If TV Companies Released Authorized Torrents With Ads, Would People Download Them?

from the it's-all-about-choices... dept

More than seven years ago, we first wrote about Ernest Miller’s concept of Bitcatching — a name that never caught on — which was the combination of RSS + BitTorrent, allowing the ability to “subscribe” to certain video programs. Miller envisioned that as a legal and useful way for TV broadcasters to embrace the internet with shows that had ads on them, and to avoid the fate of the recording industry. Of course, that was in the days before YouTube and Hulu existed. The industry decided to focus on those streaming platforms (with a bit of iTunes on the side). However, those all have some annoying limitations, which means that many people still just go to BitTorrent to get the shows they want.

A few different people pointed us to this interesting recent Reddit thread, in which someone asked if people would download official TV programs via BitTorrent if they were high quality… with ads:

If major broadcasting companies released high quality TV show torrents WITH commercials in them, would you download those instead of commercial-free pirated ones?

I definitely would. Right now I find I’m constantly defending myself when people ask why I download all my shows. I personally do it for the convenience of being able to watch them at my leisure.

As a consumer, I would happily download a torrent straight from the broadcasting company’s site since I know it would be coming from a good source, that it would be high quality and would be helping them pay their bills.

Advertisements make the entertainment industry go round, I’m not oblivious to that. I’ll happily be pitched to if the companies are willing to meet me and my lifestyle halfway. Chances are, if I’m vegged out on a couch watching a show, most of the time I’m not even going to fastforward through the commercials either. They simply just aren’t a big deal to me.

The responses are mixed. There are, certainly, a lot of people who insist they would never do that because they hate all advertising. I still think those people really just hate bad advertising, and don’t realize that they actually like good advertising (for example, the TV shows they download? They’re just “advertising” for other episodes of that TV show). But there are two types of answers that stand out and are seen throughout the comments. The first are that some people would agree to do this, having no problem supporting the TV folks. The second are people who say they hate commercials and wouldn’t do this, but that they would pay for a similar thing without commercials.

It seems that the TV industry is missing a big opportunity in not offering both of those options, and letting people decide.

Some may claim that shows are being put up on Hulu or iTunes, but again, the problem people have there are the restrictions associated with that content, along with the pointless delays. And, no, not everyone would agree to download the official versions or to pay. Some would still get unauthorized versions. And, as the Spotify experiment has shown, if you offer people good and convenient offerings, they’re happy to pay, either with cash or with their attention.

So it really seems like the TV guys are leaving money on the table by not embracing those who prefer to use BitTorrent to get shows. Obviously, some would ignore those official offerings, but it seems likely that plenty would jump at the opportunity to use the official channels and to support one of the “options” for a business model: free with ads, or at a cheap price without. But, of course, that would require that folks in the industry be forward thinking and not have a brain spasm every time they hear the word infringement.

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Comments on “If TV Companies Released Authorized Torrents With Ads, Would People Download Them?”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: BitTorrent, etc.

Amazing! Here is an under-served customer who wants free and pay. If only the boneheads in TV land would wake up, they could do that and make money. They could offer files which were both free and pay for the same show. They could offer small files (low resolution) for people with small devices and big files (high resolution) for people with big-screen TVs. Say they offered four different resolutions, plus free and pay, that would be eight files for one show.

You never know, they might get lucky, there just might be customers out there who might buy a low-res file and a high-res file for the one show. Fancy that, selling the same show twice! Isn’t that the content provider’s idea of heaven?

DCX2 says:

Re: BitTorrent, etc.

I would like to second the “pay for ad-free kids channels”. While I might be willing to subject myself to bad advertising in the pursuit of cheap entertainment, I most certainly don’t want my children watching ads during their impressionable years.

I think that is a great idea for a market.

Greevar (profile) says:

Re: Re: BitTorrent, etc.

I won’t pay twice for the same thing. I just won’t. If I want a lower resolution version of a show, I’ll just download it elsewhere or scale it down myself. But if you give me multiple resolutions and devices (mobile, TV, etc.) for one price, I’d be happy to spend my money on that.

