Sunday, May 22, 2022

Adding it up: too much TV advertisement time

Like a pebble in your shoe that won't go away; I've long been annoyed by the amount of ad time viewers suffer through watching broadcast TV and Cable TV.  Internet streamers and social media viewers are not immune either; more on that score in a moment.

The increased viewer burden is not your imagination.  See Toni Fitzgerald's Forbes article, "Yes, You Are Seeing More Commercials Than Ever Before".  The theme was echoed by Gerry Smith of Bloomberg in his 2019 piece; "TV networks vowed to cut back on commercials. Instead, they stuffed in more"  

But before going further, the unabashed Capitalist in me hastens to add that the ad industry is an essential component of a robust consumer-based economy.  No quibble with that.  Rather, this post is about advertisers and their media platforms practicing reasonable proportionality and a more considerate methodology -- not ad necessity -- that one is a given.  I also get that commercial free viewing is available at a cost; so we have the option as consumers to avail ourselves of ad-free viewing.  

However, since we've covered increased ad volume, let's talk about ad placement, in practice and I'll close with a truly unforgiveable viewing experience.  We all land on web pages that hijack the viewer with an unwanted solicitation blasting on the screen before one can even view anything relevant.  We're often ambush-surveyed too, with that vapid net promoter score question (but that's another post).  

Now consider  streaming "TV" we consume by way of one example from my personal entertainment viewing habits....watching YouTube.  I enjoy the free access to watch music videos and movie shorts on YouTube and in exchange, I willingly watch and listen to ads that appear in-between songs and film clips.  It's a fair tradeoff.    

However, here's the worst example of viewer ad intrusion that I can think of.  To set that up; scroll down below this image... 

Isometric phone vector created by freepik -

A shot of my recent YouTube music video selections at the ready below.

Now imagine that instead of me watching one of my prized music videos, you're watching a football game with seconds left in the game.  Your home team is down by 2 points but has the ball on fourth down just 40 yards from the opposing team's goal line.  Next, your field goal kicker watches the snap go to the holder and then instantaneously --- your TV screen converts to an ad for motor oil.  

That's essentially what YouTube often allows to happen to consumers watching a music video.  The artists are performing beautifully and at some point DURING THE SONG -- they cut to a mini commercial.  Fortunately, it doesn't happen often; but it needn't happen at all.  

I was taught to offer a solution or try to help matters after you grouse about something; so here's my attempt... YouTube could easily increase ad time between songs instead of inserting mini ads during the song (or film clip).  Same amount of ad time; without the obnoxious interruption to the viewer.   Simple.  Problem solved!