Fox wants to cut its TV ad time to 2 minutes per hour by 2020

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  • Fox wants to cut its TV ad time to just two minutes per hour by 2020, the Wall Street Journal reports.
  • The company’s ad sales chief said Fox will look to sell ads based on the time viewers spend with ads, as opposed to the number of views the ads receive.
  • Fox’s goal follows NBCUniversal’s reported decision to cut commercials by 20% this fall.
  • The average per-hour ad content on ran just over 13 minutes on network TV in 2017, and 16 minutes on cable, according to Nielsen.

Fox wants to cut the TV ad time on its broadcast network to just two minutes per hour by the year 2020, the company said in a “private industry event” on Monday, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Fox Network Group’s ad sales chief, Joe Marchese, stated the goal in his closing remarks of the meeting, saying that he wants the company to look at selling ads based on the time viewers spend with ads, as opposed to the number of views the ads receive, according to WSJ.

Fox’s ad goal would be a drastic drop from the industry average. According to Nielsen, the average per-hour ad content on ran just over 13 minutes on network TV in 2017, and 16 minutes on cable.

“The two minutes per hour is a real target for Fox, and also our challenge for the industry,” Ed Davis, chief product officer for ad sales at Fox Networks Group, wrote in an email to WSJ. “Creating a sustainable model for ad-supported storytelling will require us all to move.”

Davis told WSJ that Fox reduced ad time by 75% on its on-demand FX Originals in 2017, and that the company “saw great effectiveness in brand lift.”

Fox’s goal follows NBCUniversal’s reported decision last week to cut its commercial content by 20% across all of its networks for the coming fall season.

The networks’ moves toward hosting less ad time come as broadcast audiences are shifting en masse toward subscription streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, which offer either no ads or comparatively limited advertising.

Read the Wall Street Journal’s report.

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