CBS Considers Serial Ads To Sweeten Binge TV Deal For Marketers

We know a certain segment of the TV viewing population loves to binge -- and that’s why there is Netflix. (For an older generation, there is always the slower form of binge-viewing: Monday to Friday airings of off-network shows in syndication.)

New forms are coming online. In January, Turner Broadcasting launched the comedy "Angie Tribeca” by airing the entire 10-episode season in a 25-hour period on TBS.

Other networks -- broadcast and cable -- are also looking to test this idea. And why? Research shows over 40% of TV viewers binge-watch multiple episodes one or two times a month.

And while binge viewing seems to go hand-in-hand with mass commercial skipping, TV networks may have other ideas.

David Poltrack, chief research officer at CBS, told Reuters the network is considering adding serialized commercials to make sure that binge viewers are not exposed to the same ad again and again -- thus hoping to keep those viewers around longer.



Poltrack and others network executives can show plenty of data that while viewers will time-shift, they’ll skip through commercials only half the time. So one would imagine there is plenty of opportunity in a binge-viewing environment .

Binge viewing would also seem to result in higher TV production costs. If a sizable part of Netflix viewers blow through a 13-episode season of “House of Cards” in a weekend, more new TV content is needed to keep viewers interested in coming back. So for traditional ad-supported networks -- in regards to binge viewing -- there might be a need for a more robust business model.

The positive for ad-supported networks is that executives can point to a slew of big data showing the big TV screen is still the place for marketers to get the most bang for their media buck.

In recent years, we have seen a number of new TV-ad innovations: branded in-show entertainment; new kinds of product placement; limited commercial/sponsorship of TV programming; and on-screen  marketing “swipes” and graphics, to name a few.

TV has already moved to much “appointment viewing” and “time-shifted viewing.” Now comes the need to adjust to “bulk viewing.”

2 comments about "CBS Considers Serial Ads To Sweeten Binge TV Deal For Marketers".
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  1. Douglas Ferguson from College of Charleston, March 14, 2016 at 3:58 p.m.

    Older generation?  I'm 65 and watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards in 4 days.

    Stripped syndication is not binge watching because the viewer has to wait until the local station schedules each one, in some old-fangled program grid.  Very 20th century.

  2. Ed Papazian from Media Dynamics Inc, March 14, 2016 at 4:18 p.m.

    Actually, those Monday-Friday sitcom reruns tend---with exceptions---to be favored by younger and middle aged adults who can't stand the local or network news on ABC, CBS and NBC outlets in the early evening hours. I'd hardly call this "binge viewing", however, as most of those who tune in over the course of a week, Douglas excepted, watch only one or two telecasts. The same thing applies to these shows when aired in the late evening hours, especially at 11PM, NY Time.

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