Hulu and YouTube have both been building their audiences for live television over the past year, with around 450,000 and 300,000 subscribers respectively. As they look to scale these audiences, it’s anticipated that both Hulu and YouTube will begin selling ads on their live TV packages.
You may have noticed YouTube TV’s logo all over last year’s Major League Baseball World Series, where it became the first brand to “Present” the World Series, placing its logo behind home plate, having the Fox broadcasters call out YouTube TV during the game, and running ads throughout the series. After announcing that this partnership with MLB has been extended, in March YouTube TV was unveiled as the first-ever presenter for this year’s upcoming NBA Finals. The deal, which also includes the WNBA Finals and the G-League finals, will show the NBA Finals logo with “Presented by YouTube TV” underneath and is expected to last through at least 2019.
Not to be outdone, Hulu is sponsoring the NBA Playoffs on TNT to promote its Live TV service. Both services offer a mix of traditional cable networks including Turner, ESPN, HGTV, Food Network, and AMC.
With the anticipated growth of these to networks to replace the traditional viewers lost to cord-cutting, advertisers would be doing their clients a disservice to not take advantage when they start selling ads.
It will be interesting to see how these networks grow and compete with other live streaming options such as Sling TV and DIRECTV Now. It’s not known, for example, if you can use the same interface for buying ads on YouTube TV that you can for regular YouTube, so that will be something to watch.
John is a writer with an interest in healthcare and SEO. In his spare time, he enjoys basketball and memes and spending time with his family.