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Hulu Vs Pluto TV: Which is The Better OTT Platform

Aug 31, 2020

OTT or Over the Top Television has changed the way people view and consume content, 71% of US broadband households have at least one OTT entertainment product, such as a smart TV or streaming media player.

With traditional television, there is set programming and advertisements with little to no customization available. Now that’s where OTT has come in and has flipped traditional television on its head.

With OTT you have the ability to choose the content you want to consume, making for a more immersive experience. No more just putting something on in the background because “there’s nothing on” to watch.

This also makes for a better advertising experience when it comes to watching the content of their choice. Pairing over the top television with traditional tv advertising is the perfect way to get your message to your target audience, no matter where they watch. 

Not every impression is created equal. Without specific targeting the odds of your advertisement reaching the best possible audience is slim.

Over the top television targeting capabilities gives advertisers the ability to reach potential customers with their ads in a very granular way, something not obtainable with traditional television advertising.

OTT has the ability to target users based on a magnitude of different categories from:

  • Geographic targeting

  • Whitelists

  • Site Retargeting

  • Email Retargeting

  • Demographics

  • Individual interests

The list goes on and on. This alone makes over the top television impressions extremely valuable to your brand. 

But that’s not the only thing that sets OTT apart. It also provides different levels of user experience across multiple different platforms.

Every platform is different and can provide each user with a unique viewing experience. This is where we will dive in and dissect two different OTT platfoms: Hulu and Pluto TV to see what makes them unique in their ad delivering abilities.  

“Not all impressions are created equal”


Hulu has one of the most unique approaches to advertising when it comes to their platform.

With most platforms, users will get served an ad before the TV show or movie of their choice followed by a few ads throughout the duration of the show or movie.

This is where Hulu differs from its competitors. By utilizing an ‘Ad Selector‘ this allows the user to control their ad viewing experience. Users are given the option to choose between two or three different ads.

This tactic ensures the user watching the ad is fully engaged and therefore more likely to have a better brand recall and overall viewing experience on the platform. Taking this approach to ad serving has brought Hulu to the top of the premium OTT ad placement realm.

Allowing user to select the ad they want to watch without the option to skip has lead to Hulu boasting an extraordinary 96% completion rate of ads. This gives your OTT impressions on Hulu that extra value other platforms can’t guarantee. 

When you compare the different ad experiences users have across different platforms you start to see not every impression is equal. When comparing a free platform such as Pluto TV to a premium platform such as Hulu you can see where the benefits from each come from.

Pluto TV

Pluto TV provides a low barrier of entry making their inventory more available and easy to access.  Because Pluto TV offers free content, users are subject to more ads throughout the duration of the content they choose.

This tactic helps Pluto in terms of making for more ad spots available to advertisers than Hulu.

Users are more willing to sit through more ads on Pluto TV because why? Simple, it’s free. But this also has it’s hangups. With more ads being served during a show, users can become disinterested and exit out of the ad or switch channels.

This isn’t due to a lack of content on Pluto, Pluto provides a fast range of content from live TV to on-demand content giving users the freedom to choose what they want to watch when they want. This gives advertisers the opportunity to find their target audience anywhere on Pluto. 


When it comes to what platform you should choose to serve your ads on there or pros and cons to every single one of them. Hulu provides users with one of the most unique ad experiences when it comes to OTT and you can see it works with its 96% video completion rate.

But it can be challenging for some advertisers to break the barrier to serve on Hulu with it being considered premium inventory and having limited availability. Platforms such as Pluto TV have a low barrier of entry making it easier for most advertisers to serve on Pluto.

But don’t provide much of a unique experience for users, users experience ads more frequently and don’t get the choice to choose the Ads they would like to watch.

In conclusion, a healthy mixture of premium inventory along with lower grade inventory should always be practiced in OTT campaigns to ensure you are reaching your target audience no matter where they are consuming content and you are getting the most “bang for your buck”. 









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