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Foxtel Media overhauls advertising offering to ‘enhance the viewer experience’

Foxtel Media wants to enhance the Foxtel viewing experience while simultaneously shaking up traditional advertising models.

In the first major announcement for the Foxtel sales house formerly known as MCN, Foxtel Media said a series of initiatives, including reduced ad loads, shorter ad breaks and technology innovations was a reset for the subscription television service.

Foxtel Media: The new MCN

“The new ad models and ad formats have been designed with a clear purpose, to enhance the viewer experience, while delivering increased impact for advertisers,” a release from Foxtel Media announced. “To be rolled out over the coming weeks, they include reducing ad loads and introducing new advertising opportunities across the Foxtel Media network.”

One such initiative is the ‘Q Break’, or quick break. At the start or end of a program – not during it – Foxtel will run a three-second explainer, followed by two six-second ads.

The ‘M Break’, or minute break, follows a similar format. It involves running two 30-second TVCs before jumping back to the program. Foxtel Media said it cuts the standard ad break in half, giving time back to the viewer, while providing them with a more engaging advertising experience.

In addition, at last night’s relaunch, Foxtel Media announced a partnership with Samsung, which will allow content discovery on Samsung connected TVs. A tile on Samsung connected TVs can be bought for content discovery, but not an advertisement. Foxtel Media said the partnership will showcase the latest entertainment content to enrich the viewer’s TV experience.

Foxtel Media CEO Mark Frain said the various ‘innovations’ were another revolution for Foxtel.

Frain: The Foxtel revolution continues

“Foxtel is revolutionising its platform now and for the future, putting the viewer experience at the centre, and so as Foxtel evolves a richer, deeper content experience, we must evolve our advertising experience with it,” he said. “This thinking puts Foxtel Media ahead in the attention economy battle.

“Our new suite of ad innovations further extends our ability to talk to a more receptive audience, but now with lower ad loads, which make advertising stand out more. By introducing targeting to linear IP content and creating the themed and targeted short-break structures on linear television, advertising on our platform becomes more impactful with greater relevance.”

Foxtel Media’s director of advanced advertising, Nev Hasan, said the new products were a disruption to traditional advertising models, and were designed to create new and exciting opportunities for advertisers.

“Innovation has always been a core part of our DNA, and with our closer alignment with Foxtel, we are well positioned to offer new ways to connect with audiences, by bringing greater targeting capabilities to better connect with our customers. It’s a win, win, whereby our customers get greater relevance in their viewing experience, less interruption, and buyers receive more impactful ways to target and engage their core audiences.

“This is just the start of our journey and we’ll continue to invest, not only in new products and capabilities, but also research to prove the effectiveness of these initiatives for our customers and advertisers.”

The Foxtel Media new product line-up includes:

Q Break: Linear six second advertisements
Following a successful trial on Fox Sports News, Foxtel media will be rolling out six second ads across 15 broadcast channels. These ads will be presented as a Q Break: a bespoke 15-second slot that will run a three second intro to inform customers there is a quick ad break coming, and then two six-second ads at the end or start of a new program.

M Break: reduced linear ad loads

The M break represents a one minute ad break with only two advertisers running within the format on linear TV channels. We will therefore reduce the standard ad break in half and give back time to our viewer, whilst providing them with a more engaging advertising experience.

Unified digital ad experience across Foxtel
Foxtel Now and Foxtel Go will offer the same experience, with advertising now consistent across all Video On Demand content. This replaced formerly disjointed advertising formats across Foxtel’s VOD mobile and online platforms.

Ad-Pods: two pre-rolls, but no more than 30 second of ads across Foxtel Go and Now
Foxtel Media will be removing mid-rolls from all our BVOD on demand platforms to therefore never interrupt the viewing experience once a viewer commences watching. To allow advertiser to engage with our audience we’ll be transitioning to two pre-rolls, but for only 30 seconds of ads in totality, to allow customers to get to the content they love, quicker.

Targeted Video On Demand advertising:
Foxtel Media will be rolling out new ad targeting options based on de-identified, privacy compliant, subscriber data for our Video On Demand platforms. With our highly robust and creditable data, based on billing information, initial targeting will be available based on age, demographic, location and region, but will evolve over time with further personalisation.

IP Ad insertion
Foxtel Media will be upgrading live streaming across Kayo Sports, Foxtel Go and Foxtel Now to enable the insertion of digital advertising on what has of late been linear feeds directly streamed to viewers. This will increase inventory, while enabling advertisers to use the rich data from Foxtel’s digital assets to target those ads and make them more relevant.

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