Sunday, May 22, 2022

Adding it up: too much commercial 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 while 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"  

The unabashed Capitalist in me hastens to add that the ad industry is an essential component of a robust consumer-based economyThis post is about advertisers and media platforms practicing reasonableness and a more viewer-considerate methodology.  

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 by way of one example from my personal entertainment viewing habits.... watching YouTube.  I love the free access to 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.  

A shot of my recent YouTube music video selections below....

Imagine that instead of me watching one of my prized music videos, you're watching a football game with seconds left on the clock.  Your home team is down by 2 points but has the ball on fourth down 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 viewers 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 post-grouse attempt...

 YouTube could easily increase ad time between songs instead of inserting mini ads during the song (or film clip).  The platform could realize the same amount of ad time, without the obnoxious interruptions to the viewer.