I can’t think of anybody who enjoys advertisement breaks or watches TV to catch the latest dog food or car commercial. Now don’t get me wrong there have been over the years many ads that will be remembered forever and some have been verging on genius but in general they are an interruption of your viewing pleasure.
Here in the UK, we have the BBC which is devoid of all commercial advertising but we have to pay a annual TV license for the privilege. This also means that the BBC is not swayed in any way by large corporate advertising contracts, making it uniquely independent. Now this isn’t a puff piece for the BBC in any way, my thoughts here are aimed at the other commercial TV broadcasters who wouldn’t exist without the advertising they transmit every quarter of an hour.
Now, according to Tom Butts on TV Technology’s website, there is now a product called Hopper DVR from US company Dish. This little black box allows you to skip the adverts so you can have uninterrupted viewing. Broadcasters are of course up in arms about this as this could challenge their existence if advertisers lose confidence that their commercial will be seen. I did chuckle to myself though when Tom quite rightly pointed out that the most effective medium for Dish to advertise though was on TV. Oh the irony.
Viewers not wanting to watch advert breaks however has been interpreted by some critics as an integral part in the ultimate downfall of TV as we know it. Henry Blodget on Business Insider website paints a much more sinister picture. Here he compares the TV industry to the print press and surmises that advertisers are wasting their time paying to broadcast commercials and ultimately TV companies will follow the same path as newspapers and be superceded by other methods to view content – On Demand, DVR, internet TV etc.
Thankfully I also found this article on TVNewsCheck by Brian Wieser which adds a little balance to the points made in Blodget’s article. He takes each point made by Henry Blodget and blows it out of the water thus showing how interpreting choice statistics, once again, can lead you to whatever conclusion you desire. This is a talent in itself and great for sensationalist news.
I recommend reading both articles as it does make a good debate and makes you think about current trends. Let us know which argument you side with? In the meantime I am going to continue watching scheduled TV with ad-breaks as it gives me time to make a cup of tea – how quintessentially British!