Hulu, a video streaming service is treading carefully with doubts over the ability of blockchain technology to solve problems related to the advertising industry, especially in the areas of data privacy and brand trust.
According to Adam Moser, head of as tech and platform operations at Hulu the company which is different from its leading rivals, serves ads to lower-tiered subscribers, even though it is not presently chasing any blockchain applications, it is enthusiastic about the technology’s potential.
“Blockchain is interesting to use because trust, transparency, all of those things matter to marketers. They’re critical from our standpoint not just as Hulu as a brand, but also Hulu as a media publisher. So when we meet with companies that are talking about blockchain solutions, I think the promise of what they can bring to the landscape, specifically regarding transparency and the ability to be able to track transactional details in an open and decentralized way, is something we’re in support of for the industry.”
Speaking in the sidelines if the CDX Blockchain Brand Innovation Summit at Columbia University, Moser stated that Hulu is taking a “wait-and-see approach” to blockchain applications, going further to say the smart contracts especially are still promising that the industry has not yet reached a decision on which problems this technology can solve.
“Everyone is talking about how blockchain is going to solve for smart contracts, for transparency, for streamlining data targeting…those are three very different avenues. I think this is a potential path forward to solve challenges within our industry, but we have to decide which challenge we want to solve for,” Moser said, noting that applications are not often a one-size-fits-all solution.
“Every time we talk to these companies and they ask if we want to run a test, we take a wait-and-see approach. We want to test-drive the car when it’s been built, not as its being built,” he added. “The way we integrate our service onto gaming platforms, smart TVs, etc., it requires a different approach. If a solution comes to us and says it may work on Xbox and PlayStation but not on Roku or Apple TV, it doesn’t work for Hulu.”
With that being said, the company expects it can use blockchain technology to standardize the transaction side of the video advertising market, including providing advertisers with transparency into pricing and other relevant information.
“Blockchain [shows] a decentralized and open way that marketers can understand how their inventory is being bought and how they’re being charged,” he said.
“It feels like we’re in a crawl, walk, run type of approach with blockchain,” he concluded. “If you use that metaphor, right now we’re at the stage where you’re just figuring out how to wiggle your toes.”