Even before the new trend of six-second commercials, Nielsen says the duration of TV commercials is increasingly growing shorter.
In the first half of 2017, 36% of all TV commercials were 15 seconds in length versus 34% for all of 2016, 30% for 2015 and 29% in 2014.
Shorter 10-second spots were at 5% in the first half of 2017 and the same for all of 2016. That's higher than the 2% levels for 2015 and 2014.
The highest number of TV commercials remain at a 30-second duration. Forty-nine percent of total commercials aired were 30 seconds in length -- down from 51% for all of 2016, 59% for 2015, and 61% for 2014.
Longer 60-second commercials -- which decades ago were the standard for many marketers -- were at 5% in the first half of 2017. Sixty-second spots were also at 5% in 2016 and 6% for 2015 and 2014, respectively.
Nielsen says the average commercial minutes per hour of programming on broadcast network TV was 14 minutes/37 seconds from September 2016 to July 2017. It was 16 minutes/8 seconds for cable network programming.
Fox has made a big push to air shorter 6-second commercials -- first during the summer with its “Teen Choice Awards” and more recently in some NFL game programming.