ABC Family to Launch Viewer-Retention Initiative Next Year
By Anthony Crupi
JUNE 25, 2007 -
ABC Family is the latest cable network to take a proactive stance on retaining its audience during commercial breaks, announcing a new initiative that will reward viewers for keeping their hands off the remote.
Starting next year, ABC Family will introduce what it calls a “Tease ‘n’ Reveal” strategy, which will couple pre-break trivia with a push to the channel’s Web site, where viewers can answer the on-screen questions for a chance at winning a prize or amassing points toward additional prizes.
In addition to the trivia angle, at the top of the final commercial break of all original ABC Family programming, a sponsored teaser will prompt viewers to stay tuned for scenes from the next episode. The net will also offer movie-related trivia when it runs its acquired film titles.
Laura Nathanson, executive vp, ad sales, ABC Family, said that in addition to the teasers, the network will boost the number of commercials that air in the A position beginning with the 2007-08 season, devoting more of that prime real estate to commercial messaging rather than network promos.
The A-position gambit has become increasingly popular among cable nets, as ad sales executives have come to recognize that the first spot in a commercial pod tends to get the most eyeballs. On that score, the Comcast Networks have been the most aggressive, devoting 100 percent of their A positions to commercials.
“We listened to our advertisers and are attempting to address their needs,” said Nathanson. “This is an innovative consumer loyalty plan that rewards our viewers and as it develops, it will incorporate additional opportunities and benefits for our advertisers.”