Fox Networks Group Follows YouTube’s Lead in Adopting 6-Second Ad Format

Becoming the first broadcaster to commit to the non-skippable spots

The network is taking a cue from the online video behemoth.
Sources: FOX, YouTube, Getty Images

YouTube’s non-skippable six-second ad format is branching out.

Fox Networks Group has now joined YouTube in adopting its unique ad format. The six-second non-skippable ads will air first on Fox’s digital and on-demand platforms, but will eventually be seen on linear television.

Fox, which made the announcement with YouTube at Cannes Lions, is the first broadcast network to sign on to the format, introduced by YouTube last year.

The company said the six-second ads offer both brand lift and an ideal user experience. Fox Networks Group will bill the ads by viewable impression using Moat’s video quality score. During last month’s upfront, Fox announced it would be using Moat’s analytics data and will guarantee against Moat’s video quality score for the Fox portions of any campaign that implements Moat campaignwide.

“One of our biggest priorities at Fox Networks Group is figuring out the best way for a brand to reach a consumer that captures the right kind of attention and serves its precise KPIs,” said David Levy, evp of nonlinear revenue at Fox Networks Group, in a statement.

Since Fox Networks Group named Joe Marchese its new ad sales chief last month, just days before its upfront presentation, the company has deployed several new ad initiatives.

At the upfront event, Marchese announced the Moat partnership, and said that Fox was rolling out Up//Lift from True[X], a brand lift optimization system that involves sentiment data and machine learning algorithms.

As part of the company’s efforts to reduce ad load, FX will no longer be selling standard commercials across digital and on-demand viewing, relying instead on brand partner messaging. Fox has also created a new integrated marketing agency, All City, that will help brands develop branded content.

Fox Networks Group also teamed with Viacom and Turner to create Open AP, the new audience targeting platform that the companies hope will become the new industry standard.

It’s been a productive Cannes Lions for Fox. One day earlier, the company announced that it had partnered with iHeartMedia to launch Smart A/V Audiences, a suite of data-driven advertising products with both audio and video units.

“We are excited to see Fox embracing six seconds as a valuable ad format for a cross-device world,” said Tara Walpert Levy, vp of agency and media solutions for Google & YouTube, in a statement. “Since we piloted this format last fall, we’ve seen on YouTube that six seconds is both long enough and short enough: it’s great for on-the-go users who appreciate the succinct message, for creatives who appreciate the constraint, and for brands who value the consistent results.”