Hulu Seeks to Double Number of Web Advertisers This Year

May 1 (Bloomberg) -- Jean-Paul Colaco, senior vice president of advertising at Hulu LLC, talks about the video website's business strategy and efforts to attract advertisers. He speaks with Jon Erlichman on Bloomberg Television's "Bloomberg West." (Source: Bloomberg)

Hulu LLC, the video website owned by three of the four major U.S. broadcasters, seeks to double its advertisers this year from 2012.

“Our goal is to work with about 2,000,” Jean-Paul Colaco, senior vice president of advertising at Los Angeles-based Hulu, said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “We’ve seen tremendous growth in interest from more national advertisers but also local advertisers” who can target viewers by ZIP code, he said.

“Whether it’s regional auto dealers or fast food franchises, we’re really seeing huge growth in local business, so that’s expanding the number of advertisers we reach,” Colaco said.

Then-Chief Executive Officer Jason Kilar said in a blog post last year that Hulu served more than 1,000 advertisers in 2012, a 28 percent increase from 2011. The company said yesterday its paying subscribers doubled in the past year to more than 4 million.

Revenue jumped more than 65 percent to $695 million in 2012, driven by advertising and subscriptions.

“What keeps us growing at that rate is a laser focus on our three customers, which are viewers, content partners and advertisers,” Colaco said.

Hulu offers free reruns of television shows and movies, with newer programming and earlier access available on its $8-a-month Hulu Plus. Andy Forssell became acting CEO with the departure in March of Kilar.

The company’s controlling owners, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. (NWSA) and Walt Disney Co. (DIS), are weighing whether to sell Hulu or buy each other out. Comcast Corp. (CMCSA), the third major investor, is barred from an active role in the company as part of an agreement with U.S. regulators.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jonathan Erlichman in New York at jerlichman1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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