy Casual premieres Oct. 7 and RocketJump: The Show begins airing Oct. 21.)

"The marketplace has shown that data is overwhelmingly the new currency," said Peter Naylor, svp advertising, Hulu, in a statement. "With this new offering, Hulu is at the forefront of defining 'programmatic' for the digital video ecosystem and will increase efficiency and ROI for marketers."

The Oracle DMP will combine first-party and third-party data, which Hulu says will help it increase reach, scale and efficiency for marketers as they personalize their Hulu campaigns. And LiveRail's Video Private Exchange will allow Hulu to complete direct deals with advertisers programmatically.

The news comes as Hulu is also prepping an ad-free option, which would reportedly launch this fall and be priced between $12 and $14 per month. That would be at least $4 more than Hulu's current $7.99 monthly subscription free, which includes ads but fewer of them than Hulu's free version.

Hulu still isn't commenting on its ad-free plans. While advertisers undoubtedly won't like being shut out of Hulu's priciest tier, the streaming service hopes its new programmatic offering will help them get the biggest bang for their buck. 

@jasonlynch Jason Lynch is TV Editor at Adweek, overseeing trends, technology, personalities and programming across broadcast, cable and streaming video.