Tuesday, May 12, 2009
DVRs and VCRs; Their Attack on Ads
The reason that TV is free is that there are advertisements to support the stations. When and if the advertisers lose authority over audiences, a challenged will bear down on television. Television could completely go out of business. However, I feel that this is highly unlikely in a culture that demands so much electronic entertainment. Technology exists to charge viewers per show as one option. Again, I do not believe that culture would approve of this option since audiences have had nearly six decades to get used to free television. If traditional commercials become obsolete due to DVRs, I think the most likely technological development will be the reapplication of something that all internet users have experienced. Currently, many shows are available on the internet only if the viewer watches the commercials that are mandatory to be run before the show. With the failure of advertisements in their normal 60 second spots, I see the TV channels controlling their content completely so they can set up a requirement for viewing their show. That requirement might be watching the sponsor's advertisement. Without that requirement, the show won't be displayed. Certainly, channels will need to come up with something to continue the flow of advertising dollars even as new technologies are brought forth to allow avoidance of commercials.