Death of the Commercial Break: Why Marketers Need to Get More Creative Than Ever

Variety | 8/21/2018 | Brian Steinberg
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Television has for decades pumped out a never-ending supply of glitzy commercials. Viewers liked some of them and tolerated the rest. Now their patience is wearing perilously thin.

With more people tuning in to streaming venues like Netflix and Amazon, where programs run ad free, TV networks are under pressure to figure out ways to make commercial breaks less of a chore to sit through and more a part of the overall experience. The shift is pushing advertisers and TV executives to make radical revamps to a cornerstone of the viewing experience and a fundamental source of profits: the commercial break.

Interruption - Staple - Home - Screen - Bulova

That no-longer-so-brief interruption has been a staple of the home screen since the Bulova Watch Co. managed to get a 10-second video of one of its timepieces placed in a baseball game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Brooklyn Dodgers on what is now New York’s WNBC in 1941. After that moment, recognized as TV’s first commercial break, everyone wanted one — and got that and more.

In 2018, the time has come to work with less. 21st Century Fox’s FX, for example, runs just two minutes of advertising per hour in its digital streams. AMC last year launched an ad-free subscription service available via Comcast. “You have more and more competition for consumer attention with ad-free experiences, and that leaves a lot of our consumers to expect and really seek out lighter ad loads and less interruptions,” says David Levy, executive vice president of non-linear revenue at Fox Networks Group. “We have to respond in a smart way.”

Billions - Dollars - Stake - TV - Advertising

Billions of dollars are at stake. Spending on national TV advertising is projected to grow just 0.2% to nearly $43.5 billion in 2018, according to media research firm Magna. To keep the money flowing, the networks are more willing than ever to blend commercials...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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