Fox Creates Non-Linear Ad Sales Role for Streaming, On-Demand Platforms

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Fox Networks Group is making another move in its effort to reinvent the TV ad model for the digital age. The company named David Levy to the newly created role of exec VP of non-linear revenue.

Credit: Fox Networks Group

Mr. Levy, chief operating officer and co-founder of TrueX, the ad-tech firm Fox acquired in 2015, will lead sales, monetization strategy and operations for all non-linear platforms, which includes Fox.com, Fox apps and video-on-demand, among others.

The appointment comes just weeks after Fox unexpectedly announced the departure of Toby Byrne, who had been leading ad sales for the entire portfolio since October 2014. Fox is currently searching for Mr. Byrne's replacement.

Mr. Levy will work closely with Bruce Lefkowitz, exec VP ad sales, to align sales of linear and non-linear TV ad inventory. Both Mr. Levy and Mr. Lefkowitz will report to the new head of ad sales when the role is filled. Until a replacement is named, Mr. Levy will report to Joe Marchese, president-advanced advertising products, with whom he founded TrueX.

Amid the rapid changes in the TV ecosystem, Mr. Marchese said Fox wanted to bring in a digital native to help drive non-linear revenue.

"As marketers place more bets on non-linear viewing, David's team will ensure that our ad products and sales organization are perfectly aligned, and that brands can optimize their investment across our portfolio," Randy Freer, president-chief operating officer, Fox Networks Group, said in a statement.

Fox as a company has been increasingly vocal in its stance of reimagining the TV ad model to be more consumer friendly; working to reduce commercial loads; and giving viewers the ability to chose messaging.

Mondelez struck a deal with Fox in July, making a material commitment to establish a more consumer-friendly commercial experience in streaming video and video-on-demand.

For its part, TrueX has been partnering with marketers on engagement ads that allow viewers to interact with one ad at the top of the program in order to then watch content sans commercials.

While most of Fox's efforts thus far have been in cleaning up the digital ad model, it stands to reason that the company is planning to extend this to TV.

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