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Dish Media debuts “pause ads” on Sling TV

An example of a "pause ad" on Sling TV, as provided by the company. (Courtesy image)
An example of a “pause ad” on Sling TV, as provided by the company. (Courtesy image)

Echostar’s premium streaming TV service Sling TV has introduced pause ads through live and on-demand content, the company announced on Tuesday.

The introduction of pause ads is meant to give brands a way to reach streamers beyond the traditional pre-roll and insert commercials, and promises a “clutter-free environment with 100 percent share of voice,” according to a company statement.

“We are always looking to provide advertisers with the most effective, full-funnel ad solutions,” Tom Fochetta, the Senior Vice President at Dish Media, said in a statement. “Pause Ads introduce an additional opportunity for advertisers to lean into our first-party data and Sling TV’s robust targeting capabilities to create highly compelling and interactive ad experiences.”

While pause ads are new to Sling TV, they’re not new to the industry: DirecTV has offered pause ads against live and on-demand content for some time now, and on-demand video services like Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus and Comcast’s Peacock have made pause ads available to brands for a few years.

Dish says the introduction of pause ads “complements Dish Media’s ongoing partnership with Brightline, which introduced interactive ad units on Sling TV that can engage audiences with scrollers, games, QR codes, and tailored content based on viewer location.”

Sling TV costs around $40 per month for a base package of channels that are offered through one of two tiers: Sling Orange, which includes Disney-owned channels like ESPN and Freeform, and Sling Blue, which includes Fox- and NBC-owned channels, as well as some legacy Fox networks like FX and National Geographic.

Dish also offers a free, ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) platform, called Sling Freestream, which is available through the same app as Sling TV. Sling Freestream requires no credit card or login to view more than 400 linear channels of content ranging from movies to news. It isn’t clear if Dish Media intends to bring pause ads to Sling Freestream in the future.

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is a nationally-recognized, award-winning journalist who has covered the business of media, technology, radio and television for more than 11 years. He is the publisher of The Desk and contributes to Know Techie, Digital Content Next and StreamTV Insider. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, the Walt Disney Company, McNaughton Newspapers and Tribune Broadcasting.

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