Every year Japanese customers of Hulu – the US-owned Subscription Video on Demand service – are invited to a special flagship event to hear from Hulu’s Japanese President and Content Managers about forthcoming content and the future direction of the channel. This event has traditionally been held at a large venue in Tokyo, but with on-going pandemic rendering a physical meeting impossible, Hulu decided to create a live online Zoom event on November 23rd and turned to Ross Video and Japanese partners DIGIcas for support.
This event marked Hulu’s first attempt at organizing a large on-line gathering featuring customers, and so the team at Hulu naturally wanted to ensure that their corporate identity could be appropriately reflected and communicated on-screen. In discussion with DIGIcas, it quickly became apparent that a virtual studio set would be the best way of recreating Hulu’s ‘world’, enabling the in-studio MC to interact with various Zoom participants who could be integrated into the virtual set as needed. This requirement for a realistic set called for Ross Video’s Voyager graphics rendering solution, with configuration and control being handled by the Ross Lucid platform. While this style of virtual event was a step into the unknown for Hulu’s production team, any concerns over the complexity of the production were quickly allayed during a series of meetings with Ross technical staff. “We were extremely impressed by the powerful performance and flexibility of the Ross solution,” notes Hulu’s Head of Engineering. “This was our first time using a 3D graphics system and we were very surprised at how easy the system has been to learn and operate. We received fantastic support from both DIGIcas and Ross, both of whom helped us to create a highly flexible workflow that was very straightforward to configure and operate.”
The current pandemic also meant that safety in-studio was an important consideration. “We had to bring this event together in a relatively short period of time, and our goal was to be innovative and let the technology do as much of the hard work as possible so we could keep the number of crew in the studio to a minimum and safeguard everyone’s health and wellbeing. I’m delighted that we delivered a safe and enjoyable event with some really engaging graphics, and the feedback from our customers has been extremely positive. I’m sure we’ll be using this Ross solution again in future to run other virtual events and give them a real creative boost!”
Mark Cooke, Director of Sales for Asia, points to the increasing trend in corporate organizations using video content to engage directly with customers. “The lack of physical conferences, keynote events and tradeshows has forced us all online, and Hulu has been no exception. While they may be in the broadcast business, they’re definitely not used to producing their own in-house content, so it was a real pleasure to work with them to innovate their video production for increased engagement with their subscribers. I hear that the President of Hulu Japan was very pleased with the finished event, and that’s high praise indeed!”