Hulu is trying other methods of making ads more pain-free. You can fill out a short survey in lieu of watching an ad; the survey might say something like "Mark, are you planning on buying a new or used car in the next 12 months?" If you say "yes" you can count on seeing a lot of automobile ads on Hulu.
Also, Hulu will let you watch a TV show sans commercials if you agree to watch an entire 2 minute-plus TV or movie trailer.
Making Hulu More Addictive
Making the ads more bearable could have the very desirable effect of getting people to stay at Hulu longer without getting bored or frustrated and going elsewhere-namely its chief competitor's site Netflix. But Hulu is going into content suggestion, which could an even better way of doing it.
Hulu is trying out an Amazon-type suggestion engine to help people answer the perennial question: "How do I find something to watch when I don't know what I want to watch?" As you finish watching a show on Hulu, you may see a pop-up saying "Mark, Hulu users who liked The Office also like the British comedy Peep Show." The user is then given the chance to either bookmark the suggested show, or go directly to it and start watching.
Right now, Kilar says these suggestions are getting a surprising 10% response rate from viewers. As Hulu learns more and more about its users and gets better at mining the data, their content selections may get more and more accurate.
Of course a Hulu without any ads at all would be nice. And Kilar says that an ad-free Hulu Plus is a possibility, but the subscriptions cost would be a lot more. Besides that, Hulu research shows that most people would rather have a lower-priced service with ads than a premium-priced ad-free version.