According to a report in Variety, Hulu and AT&T are both exploring options to insert commercials in between streaming binge breaks. Hulu plans to unveil “pause-ads” in 2019 — ads that will pop-up when users hit pause on whatever show they happen to be breezing through. “As binge-viewing happens more and more, it’s natural they are going to want to pause,” said Jeremy Helfand, vice president and head of advertising platforms for Hulu. “It’s a natural break in the storytelling experience.”
This is actually a pretty great idea. Streaming is a business, businesses need money. Advertising is a way they can increase revenue, and playing ads while you pause is a way to increase revenue while not effecting or disturbing the customer.
Customers will see part of the ad when they first hit pause, they will see part of the ad when they hit resume, and the whole time, they will hear the ad as they get up to get a drink or answer the door. It’s a win-win.
The one thing which could potentially detract from this would be if the services decided you couldn’t resume your show until the current ad has finished playing. I could see advertisers believing the above scenario does not provide enough exposure and demanding a way to know someone is sitting there watching for at least a portion of the ad. I think this would be a huge mistake for the customer experience.