Welcome to www.comprofessor.com a.k.a. Lynch Coaching: Media and Communication Prof's News and Views from Art Lynch. This blog exists to stimulate critical thinking, provide information on communication and media, stimulate discussion and share ideas. For additional media and other news see also sagactoronline.com. Thank you and tell your friends. - Art Lynch
Is the viewer in the
bathroom during your prime-time ad? If that ad is on CMT, there’s a good
chance he is. If it runs on Bravo, she’ll be more likely to stay put.
Adweek has acquired a
research report from a Nielsen subscriber examining 20 cable channels’
commercial loads in the first quarter of this year. The results: Some
nets don’t even fill 40 minutes of programming time per hour.
Nielsen’s most recent
public “clutter” report, in 2006, pegged the average time for ads, PSAs
and promos on cable at 15 minutes, one second. No network tracked in Q1
met that average even though many have pledged to cut down on clutter.
Nielsen told Adweek that the average clutter time today is 13:32 on
broadcast; 16:59 on cable (so the program time averages barely 43
“[Ad time] gradually
creeps upward, and we’re not watching, especially with DVRs in 48, 50
percent of the country,” said Brad Adgate, senior vp, research at
Horizon Media (no one quoted here was the source of the report). “If
you’re watching this on playback, you can certainly avoid the ads, and
you can watch a one-hour show in 45 minutes.”
CMT and Spike were the
worst offenders, with programming hours that clocked in at 38:41 and
39:52, respectively. That leaves enough room left over for a full
episode of FX’s Archer. CMT, Spike and VH1 all averaged 10 commercials
As nets know they can’t
simply cram 30 ads into a break, the number of pods seems excessive
enough to make even the staunchest cable viewer consider Netflix. Nets
run as many as six pods of 10 ads each, the vast majority national ad
time. A notable exception: MTV, with four of 19-plus minutes of
commercial time devoted to promos. (Viacom declined to comment.)
The Viacom networks came
in with more ads per pod, more pods per hour and a shorter hour overall
than their counterparts. On the less crowded end of the spectrum was
NBCUniversal, and most consistent was Discovery. The flagship net,
Animal Planet, OWN and TLC all came in at around 42 minutes. TBS’
programming hour, meanwhile, averaged 41:31.
Other nets fell
somewhere in the middle. USA had 42:28 of program time (five pods, nine
ads each). There also wasn’t much fat. Nearly 13 minutes an hour was
pure national ad time, leaving less than five minutes for promos, locals
and direct response.
No network in the report had fewer than seven ads per pod.
Brian Wieser of Pivotal
Research said the data spoke to the power of the medium—especially the
power to hold advertisers over a barrel: “From an advertiser
perspective, it’s remarkable that it still works. No advertiser of note
will depart the medium for risk of lost market share.” Wieser also said
clutter data suggested that there’s more available inventory (and the
ability to make even more) than networks let on.
Brian Hughes, audience
analysis practice lead at Magna Global, said he tracked clutter
carefully. “We definitely know it has an impact on attentiveness,” he