And There Was Much Wailing and Gnashing of Teeth

So TiVo has decided to show pop up ads when users fast forward through commercials. If you read the comments left at ZD-Net, you’d think TiVo had declared they were going to force people to watch 2 hours of infomercials about Oxyclean every day.

Apparently, while you fast forward through the commercial, a box that takes up 25% of the screen will appear with an ad in it. It doesn’t prevent you from fast forwarding, it just tries to put an ad in where you’re trying to avoid an ad. Silly, but that’s life.

It seems the initial reaction is that many want to dump their TiVo service because of this ‘travesty’. Being a fan of the free market, I wish them the best in their endeavors. But I think what most of these people want is simply something for nothing.

The reason you have 763 channels to watch is mostly because of advertising. You pay for the service of getting the content delivered to your house (dish or cable) but for the most part, advertisements make the shows possible.

DVR technology like TiVo are a godsend. Being able to watch a show on my schedule as well as being able to pause and rewind live TV has been wonderful around my household. And because there is a demand for this technology, it’s not going to go away.

Someone has to pay for the programs you watch. TANSTAAFL and all that. The price you pay to watch a show that someone else footed the bill is to watch ads. When technologies such as TiVo start proliferating, advertisers are going to realize the amount of money they’re spending on commercials aren’t giving them the bang for the buck they were used to getting. And when companies stop paying for the shows, guess who’s going to be stuck with the bill?

You.

And honestly, this is something I’m not against. I’d be more than happy to pay a buck or two to watch 24 if it meant no ads. Hell, sign me up for a season and let me download the shows at will. But if that’s not available, I’ll skip through the commercials anyway, and when the pop ups take their place, I’ll just deal with it.

And when the $1.25 I pay to watch the National Geographic Special Presentation of ‘Best Naked Boobies of the Sahara' doesn’t cover their expenses, they’ll toss in ads for Cross You Heart bras and I’ll either deal with them or not pay again.

Free market baby! Yeah!

posted by by Robb Allen @
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