TV Ad Loads Plummet; Podcasts Skyrocket

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Cut Through The Noise

Fox Networks wants to trim two minutes per hour from its TV ad time by 2020. That’s a deep cut, considering that in 2017, broadcasters averaged over 13 minutes of ads per hour, according to Nielsen. To stave off a revenue plunge from cutting ad load, Fox will have to increase prices. Joe Marchese, Fox’s ad sales chief, told a recent event audience that he’d prefer to sell ads based on time spent watching, rather than by overall viewer numbers, reports The Wall Street Journal. Fox’s announcement comes a week after NBC said it would reduce prime-time ad load by 20%. “We did reduce ad time by 75% in FX Originals on demand last year and saw great effectiveness in brand lift,” says Ed Davis, chief product officer for ad sales at Fox Networks. “We are tuning our approach with the new targeting and ad products, so we can scale more widely.” More.

Down With The Download

Podcasting has quickly sprouted from a quirky media sub-category with Serial as the only real breakout success to a profit engine that “is now matching and even eclipsing public radio in terms of ambition and budgets,” writes Felix Salmon at Wired. Podcasts have also been a shot in the arm for media companies that get it right. The New York Times’ podcast “The Daily” is the category leader – and a highly profitable, cost-effective asset for the company. In February, “The Daily” also picked up a national radio distribution deal, bringing millions of dollars and exposure to new potential subscribers. Read more.

Cookie Cutters

Sixty percent of marketers believe they won’t use cookies to track consumers by 2020. And 90% of marketers see improved performance when targeting against personal data instead of cookies, according to data from Meredith-owned Viant. The Intelligent Tracking Prevention policy restricting cookie data access on the Apple Safari browser, as well as European GDPR and ePrivacy regulations, are accelerating this trend. “Advertising and web-based services that were cookie-dependent are slowly being phased out of our mobile-first world,” where vendors revolve around first-party brand and publisher data or device IDs, writes Sara Fischer for Axios. Axios has more.

State Of Play

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, a Democrat, signed the first state law reimplementing previous net neutrality standards. The Washington law “bars internet service providers from blocking websites or charging more for faster delivery of certain sites in a way that benefits the broadband company and partner websites,” reports The New York Times. It also tees up a definite legal clash, since the FCC, which got rid of net neutrality standards, claims that only the federal government can oversee broadband regulations because internet data crosses state lines. Here’s more.

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