FX Will No Longer Run ‘Standard’ Commercials in VOD, Digital

One of the nation’s biggest sellers of TV commercials thinks those types of ads do not belong when people use other kinds of screens to watch their favorite shows.

In a move that could add a new degree of complexity to the market for advertising associated with TV programs, 21st Century Fox says its FX cable network  will “no longer” sell standard commercials for digital and on-demand playback of its content, a new signal that viewers of TV shows have varying expectations for the way they experience commercials when using new ways to watch.

Fox Networks, which also includes Fox Broadcasting and Fox Sports 1, said that it intends to work to sell FX advertisers exclusive sponsorship of on-demand streams as well as thread “sequenced” creative executions through shows watched in streaming fashion. The hope, the company said, is that the effort will ” bring better attention and focus” to the ads that do appear in digital streams.

The offer comes after the company last week named a new executive, Joe Marchese, to lead ad sales efforts. Marchese is a digital-advertising entrepreneur whose company, TrueX, was purchased by 21st Century Fox in 2014  for about $200 million. In public appearances, Marchese often talks of how advertisers need to win consumers’ attention, rather than stealing it with old-school ad pitches that disrupt a content experience.

Simply put, the Fox offer recognizes what many network and ad executives already know: Digital viewers have long been accustomed to seeing fewer ads than they might deal with on TV, and would likely engage more with pitches that speak to them in while they are in the lean-in streaming experience rather than the lean-back living room milieu. Marchese and his team developed a product that allows digital-video users to choose to interact with a brief full-screen ad that typically offers an enticement or reward in exchange for the time granted to watch it, rather than having to endure the usual buffet of TV commercials that interrupt the content.

Fox’s idea has the potential to create new challenges for TV executives who are trying to devise ways to measure viewership of programs across different consumption points. GroupM, one of the largest media buyers in the U.S., is at present pursuing a methodology that would require TV networks to run the same “load” of ads no matter where the content is being seen, though executives have suggested they will be flexible in adopting a model.

The company also said it and NBC had agreed to use analytic data from Moat to measure attention to on-demand viewing. Fox Networks will guarantee portions of  ad campaigns against Moat data, and will offer data that could enable advertisers to tweak commercials on the fly, measuring sentiment that might give a sponsor the impetus to run a different commercial later in the day depending on what it learns about consumer attitudes at earlier times.

More TV

  • Osmosis

    Netflix Feeds Fantasy-Hungry YAs in France

    LILLE, France —  The series the audience was about to see on Sunday night at Lille’s central UGC Cine-Cité multiplex wasn’t even playing in Series Mania’s main International Competition. But in many ways, Netflix’s” “Osmosis” was certainly among the most-anticipated of shows at this year’s festival. The excitement before the screening was palpable, and pointed [...]

  • Series Mania: Q & A with

    Series Mania: ‘Hierro’ as ‘Southern Noir’ and an Industry Groundbreaker

    LILLE, France —  Banijay Rights-sold “Hierro” begins with sea, land, air and fire: Shots of the stunning volcanic isle of El Hierro, the most westerly point of Spain’s Canary Islands, with its black basalt rock, brown iron-rich gravel, white waves pummeling the coast, trees trunks twisted by wind and lava, a juniper bent double by [...]

  • Shekhar Kapur to Direct 'Ibis' Trilogy

    Shekhar Kapur to Direct 'Ibis' Trilogy for Endemol Shine (EXCLUSIVE)

    Acclaimed Indian director Shekhar Kapur is to direct a TV series for Endemol Shine based on historical novels by Amitav Ghosh, known as the “Ibis Trilogy.” The deal was announced at Series Mania in Lille. The books “Sea of Poppies,” “River of Smoke,” and “Flood of Fire,” are set in mid-19th century Asia. They interweave [...]

  • ‘Lambs Of God’ To World Premiere

    Lingo Pictures, Endemol Shine’s ‘Lambs of God’ Set for Series Mania World Premiere

    LILLE, France — Lingo Pictures Productions and Endemol Shine’s new Australian limited series “Lambs of God,” based on the Australian novel of the same name by Marele Day, world premieres on Wednesday, March 27 in the main International Competition at this year’s Series Mania festival. The series follows three devout nuns, the last sisters of [...]

  • Bruno DEBRANDT (Florent) et Julie GAYET

    Federation Acquires Intl. Sales Rights on Series Mania French Competition Player ‘Torn’

    LILLE, France — Leading French independent production-finance-distribution sales company Federation Entertainment has secured international sales rights on upcoming French psychological thriller “Torn.” The series was created and written by director Lionel Bailliu (“Innocente”)and Yann Le Gal (“Léo Mattéï, Brigade des Mineurs”) and world premieres in the official French competition on March 25 at France’s Series [...]

  • About Premium Content Expands Scope, Rebrands

    About Premium Content Expands Scope, Rebrands as APC Studios (EXCLUSIVE)

    As it celebrates its fifth anniversary, the rising Paris-based TV production and distribution company About Premium Content is rebranding as APC Studios to reflect the expanded scope of its activities. APC Studios, which launched as a sales company in 2014, is now a producer, financier and distributor of upscale projects ranging from scripted to factual [...]

  • Win Rosenfeld, Jordan Peele and Simon

    'Star Trek: Discovery,' 'Twilight Zone' Bring Energy, Emotion to PaleyFest

    Both the CBS All Access shows “Star Trek: Discovery” and the upcoming “Twilight Zone” reboot held PaleyFest panels on Sunday, with both sets of cast and creators bringing energy, humor, and emotion to the stage. Both panels were moderated by Variety‘s executive editor of TV, Daniel Holloway. First up was “Discovery,” where series star Doug [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content