Aug 31, 2007

Why We TiVo

A bunch of 2.0-niks - Greg Verdino from Crayon and the very astute Matt Dickman have been blogging about video ads, what people will watch and why we TiVO through them.

I think one of the reasons people zap through ads -- and a widely overlooked one- is THAT THERE'S JUST TOO MANY OF THEM. The average ad pod is now close to 4 minutes (or it sure seems that way) and if I'm in the middle of watching a show, I just don't want to sit through that long an interruption.

Now if there was a 60 second commercial break, I wouldn't bother reaching for the remote. Time/benefit analysis says it wouldn't be worth the effort.

Wonder why no one's thought of that before.

10 comments:

toad's sixth reader said...

agree. i watched a good chunk of commercial TV for the first time in ages the other night. man, what a bummer. all those incredibly lame annoying commercials breaking the flow. not cool. i don't have tivo. i just watch VOD or on my iPod.

yikes said...

Toad, I can tell you why no one thought of it - because networks want to sell ads, and the more ads they sell, the better. They don't care whether or not they work, not realizing that's a myopic vision of how to sell their wares.

The more ads, the more clutter, the less effective. But who will be the first to abandon it? Would any networks/cable stations say, "No, we'll keep our ads, and therefore revenue, to a minimum." Of course not.

So, we'll all continue to shoot ourselves in the feet and fret over what to do about Tivo.

ck said...

Glad you called Matt "astute" he's a really great person, along with contributing a lot of smarts. Maybe you'll get the chance to meet him when he's back in NYC. Greg V. is just as witty in person as on his blog (and you're welcome to join us for the happy hour we're planning for sometime this week).

Make the logo bigger said...

If it was a part of the show but was content created specifically aorund the show, I'd watch. (As long as it was good/interesting.)

Scamp said...

I need more than 60 seconds to get to the loo and back...

Toad said...

Interesting takes all around.

@TSR: Our cable company offers a DVR that's built into the cable box. The monthly cost is pretty minimal and given that we're only recording a half dozen shows, it works fine. Main advantage is that you can pause shows if the phone rings or a child awakens. Key during sporting events.

@Scamp: With TiVO or DVR you can pause the show, giving you plenty of time to get to the bathroom and back. But if I'm okay in that regard, I resent sitting through 5 minutes of commercials-- 60 seconds doesn't bother me as much.

@Yikes: Your analysis is correct, BUT: if no one is watching the commercials, then networks wind up losing revenue and may need to reevaluate their model.

@MTLB: Not sure that what your proposing is feasible/desirable. People are used to the short breaks. What's making them longer is all the network promos and movie ads in addition to the brand commercials that we all do. Too many shows on the air to create something specifically for each one and I think a lot of people like the line between commercial and TV show to be pretty clear.

toad's sixth reader said...

i think the TV model of the future is already happening. watch anything anytime with no ads. you just have to pay for it. the hbo sopranos model basically. and interestingly TV has gotten a lot better in recent years. because it had no other choice really. mediocrity isn't selling like it once was.

but i do wish hollywood would once again get off its ass and start supplying primo content to the VOD sector. not sure what the hold up is.

Toad said...

Agree 100% TSR. We're rapidly moving to a 2-tier system where we can watch shows without commercials for a fee or watch them for free provided we watch 30 or 60 seconds worth of commercial. Post or pre roll seems to be the main argument, though I suspect in the end it'll wind up being spliced into the middle.

yikes said...

Toad, my point was that no advertisers will stop running ads, therefore there will be too many ads, and people will continue to skip them. I don't think we disagree, I just think too many dumb advertisers (clients) think throwing money at TV is still the best idea. In some cases, it may be, but in a lot of cases, it just means more clutter.

Toad said...

@Yikes: At some point though, we'll be able to measure how many people watch television commercials. (The technology already exists, it just needs to be adapted to show the drop-off during commercial breaks.)

Once that happens, to both our points, networks won't be able to charge that much for commercials. And as a result, they'll think about ways to get revenue up again. One of which will probably be showing less commercials, which will lead to less drop-off. They'll then be able to charge premium rates once again.