Less Is More In Ad Time, SNTA Claims

The group’s latest survey shows that syndicated programming carries fewer commercials, but has higher recall, than network and cable shows. SNTA President Mitch Burg: “Syndication’s short pods are the island in national television that delivers marketer messages to valuable consumers. The significance is that their commercials are not only seen but remembered.”

Syndicated television shows have a major advantage over primetime network TV shows and cable TV shows when it comes to getting viewers to see and remember commercials, according to the results of a recent Syndicated Network Television Association survey.

On average, syndicated TV shows’ national commercial breaks last two minutes and 27 minutes, compared to three minutes and 23 seconds for network TV primetime shows and three minutes and seven seconds for primetime cable shows, based on programs syndicated by SNTA’s six member studios.

SNTA found that TV viewers remember commercials better when commercial breaks are shorter. In fact, ad recall is 57% above average for breaks of one to three commercials. Recall is 17% above average for breaks of four to six commercials. Ad recall tumbles to roughly 20% below average for commercial breaks of seven commercials or more.

“The purpose of advertising is for the viewer to take the message away, not just for the advertiser to deliver it,” says Mitch Burg, SNTA president. “Syndication’s short pods are the island in national television that delivers marketer messages to valuable consumers. The significance is that their commercials are not only seen but remembered.”

Syndicated shows also tend to air within the first minute of TV stations’ commercial breaks. Ads that run in the first minute are seen by more viewers than commercials that air later in breaks.

For instance, ads played back on DVRs that air in the second minute of a commercial break on network TV primetime shows are about 50% lower than during the first minute for all major genres, according to SNTA’s analysis of Nielsen ratings.

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Between 79% and 89% of commercials on syndicated shows air during the first minute of commercial breaks, with off-network sitcoms on the high end at 89% and talk shows at 79%. By comparison, 35% or fewer primetime network TV and cable TV commercials air in the first minute and 25% or fewer daytime show commercials air in the first minute of breaks.


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Ida Anderson says:

January 16, 2013 at 4:58 pm

Quite misleading. Syndicated shows have a larger amount of non-program time than most network shows. What the study avoids mentioning is that syndicated shows have many more local commercials than network shows.


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