You don’t even need to use Netflix to feel the effect it’s having on traditional television anymore. In order to combat the ever-growing number of people cutting their cords and switching to online streaming services like Netflix, a number of television networks have decided to start cutting back on commercials. The days of being able to spam commercials as much as they wanted appears to be over for these networks, as there’s finally a viable alternative for consumers.
Hate commercials? Good news: You may see fewer of them. Media companies, including Time Warner Inc., 21st Century Fox Inc. and Viacom Inc., have started cutting back on commercials after years of squeezing in as many ads as possible. The new strategy is an attempt to appeal to younger viewers, who are more accustomed to watching shows ad-free on online streaming services like Netflix Inc., and to advertisers concerned their messages are being ignored amid all the commercial clutter. Time Warner’s truTV will cut its ad load in half for prime-time original shows starting late next year, Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bewkes said last week on an earnings call. Viacom has recently slashed commercial minutes at its networks, which include Comedy Central and MTV. Earlier this month, Fox said it will offer viewers of its shows on Hulu the option to watch a 30-second interactive ad instead of a typical 2 1/2-minute commercial break. Fox says the shorter ads, which require viewers to engage with them online, are more effective because they guarantee the audience’s full attention.