More and More Commercials

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Bulldog

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I am fully aware that commercials help pay for most of the expenses and operating costs of broadcast, network and cable companies programming, and their existence is dependent on them; but lately it sure seems that they're cramming more and more commercials into the programming.

I have had to DVR almost everything that I like to view, so that I can skip through these commercials.

I even find myself placing a program that I am viewing on hold for about 15 to 30 minutes, so I can skip through the commercials.

Is anyone else doing this, or am I just getting too inpatient in my old age?
 
navychop

navychop

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More and More Commercials
=
More and More DVRs.
 
tigerprowler

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I used to have a DVR. I loved it. We got rid of satellite when Hifi switched jobs. Now I watch TV in real time. Try that after having a DVR for years. :D
 
navychop

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I think I'd return to reading a lot of books.
 
jayn_j

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I'd try to find a DTVPal, or bite the bullet for a TIVO. That important.
 
tigerprowler

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Nah, I'm pretty tolerant, but for a while I would try to hit the rewind button or pause. That was pretty funny.
 
Steve Mehs

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There may be a increase in the number of commercials (Can't say, I don't watch 'em) but I can’t say I’ve noticed an increase in commercial time in the past 10-15 years. Seems about the same to me. For as long as I can remember an hour TV show could be watched about 45 minutes and a half an hour show could be watched in about 23 minutes if you FFW through the commercials. Just checked the total runtime of some random shows that are available to On Demand. Aside from a quick 30 sec or less blurb at the very start, its all commercial free

South Park Season 14 Episode 8, Comedy Central On Demand – 23 Minutes
Family Guy Season 5, Episode 16, Adult Swim On Demand – 24 Minutes
CSI:NY, Last Weeks Episode, CBS HD On Demand – 46 Minutes
Hawaii 5-0, Series Premier, CBS HD On Demand – 43 Minutes
Ice Road Truckers, Season 4, Episode 15, History HD On Demand – 45 Minutes
Chuck, All Episodes, NBC HD On Demand - 48 Minutes

All in line with what I'd expect. I could careless how many commercials there are, as I've been using a DVR for the past 9 years, just as long as the amount of time the actual program is stays the same.
 
jayn_j

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I think it depends on whether you are discussing cable or broadcast. Broadcast shows are regulated for commercial time. Cable shows seem to be higher and increasing. I need to do Steve's experiment with HGTVoD or one of the othe On demand cable networks on my system.
 
bicker

bicker

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We are never going to get television entertainment that is literally free, long-term. It will always paid-for, somehow, some way. Right now, it's primarily through commercials.

Commercials are a really stupid way of paying for television entertainment, if you think about it. The money has to pass through several layers (us, to the makers of the things we buy, to the networks, to the production companies, etc.) with each middleman taking a cut. What's worse, structured that way, each dollar going through the system purchases a lot less entertainment than if the money went directly.

However, the system could withstand the inefficiency of commercials. However, what we see now is the tip-of-the-iceberg with regard to reduction in the value commercials deliver to advertisers. Commercial avoidance is the most obvious mechanism, but even when people don't skip commercials, advertising messages delivered that way are poised to become increasingly less effective at getting people to spend money. If there is a way to ignore the commercials, if not avoid them altogether, viewers will do so.

So you've got an inefficient system poised to become ineffective. That's a critically terminal diagnosis.

There are only three ways to mitigate this problem: First, have more commercials - make up for the increasing ineffectiveness on volume. Second, have the commercials be more invasive, i.e., advertising overlays while the program is playing, rather than reserved to "commercial breaks". (Product placement is a form of this, but its practicality is limited.) Third, start getting/get more direct payments from viewers.

So our viewing behaviors are really driving a lot of the things we don't like. As I said at the beginning, we are never going to get television entertainment that is literally free, long-term. It will always paid-for, somehow, some way. The harder we work to avoid paying for it one way, the more we're forcing the degradation of our viewing experience, and/or the more we're forcing our direct costs higher.
 
jayn_j

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I think most of us understand that nothing is ever free (TANSTAAFL)

However, we are being increasingly assaulted by the content providers for increased costs to view their programming. The recent Fox/DISH squabble really pointed that out. The recent numbers say that 80% of us receive programming via cable or satellite. The broadcast stations, and most of the cable stations are full of commercials, yet are still asking for larger and larger royalties. That either means that commercials are seen as less effective by companies, or that the providers want larger profits at our expense. Squeeze till they stop bleeding. I haven't heard much about commercial rates going down, and the parts that make the news there (Superbow adsl) are more about the economy than about overall rates. In fact, the WSJ reported back in June that average commercial rates are up about 10% this year
TV Ad Rates Heat Up - WSJ.com

You mention skipping commercials. Most subscribers do not use a DVR. Of those that do, only DISH provides one that comes standard with a 30 second skip feature. Even the TIVO feature is actually a very fast forward. Yes, there are hacks out there for others, but I doubt that a significant percentage of owners are technically savvy enough to find and use them.

