Fox Networks Group is preparing a new six-second ad format for digital platforms and eventually traditional TV, mirroring an ad format recently adopted by Google's YouTube, the company said.
TV ads are typically longer than 15 seconds, but as viewing shifts online, where people are skipping or blocking ads, advertisers and media companies have experimented with new ad formats and strategies.
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"We're getting to a place where there's just too much noise and people are seeking environments where there is a lot less clutter," said David Levy, executive vice president of nonlinear revenue at Fox Networks Group. "How do we get more efficient with consumers' time and attention? Everything you see us invest in has that as a backdrop and premise."
The ad format should be ready by October for shows and content viewed through digital and on-demand platforms, said Mr. Levy. For example, he envisions the format working well for a "pre-roll" ad that appears before long-form episodes viewed on-demand, or premium sports content that could have more of a "viral effect" with a shorter ad intro.
After a few months of testing, Fox could start selling the six-second inventory to traditional TV advertisers, he said.
Fox, among other media companies, has experimented with formats that encourage a consumer to interact with an ad, and has tried reducing the number of ads it sells per show. For example, FX has reduced commercial time from the previous year by 75%, said Mr. Levy. Networks have also invested in technology and data that offers advertisers more precise audience targeting across TV and digital platforms.
The company, through its ad studio, will likely help advertisers create content in the new format, as it does for its interactive ads. About 85% of the Fox's interactive ads are produced by its studio, while 15% are produced by agencies and advertisers, said Mr. Levy. Fox said it's currently working through the pricing for the shorter ad format.
While he's expecting advertisers to embrace the shorter ads, given consumers' growing frustration with interruptions, Mr. Levy doesn't expect six-second ads to replace longer, 15- or 30-second ads common in TV.
"The best marketing we've seen, and we now are able to measure, is when we're delivering multiple ad formats with different time lengths," he said. "The biggest thing will be making sure that we understand, and advertisers understand, the true value of what this kind of ad format can deliver."
Fox Networks Group includes the Fox broadcast network, 20th Century Fox Television and Fox Cable Networks, among other groups.
21st Century Fox, parent of the Fox Networks Group, shares common ownership with Wall Street Journal-owner News Corp.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 19, 2017 14:00 ET (18:00 GMT)