Finding the right amount of advertising to carry in television and digital video content so as to fend off the likes of Netflix is something that “the industry needs to fix, and we need to fix it quickly,” says Turner Broadcasting’s Chief Research Officer, Howard Shimmel.
“What we need to do as an industry with the linear TV and digital video ad model is to make it less of a driver out of the ecosystem for consumers but make it work harder on behalf of advertisers,” Shimmel says in an interview with Beet.TV.
Turner was first out of the gate earlier this year to announce lighter national ad loads in original programming on TNT and truTV. There will be half the amount of commercials normally seen in original programs. “We’re not going to run programs shorter,” Shimmel says. “We’re going to give our programmers more time to tell a story in a sixty or thirty minute session.”
Another initiative aimed at viewers and advertisers is Turner Native Plus, in which native content of all lengths can be matched with the appropriate programming across the Turner portfolio. “The vision is that if we enable advertisers to do that, it’s going to be a better consumer experience, especially if we do a good job of aligning brands with our programming,” Shimmel says.
In January, Turner announced that it had created Turner Ad Lab, a consortium of research and advertising experts who will take a short- and long-term look at such issues as commercial pod structures, “new advertising real estate” and creative treatments and executions.
“One of the things we’ve been very happy about, while we were the first ones to announce reduced commercial load, we’ve also seen announcements from NBC and Viacom,” Shimmel says. “This is an important thing where the entire industry has to fix itself. We can’t do it alone.”