The fast forward actually provides opportunities. When you fast forward through commercials, you actually have to pay attention. Yes, you are seeing them zip by, but you can tailor your message so the product is repeatedly shown on screen. When you fast forward you end up getting a bang,bang,bang image of the product. Even with the skip feature, the first 5 seconds and last 10 seconds of commercial time become more valuable as people are messing around and paying attention.

The advertisers know this. I am seeing those bang,bang,bang ads lately. I have also noticed that broadcasters no longer tend to use that last slot in a commercial break to promote shows. They usually throw in a commercial after the promo slot.
 
bicker

bicker

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In fact, the WSJ reported back in June that average commercial rates are up about 10% this year
TV Ad Rates Heat Up - WSJ.com
You misread the article you quoted:
Some cable-television networks are seeing bigger increases in advertising rates than broadcast networks
That article is about a comparison between cable and over-the-air, with over-the-air on the losing side of the equation.

Regardless, there is no pretense that we're already falling down the cliff. Experts and other industry-watchers are simply seeing the signs, and there is nothing being done to safeguard the system from the dissolution of the incentive to invest in video entertainment going forward. It's like the industry has its stomach exposed, just waiting for the talons of the hawk to rip their guts out.

You mention skipping commercials. Most subscribers do not use a DVR.
That's also a bit of a misfire on your part. DVR use is expected to reach 50% next year.

You need to look at the trends, not just the current status.

Of those that do, only DISH provides one that comes standard with a 30 second skip feature. Even the TIVO feature is actually a very fast forward.
I have 30 second skip on my TiVo. And I had 30 second skip on my old cable DVR too. You had to do a little research to learn how to enable it, yes, but that's quibbling over details. The point is that people are skipping commercials more than they were before, and ignoring commercials more than they were before. Again, you need to look at the trends, not just the current status.

The fast forward actually provides opportunities. When you fast forward through commercials, you actually have to pay attention.
Please provide citations of three research studies that show that the value of advertising when a commercial is watched through fast forward is significant higher than if people watched the commercial in real-time. You're raising mitigating aspects: What you're saying is that the damage being done is not absolute but only "mostly" bad news. But it is still bad news.
 
B

Bulldog

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The fast forward actually provides opportunities. When you fast forward through commercials, you actually have to pay attention. Yes, you are seeing them zip by, but you can tailor your message so the product is repeatedly shown on screen. When you fast forward you end up getting a bang,bang,bang image of the product. QUOTE]

True, I guess it will allow me to see if a “Victoria’s Secret” commercial was on. :D

I remember a while back that there was a gadget advertised to blank out T.V. commercials; I think it used some kind of blanking event monitor that supposedly happen before and after a commercial break.
 
jayn_j

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You misread the article you quoted:
That article is about a comparison between cable and over-the-air, with over-the-air on the losing side of the equation.
Never said this was just about OTA. The comparison holds and was further re-enforced in the full article, whih is unfortuantely only available to paid subscribers.

That's also a bit of a misfire on your part. DVR use is expected to reach 50% next year.
Uh, you ask me to back up my claims. The best number I saw was around 42% projected growth in 2010. And that's for ownership. With more and more providers giving out DVRs standard, you will see an increase, but that doesn't mean they are used to skip commercials.

I have 30 second skip on my TiVo. And I had 30 second skip on my old cable DVR too. You had to do a little research to learn how to enable it, yes, but that's quibbling over details. The point is that people are skipping commercials more than they were before, and ignoring commercials more than they were before. Again, you need to look at the trends, not just the current status.

OK, you are a power user. So am I. Most viewers are still struggling with 3 remotes because they can't figure out how to combine them. Comcast in my area still connects HD boxes up with an RF connection and most people never notice. I don't think I am quibbling. What percentage is going to think of going to the web, finding TIVO Community and searching out the thread. Just us nerds.

You also didn't address the main point that when you are busy trying to skip the commercials, you are actually paying close attention, and that can be and is being exploited.

Also, here is a reference showing that DVR ownership doesn't translate into skipping commercials
46% Watch DVR With Commercials - Daniel Indiviglio - Business - The Atlantic

Please provide citations of three research studies that show that the value of advertising when a commercial is watched through fast forward is significant higher than if people watched the commercial in real-time. You're raising mitigating aspects: What you're saying is that the damage being done is not absolute but only "mostly" bad news. But it is still bad news.

Didn't say higher. I said similar. Here are some references. From now on please provide yours as well when calling me a liar.

Future Implications: We fast-forward (and watch) commercials | The Digital Home - CNET News
TiVo's Fast Forward Ads Are Back - My Surmise
Bing Pays to Fast Forward Commercials on The Daily Show
Don't skip that commercial!

This one is re-enforcing your point, but also talks about effective ads during FF
Wallet Pop features Grasshopper - The latest TV ad tactic to compensate for fast-forwarding

Also note that more and more content providers are setting up VoD as an alternative to timeshifting where the commercial cannot be fast forwarded
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/25/business/media/25abc.html?_r=1
 
M

mdram

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i seem to recall several years ago talk about "premium" commercials. they would be forcefed when you dvr'd something, with no ability to skip em
 
bicker

bicker

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Never said this was just about OTA. The comparison holds and was further re-enforced in the full article, whih is unfortuantely only available to paid subscribers.
However it is about the comparison, cable doing better than OTA. OTA is still doing poorly, and probably on the verge of a big decline in revenues from advertising.

