“Pause ads” were already a function on select Hulu programs. But according to a recent report from Variety, more and more streaming platforms will be looking into the newest way to serve ads to users.
The concept of “pause ads” — ads that only appear after a program has been paused, as opposed to playing as a traditional ad — is not entirely new. Hulu announced that they would be experimenting with them in 2019, although according Senior Vice President of Revenue Management and Operations at Disney Advertising Josh Mattison, they’re only going to pop up more.
“There are hundreds of millions of pauses, done for all the reasons we hit pause at any moment,” said Mattison. “We look at that as an opportunity for advertisers.”
Variety notes that since the summer, pause ads on Hulu have been seen more and more frequently. Elsewhere, plans are in motion to begin implementing them more on other streaming services, including Peacock and Max.
Evolved pause ads could become standard in the future
The reason behind the choice is revenue-motivated, and the potential for pause ads to grow is still a possibility. Variety specifically envisions a scenario where a small video plays when content is paused, something that Julie Berger, chief media officer of the ad agency Giant Spoon, says could happen.
“All that is in the realm of possiblity and, quite frankly, capable today,” said Berger. “What about an experience you could click to if you wanted to learn more?…I think there are definitely interactive opportunities where you can carry on video storytelling, but the creative execution will have to be clear to the consumer, because they’d be toggling between two video experiences.”