Do you have an inkling what influencer marketing is?
Influencer marketing, I guess, is when a brand with an expansive and powerful Internet presence helps a newcomer gain exposure by sharing the smaller brand under the umbrella of the major brand who is widespread across the world wide web on several channels.
When the Hulu video streaming service was becoming a monster, I know they experimented with following various Twitter peeps in order to help make themselves a household name.
Now I see commercials on TV for Hulu that make it seem all the more like a juggernaut, but for some time they were most alive in my mind as the entity on Twitter that seemed to be joking around all the time waiting for all those people to start transplanting their attention to Hulu instead of all the other options for video entertainment that likewise wanted consumer dollars in exchange for a wild consumption experience of the most dynamite video to be found.
Hulu kept adding all kinds of classic TV shows to their roster line-up, and beginning with The Handmaid’s Tale began to fill its slot of originals with more and more series, like Marvel’s Runaways.
It felt to me like the underdog Hulu challenging the king of paid content, Netflix, for a portion of its subscriber base. Who had the best originals, Netflix with its incredible budget and seeming out-of-control finger on the market with a business model set to break all records?
But what happened… this is surely a simplistic interpretation of what was actually experienced… the Harvey Weinstein effect rocked the entertainment industry and pretty soon many respected actors were back to the drawing board.
I am not an analyst, but are these two events connected in any tangible way?
Netflix established an extraordinary budget for its current and future programming, all growing from a point of origin that was one particular Netflix original that was historical for being the first there was. It was House of Cards starring Kevin Spacey.
Spacey came under stern criticism and was let go, costing Netflix a ton and generating at least a little bad publicity.
With their very first entry as a Netflix original series becoming a distraction, I felt I was seeing Hulu rise up in response and setting their sights on becoming a major competitor in the wake of the scandal around Spacey.
It can’t have been that direct a transition, I don’t think, but I would infer that with the breakdown of Netflix’ House of Cards at a critical time, when Hulu was beginning to launch its new originals, I think it certainly meant the time was right for Hulu to begin to market itself more traditionally, rather than with its jovial influence marketing that resembled stunt tactics. Maybe Hulu still does play with influence marketing, I’m not sure, but all of a sudden it seems like all the more professional a brand than it had been previously when it was a minor competitor to the juggernaut Netflix.
Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale also demonstrated its penchant for winning many major awards and on top of that, it carried with it a feminist zeitgeist that was all the more effective in the face of the Weinstein effect that was leaving men everywhere clutching their walking papers.
These days when I see the TV ads for Hulu I smile.
I think the video streaming market is mad, but it is interesting to see that there have been many measurable changes in it in the last several months as Hulu grew into its mode of expansion and gained tons of credibility.
It will be interesting to see if there are more upstarts as entertainment continues to change.
Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is the word inkling.