Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Hulu

Hulu is rolling out "pause" ads, or ads that appear on your screen when you hit the pause button while watching a show.

Why it matters: It's part of a broader effort by Hulu to make advertising for TV content less intrusive and more relevant. The majority of Hulu's subscribers pay for the ad-supported tier, for which Hulu just recently lowered the price.

How it works: When a user hits the pause button while watching a show, an ad will show up on the left-hand side of the screen against a gradient shading. The ad has no sound and disappears as soon soon as the user hits play again.

Between the lines: Hulu says Coca-Cola and Charmin have signed on as its beta partners for the launch.

  • While those are expected advertisers for this format (users usually pause shows to grab a snack or use the restroom), Hulu head of ad platforms Jeremy Helfand says the format could work for many advertisers, so long as the ads are contextually relevant.
  • Helfand says nearly 80% of Hulu content is now watched in the living room, up from 70% a few years ago. A pause ad is suited for large-screen viewing, where presumably users are passively consuming content for a longer period of time.

The big picture: The effort comes amid an industry-wide push to be more innovative around advertising. Most networks and TV providers are beginning to use data and tech to target more personalized ads. AT&T is also testing a similar pause ad function.

  • The TV industry has recently become more motivated to change its old-school way of delivering ads because consumers are largely rejecting ad-supported programming, instead opting to purchase ad-free subscription services like Netflix.
  • Hulu thinks that if it can serve people better, more relevant ads, users will be open to ad-supported programming. As of now, the majority of its users actually subscribe to Hulu's ad supported tier.

The bottom line: While TV consumption has changed the way viewers consume content, the reality is that TV advertising hasn't yet caught up with the times.

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Kellyanne Conway's parting power pointers

Kellyanne Conway addresses the 2020 Republican National Convention. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

Kellyanne Conway has seen power exercised as a pollster, campaign manager and senior counselor to President Trump. Now that his term in office has concluded, she shared her thoughts with Axios.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we've asked several former Washington power brokers to share their best advice as a new administration and new Congress settle in.

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

GOP holdouts press on with plans to crush Cheney

Screenshot of emails to a member of Congress from individuals who signed an Americans for Limited Government petition against Rep. Liz Cheney. Photo obtained by Axios

Pro-Trump holdouts in the House are forging ahead with an uphill campaign to oust Rep. Liz Cheney as head of the chamber's Republican caucus even though Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy told them to back down.

Why it matters: What happens next will be a test of McCarthy's party control and the sincerity of his opposition to the movement. Cheney (R-Wyo.) is seen as a potential leadership rival to the California Republican.

Democrats aim to punish House GOP for Capitol riot

Speaker Nancy Pelosi passes through a newly installed metal detector at the House floor entrance Thursday. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House Democrats plan to take advantage of corporate efforts to cut funding for Republicans who opposed certifying the 2020 election results, with a plan to target vulnerable members in the pivotal 2022 midterms for their role in the Jan. 6 violence.

Why it matters: It's unclear whether the Democrats' strategy will manifest itself in ads or earned media in the targeted races or just be a stunt to raise money for themselves. But the Capitol violence will be central to the party's messaging as it seeks to maintain its narrow majorities in Congress.