Ahead of Hulu’s expected launch of a live TV streaming product, the SVOD service has moved to consolidate its media planning and buying.
Universal McCann will take over the duty from Razorfish and Zenith, according to Ad Age. The change happened after a competitive review of Hulu’s media spend, which is in the hundreds of millions, according to the report.
For Hulu, which is co-owned by Disney, Fox, NBC and Time Warner Inc., this is the first agency review.
The review comes at a time when Hulu is poised to launch a new live TV product that will combine livestreaming with on-demand content, similar to what AT&T’s DirecTV Now service began offering in November. Hulu CEO Mike Hopkins said that combination will help set apart Hulu from other competing services.
“Once we do this, more people will be talking about Hulu than there are today,” Hopkins told Bloomberg. “A lot of people are talking about Hulu, but this puts us in a different category.”
Hulu has yet to confirm a launch date or pricing for its live TV offering, although Hopkins has said the service will launch early next year. It’s unclear if the reported $35 starting price point for Hulu live TV will actually stick once the service launches.
But in the meantime, Hulu has been busy locking down content deals for the service. Last month, Hulu announced that both Disney and 21st Century Fox—again, both co-owners—had signed on to contribute live shows and sports via channels including:
- ABC and Fox broadcast networks
- Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports 2 and BTN
- ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN-SEC and ESPN 3
- Fox Regional Sports Networks across dozens of national markets
- Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior
- Fox News and Fox Business
- FX, FXX and FXM
- National Geographic and Nat Geo Wild
“We’re building a service that offers subscribers the most sought-after programming on television—and channels from 21st Century Fox and The Walt Disney Company are essential to that mix,” said Hopkins in a statement. “With these two new deals in place, and additional partners to come, Hulu will soon give TV fans of all ages live and on-demand access to their favorite programs in a whole new, more flexible, highly personalized way.”
Hulu is still working on securing deals with CBS and ABC.