The ABC Family Network, home of the hit show “Kyle XY,” is going to try several different methods to keep viewers tuned to its channel during the commercials instead of ‘surfing.’
Their first initiative is to reward viewers who hang in there during the commercial break by teasing them with some added insight or scene outtake or an actual clip right before the commercial begins with a payoff to the tease immediately at the close of a commercial break.
Another strategy is similar to what is currently being run in movie theaters — ask a trivia question just seconds before the ad begins then promise the answer to it during the break or sometime just before regular programming resumes.
Getting audiences to stick around during commercial breaks has always been tough since the invention of the automatic channel changer (clicker), and now with DVR capability it’s near impossible to keep audience retention. The main source of revenue for any non-pay channel comes from advertisers, and if those advertisers don’t feel a program or network is giving them the right bang for their buck, they bolt like a scared rabbit in a fox hunt.
“We do want to be innovative and let advertisers know that we’re trying to be ahead of the pack,” stated Paul Lee — ABC Family’s prexy. “We’ll also be wiping to ads and finding interesting ways to go into a break.”