How Long Is the Average Commercial Break?

long-average-commercial-break Credit: Tony Young/CC-BY-2.0

According to the Los Angeles Times, commercial breaks are 15 and 30 seconds. There are more 30-second commercial spots than 15-second commercials; however, the number of 15-second commercials is increasing.

In a comparison of the share of 15- and 30-second commercial spots, the Los Angeles Times found that in 2009, 62 percent of the commercials were 30 seconds, while 35 percent were 15 seconds. In 2013, 30-second commercials comprised of 53 percent of the total number of commercials, and 15-second commercials comprised 44 percent. Nielsen says that advertisers spent $18 billion more in television advertising in 2013 than they did in 2009 even though the average cost of a 30-second commercial has decreased by $1,100 during the same time period.