Who Wants Stuffing?

Nope, not the Thanksgiving kind. Some TV networks are using a tactic known as ad stuffing to bolster ad revenues, with AMC pushing in an additional 10% of ad inventory into Q2.

Perhaps an effort to safeguard against shrinking viewership, the end result is just more and more ads for viewers, many of whom have grown accustomed to commercial-free environments like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video. On some level, increased ad loads will just drive people even further into the arms of streaming services, contributing to that same viewership decline.

There’s also the issue of the effectiveness of the ads as we’re close to saturation. According to Nielsen, we’re already seeing average programming hours under 45 minutes, meaning you’ll typically see over 15 minutes of commercials in an hour. This number has been increasing year over year, too, with some networks editing down credits sequences and even speeding up the broadcast itself to create more sellable inventory.

We’ve made an event out of watching them on Super Bowl Sunday, because those commercials are the pinnacle of what a televised ad can be. In the age of the DVR, we want nothing more than to skip them entirely, but they can sell a product in ways that few other ad types can. You can cut through the clutter with a great campaign, but that gets harder to do as the noise levels increase.