I read an interesting article on Fierce Cable today. They came across a US patent application that showed images of Comcast’s plan to show advertisements to subscribers who use their DVR to watch recorded shows and skip the commercials.
The idea is for Comcast to display ads in the middle of your TV whenever you use the fast forward, pause or other trick mode buttons. The ads that display will be based on certain demographics or your past interests; things like what TV shows you’ve watched and previous content that you’ve skipped or watched.
I think Comcast’s position on this is simple to understand; being able to place more ads means that they can charge more to current advertisers for additional placement, or find new advertisers. Comcast can also use these spots to promote new shows, movies or PPV events. The bottom line, though, is that this will be another way to add revenue; or balance the revenue lost due to customers fast forwarding through commercials, which can hurt programmers.
There’s no word on when this might roll out, if it will at all. Patents aren’t guarantees that a new product, technology or service will come to fruition.
That’s good. I’m not looking forward to it myself. Depending on how intrusive the ads are, they could somewhat defeat the purpose of using a DVR to skip commercials. While you’ll still go through your shows at a faster clip, it’s not really an ad free experience. More annoying than anything else.
If you’d like to see the patents filed by Comcast, Fierce Cable has put together a slide show.