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NBC tries an old trick to reduce ad glut

Comedian Sid Caesar sits and speaks with writers during rehearsal on the set of his live television sketch comedy series, "Your Show of Shows," 1950. NBC Television/Getty Images

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NBC will offer up “bonus” content during some of its shows Monday night. During “The Voice,” it will check in with last season’s winner. During “Blindspot,” there will be a Q&A with the show’s creators. All “brought to you” by American Express.

“It’s a recognition of the need for new strategies, or actually a return to old strategies,” said Amanda Lotz,  a media studies professor at the University of Michigan.  The early days of TV were built on sponsorships.  

Viceland, the new cable channel from Vice, is also experimenting with advertising models.

 “[It’s] rethinking what it’s like to have sponsors, rather than the typical ad model. And that could be an innovation that’s sorely needed in the media industry,” said analyst Richard Greenfield from BTIG.

There are signs that viewers are losing patience with ad after ad, after ad. Even so, don’t expect a broad rejection of of the traditional commercial break. 

“It works,” said analyst Brian Wieser from Pivotal Research Group. “The 30-second spot seems to be the balance that works in terms of the relative cost, relative efficiency, and the comparibility across units.”

Standard ads help advertisers keep track of what’s succeeding and what isn’t and may earn advertisers even more attention when they do break the mold, Wieser said.

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