Tuesday, May 15, 2018

'Jazz Pods' At Fox Getting A Lot Of Interest

After years of jamming more advertisements into every hour of the day, TV networks say they’re adopting a new philosophy: Less is more.

Viewership of live TV is in free fall, which contributed to a decline in ad sales in 2017, according to data from research firm Magna Global. Making matters worse, the revenue is projected to keep falling for years to come.

According to philly.com, the question is whether networks will follow through on their pledge to reduce ad time. They’ve been threatening to do so for years, but Bruce Lefkowitz, Fox’s executive vice president of advertising salessays this time Fox is serious.

Fox is mounting its big experiment on Sunday nights, when it will reduce the number of commercials by 40 percent some weeks. The network will run just two national advertisements in each commercial break, which it’s calling a “jazz pod” (as in just A and Z). Every advertisement will immediately precede or follow a TV show.

Fox is charging as much as a 40 percent increase for the jazz pods, according to two people with knowledge of the matter who declined to be identified discussing ongoing negotiations. Fox declined to comment on the pricing, though it did say advertisers have expressed a lot of interest.

“We’ve gotten more incoming calls about our jazz pods than any product I can remember in my last 17 years,” Lefkowitz said. Fox will also benefit from the addition of “Thursday Night Football” to a schedule that is the least-watched among the four major broadcast networks.

The cost of a TV ad is expected to climb by 5 percent to 9 percent in the upfront marketplace, while advertisers are projecting a 15 percent decline in ratings next season, according to David Cohen, president of North America at Magna Global.

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