The news: Disney will start rolling out some of Hulu's ad targeting capabilities to Disney+ in April, Disney Advertising President Rita Ferro said in a Digiday interview ahead of the company’s annual Tech & Data Showcase advertiser event this week.
The context: According to Aaron LaBerge, CTO of Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution, Disney's ad server—“the heart of our platform,” in his words—already powers all of Hulu's and Disney+'s US-based addressable ad systems at 100%, and over the course of the next 12 months, it will power all of Disney's addressable platforms. This digital transformation was possible by Disney's acquisition of Hulu nearly four years ago.
Why it matters: Through this effort, Disney is attempting to streamline its back-end ad tech business as it works to automate 50% of its ad sales. They’re already at 35%, according to Ferro, but achieving that remaining 15% will be huge as companies including Google are focusing more on self-serve, automation, and profitability.
Our take: Thanks to its stake in Hulu, Disney has an advantage over Netflix when it comes to launching an ad-supported business.
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