Gary Newman: Network TV Advertising Model Needs to Evolve on Digital Platforms

This column is part of Variety’s Broken Hollywood feature. For more execs and their opinions on the state of Hollywood, click here.

We have an advertising model that is pretty challenged. There are so many commercials inside an hour of television that we’re beginning to train people to use the DVR to skip through them. We have to think about evolving.

Advertising is not going away anytime soon, but we do need to reimagine it, finding ways to know more about who is watching what shows and to target the ads they receive even more.

That data is achievable. It isn’t currently being gathered the way it needs to be. But we can send people commercials in ways that would ensure that they are of far greater interest to them.

There are models that give people the ability to opt in to a traditional commercial pod or a shorter interactive commercial that could be of much greater value to our advertising partners. Those models are hard to utilize on a broadcast network’s linear feed, but as more and more viewing is happening on digital platforms, we have a greater ability to utilize that information.

We can use delayed viewing ultimately to our advantage, as through dynamic ad insertion, where we get a shot at placing new ads in content. That might be a field ripe for these sorts of new technologies that allow targeting demographics and giving people a choice of what ads they see.

Clearly there needs to be a shift in the minds of advertisers out of the live-plus-same-day/C3 system to something more realistic — to C7 or even longer. If they don’t join hands with us and find ways to make sure they’re getting their impressions with us, we will have to find ways of monetizing our content differently.

I get the sense that this is the year many of our advertisers are interested in experimenting to find new ways to make sure their messages are connecting with the audience, whether that’s through marketing partnerships, integrations, sponsorships or much more targeting in the digital space.

Something that has come into stark relief since we (with Fox TV chairman-CEO Dana Walden) have been supervising the network is that the studios and talent need networks to launch their programs. You can have the greatest script in the world, but if you don’t have some platform to start it on, ultimately there’s not going to be any value there.

More TV


    Showrunner Stefano Voltaggio on Netflix's 'Zero' About Black Youths in Italy (EXCLUSIVE)

    Netflix recently announced a new Italian original titled “Zero” that will mark the first Italian series centered around the present-day lives of black Italian youths. “Zero” is based on several books by young writer and TV music show host Antonio Dikele Distefano, who was born in Italy from Angolan parents. The project was originated by [...]

  • Content-is-King

    Top TV Execs Tackle New Distribution Landscape in Rome

    ROME – In an increasingly complex TV market, with a host of new big-ticket streaming services preparing to enter an already crowded arena, both buyers and sellers are rethinking some of the fundamentals of the TV business as they grapple with the best way to reach global audiences. A host of top producers, network executives, [...]

  • MIA-MARKET-2019_Europe-Producers-Club_4

    European Producers and Broadcasters Debate How to Weather Streaming Storm

    ROME – The impending rollout of Disney Plus, HBO Max, and other new streaming services promises a new era of uncertainty—and opportunity—for broadcasters and producers in an industry already disrupted by the likes of Netflix and Amazon. At a panel hosted by the European Producers Club Friday afternoon during the MIA market in Rome, executives [...]

  • Kevin-Beggs

    Lionsgate TV Chairman Kevin Beggs on Streamers and TV’s ‘Platinum Era’

    ROME – Over the course of two decades in the industry, Lionsgate Television chairman Kevin Beggs has witnessed the ups and downs of a business that has frequently found itself confronting both dizzying new possibilities as well as existential threats. But these days the veteran exec, who oversees the development of all scripted and non-scripted content [...]

  • MAKING IT -- Season: 1 --

    TV News Roundup: NBC Announces 'Making It' Season 2 Premiere Date

    In today’s TV news roundup, NBC announced the “Making It” Season 2 premiere date and HBO Max greenlit a new docuseries from Brad Goreski and Gary Janetti. DATES Hosts Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman will return with the second season of “Making It” on NBC Dec. 2. After the show’s holiday season premiere, the show [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content