Fox is seeing mixed results in its efforts to sell reduced ad loads, while NBC is experiencing more success in its own work to cut down on ad breaks.
According to Ad Age, Fox is having a bit of trouble selling its “just a and z” or Jaz pods, which allow marketers to buy and air ad pods only at the beginning and end of programs. The network has been focusing on selling Jaz pods for its Sunday night animation lineup and thus far has reportedly only sold them for Oct. 14, Oct. 21 and Nov. 11.
The report says Fox’s issues stem from shifting sales strategies for the pods and from difficulties in getting the affiliates to move local ad breaks out of Sundays.
In the meantime, NBC’s plan to reduce advertising time by selling 60-second spots for either the front or back of a prime-time show appears to be going more smoothly.
One big difference that the report points out is that NBC plans to extend its shows to fill in any time freed up by selling fewer ads. Fox intends to fill that space with branded content.
But both Fox and NBC are facing uphill battles as marketers struggle to accept the inflation of CPMs under the reduced ad load system. According to the report, premiums are anywhere from 40% to 70%.
Fox has been experimenting with varying ad breaks structures and has been open about its desire to dramatically cut down the amount of ads that show during programs. Earlier this year, Fox confirmed its goal of cutting back to 2 minutes of commercials per hour by 2020.
In February, NBC announced plans to reduce ad time during its prime-time shows by 10% while cutting the number of ads in its commercial pods by 20%.
Linda Yaccarino, chairman of advertising and client partnerships for NBCU, said that with so many consumers now watching TV and video content on platforms that have either limited commercials or none at all, broadcast network “commercial overhaul was … inevitable.”