Uh, you ask me to back up my claims. The best number I saw was around 42% projected growth in 2010.
I said next year. The source is Leichtman Research Group (LRG), of Durham, N.H.

With more and more providers giving out DVRs standard, you will see an increase, but that doesn't mean they are used to skip commercials.
It doesn't meant that they're not used to skip commercials. As a matter of fact, one of the articles you quoted later in your reply included, "
According to a study conducted by Jupiter Research in 2006, DVR users sped their way through almost $8 billion in advertising and that number should rise in all subsequent years."


OK, you are a power user. So am I. Most viewers are still struggling with 3 remotes because they can't figure out how to combine them.
However, many can and many more are every day.

You also didn't address the main point that when you are busy trying to skip the commercials, you are actually paying close attention, and that can be and is being exploited.
You didn't present evidence that people make purchasing decisions based on having fast forwarded over advertising. There is no evidence that fast forwarding over commercials is better than people actually watching them, and no reason to think that that would be the case. Furthermore, that doesn't address the fact that people are more likely to ignore commercials. There is no good news here for broadcasters... what you're presenting is a paltry consolation prize.

Also, here is a reference showing that DVR ownership doesn't translate into skipping commercials
46% Watch DVR With Commercials - Daniel Indiviglio - Business - The Atlantic
Actually, it shows that more than half of people do skip commercials.

Didn't say higher. I said similar. Here are some references.
Sorry but those references don't fit the bill. The first reference is an opinion piece that distorts the results of one test. That test did nothing to gauge the effectiveness of commercials; it actually measured the physical response to fast forwarding. That confounding factor is something that technology columnists, who like television and hate broadcasters and advertising, like to leave out of their articles.

The second article is again a consolation prize. TiVo applies overlay technology. There is no reason to believe it is any more effective than a real-time ad of the same duration. And so it effectively reduces commercial effectiveness by a quarter or more (since it displays for a shorter period of time than full commercials).

Similarly, the third article also avoids any business analysis, choosing to report an uptick in searching, without even trying to normalize for other factors or trying to monetize the impact. It was a novelty. Even if there was some significant impact (and that's not clear) how long until the novelty wears off?

The fourth article is just like the second, essentially proving that commercial effectiveness is substantially reduced, since it advocates a static image for 30 seconds, something which folks who don't fast forward will find annoying, by the way, but will only register for commercial skippers for a few seconds. Again, you've shown no evidence that seeing a static image for a few seconds has similar impact on purchasing decisions as watching an informative commercial.

Also note that more and more content providers are setting up VoD as an alternative to timeshifting where the commercial cannot be fast forwarded
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/02/25/business/media/25abc.html?_r=1
Yes, that's a solution. Very true.
 
jayn_j

jayn_j

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Sorry, I simply don't see anything new to discuss here. I bothered to dig up references. You dissed them by saying you don't agree and presented nothing of your own. I see no point in digging up more if you can just say "those don't apply" even when they do. I'm not here for the ministry of arguments sketch, so I guess I am done here. Possibly silenced, but not convinced.
 
rockymtnhigh

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Jay don't waste your time arguing with him. He bickers just to bicker. And its not going to continue. Its like arguing with a know-it-all. He never engaged in an argument he did not win.

I am not surprised at all that commercial rates are higher. Times are tough, costs are high, so content producers are trying to make more money. And of course since more and more of us time-shift so we skip commercials they have to find other ways to get their message out. Whether it is Apple or Motorola placing their phones on every show possible, or the far more insidious use of screen crawls, or obnoxious graphics advertising the next show, it is a losing battle for the consumer.

My biggest complaint is not with commercials on TV, but at the movies, where I pay $8 - $11 (depending on where the threater is) to see a movie, but before the previews, I have to endure commercials. OR even worse -- remember the Star Trek reboot movie? Young Kirk is in the car, and the communications system is by NOKIA, and then slightly older Kirk is in the bar, and orders Budweiser Classic.
:rolleyes:

Alas, its the world we live in. So, I guess I'll deal with it. :popcorn
 
jayn_j

jayn_j

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OR even worse -- remember the Star Trek reboot movie? Young Kirk is in the car, and the communications system is by NOKIA, and then slightly older Kirk is in the bar, and orders Budweiser Classic.
:rolleyes:

Alas, its the world we live in. So, I guess I'll deal with it. :popcorn

That actually goes back a long way. Remember how E.T. was lured by Reeses Pieces because the producers couldn't get M&Ms to pay for the product placement. That one did wonders for Reeses market share. Up to then, they had been insignificant.

The space station scene in 2001 with the AT&T, Pan-Am, etc. Blatent.

Or Fred and Barney sneaking out back during the Flintstones to smoke a Winston Cigarette.
 
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