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Cable’s TV Everywhere Online Viewing Loaded Down by Endless Ads That Often Exceed Traditional TV

Phillip Dampier July 10, 2014 Consumer News, Online Video, Video 1 Comment

car adsIf that one hour show you just watched online seemed to take an hour and ten minutes to watch, you are not dreaming.

Some cable operators are loading up on forced advertising that interrupts the viewing experience and delivers a withering blast of ads in numbers that exceed what you would see on traditional television.

“We watched TNT’s “The Last Ship” last week,” said Rich Greenfield from BTIG Research. “The first 15 minutes were ad-free, that was awesome. The problem is the last 30 minutes of the show is interspersed with 20 minutes of ads, many of them the same ad, and sometimes the ad even plays continuously back to back to back.”

ive-fallen-and-cant-get-upGreenfield believes cable companies like Comcast are trying to enforce the worst of television from five to ten years ago — an ever-increasing advertising load you can’t skip past that cuts into the time available for programs.

“I just think that is really hard to push on consumers,” Greenfield said, noting that many have left traditional linear television for Netflix, Amazon, and the increasingly popular time-shifting DVR, which lets viewers record shows and skip past advertising.

“If you look at online, not only is the ad load not skippable, we are even seeing ad loads that are heavier than on TV itself,” Greenfield added.

The consummate low-budget ad ready to interrupt Breaking Bad: Want to “get rid of that vermin you call a spouse” and “get out of that hell hole you call a marriage?” Don’t “give thousands of dollars to some piece of crap wearing a three-piece suit downtown” or another $25 to that “illiterate boob” at the courthouse who gave you the wrong forms. No, choose Divorce-EZ or DivorceDeli.com! Click or call today. (1 minute)

Greenfield

Greenfield

On-demand, online viewing is not limited by the same time constraints traditional broadcast television is, so a show that runs 59:30 with ads on NBC increasingly takes an hour and five minutes to watch online because of the increasing number of ads.

Greenfield believes increasing ad loads will only drive consumers away from cable’s online TV Everywhere services.

“That is the mistake they are making,” Greenfield said. “They are either driving you to Netflix, they are driving you to piracy, or they are driving you to use a DVR, but they are making you not want to watch traditional television on these online apps.”

“Video advertising online has no reason to be identical to television,” Greenfield said. “What you see now on these TV Everywhere experiences, whether it is the TNT app or the XFINITY app, all of them are replicating the advertising experience of television versus rethinking how would you trade your time — would I give you information or interact in some interesting way — beyond the traditional car driving around the mountain-30 second spot.”

Richard Greenfield from BTIG Research appears on CNBC to expose just how bad cable’s TV Everywhere experience has become, mired in bad ads. (3:06)

Currently there is 1 comment on this Article:

  1. I’d say somewhere between 5-10% of the time I’ll watch the video and then the content won’t play. Happens a fair bit on ESPN.

    Also, what can or will be done to adjust video ads from not using up mobile data caps? There seems to be a potential big difference between mobile and fixed video ad consumption.

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