I’d be glad to pay for ad-free shows, if they’re cheap, and watch ad supported shows, if the ads are focused on being as entertaining as the shows they finance. I know they can make entertaining ads. I’ve seen them. For example the Angel Soft commercial where the husband asks for more TP and it shaves the side of his head as a roll whizzes by. Funny stuff. Or, the one where the wife tries to hoist a huge turkey into the sink, but ends up whipping it out the window, knocking out her husband outside in the yard.

You can’t just blast ads at me and expect that I will watch them because it’s how you pay for the shows; I have to have compelling reason that I want to watch them.

another mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: BitTorrent, etc.

Remember that show, I think it was World’s Funniest Commercials and it was hosted by Dick Clark and Ed McMahon? It was just all the funniest commercials from all over the place. I’d buy episodes of a show like that. Or this year’s Super Bowl ads. Put that up for sale Saturday so people can start talking about them and have some to look forward to. Do something like that and I’d pay for shows of just ads. Now that is an advertiser’s dream.

Anonymous Coward says:

I couldn’t care less if there were ads as long as they’re not the unskippable ones in DVDs these days. I would definitely torrent straight from the source if I can, simply because it’s most likely to be the highest quality version of the show, rather than some badly-encoded rip form a DVD or straight from the TV. The emphasis is obviously on quality, though.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

i can always fast forward if they are really annoying.

Umm, no, you can’t, not if they require a proprietary player that doesn’t allow that. And if you hack around that then you’re committing a serious criminal offense, so you’d be better off just downloading the unauthorized (and unlocked) version of the show instead.

Anonymous Cowherd (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The ability to fast forward is a prerequisite for me; it’ll be just like time-shifting TV, where I can do the same.
This means any proprietary player, as suggested below, is out.
I’ve always felt TV studio’s are missing out on huge chunks of cash by not offering a legal, convenient, [etc.] service to ALL REGIONS!
I’m torrenting over a dozen of the most popular current shows from the USA every week, I’m sure thousands of my countrymen do the same, yet this is the only way we can watch e.g. Breaking Bad.
I pay for Spotify Premium to stream music in my car, give me the same thing for TV and charge a premium for all I care; just bloody serve me!

ChurchHatesTucker (profile) says:

Re: Probably would not work for me...

… the logos would make a paid solution worthless.

But that’s the model that would likely work.

The production company can beat even the fastest uploaders to the *actual* market. The ad-less version (a boon to remixers) would be made available later, so you still have some kind of ‘windowing.’ Really, it’s been obvious for a long while.

MikeVx (profile) says:

Re: Re: Probably would not work for me...

Most TV torrents I download have some form of logo in the corner. How do you deal with those? It’s how the industry operates.

For most things I don’t. The practical effect of logos is that I know little of what has been on TV for the last decade. I either have to wait for it to be broadcast in a civilized country or wait until it hits DVD, and then I have to have heard enough good things about it to make it worth anything other than ignoring.

I can’t watch regular TV because of the blasted things, and convincing me to buy discs of something I haven’t seen is not the easiest sell you can attempt.

For some things, the blur filter in Mplayer suffices, but then I have to be motivated to go to the effort to specify the parameters of the bug.

Anonymous Coward says:

Definitely a no go. I hate ads with a passion. I don’t have to put up with them and won’t.

Nor do I care about tv shows. I couldn’t tell you what shows are on the air nor what they are about, much less who stars in them.

I guess you could call me a drop out. I’ve dropped out of all tv. Simply I don’t watch them.

I had not realized just how intrusive ads and commercials were until I got totally away from them.

Since commercial tv as all about the commercial, there’s not much show except to serve as an excuse to give you more ads. I can do without that. They can keep their commercials and I will keep my peace of mind.

In movies, maybe 2 a year are worth watching. I don’t care for the remake, already know what that is about and how it will end. Hollydud seems brain dead lately for new sources, or maybe I just got away from the couch potato culture. Either way comes out the same; no thanks.

WulfTheSaxon (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Hey, don?t perpetuate the stereotype that all remakes are bad. The first film that comes to mind was the 2008 version of The Andromeda Strain from A&E, which was quite good (although if it was based more on the book rather than the first film, it might not count). For the sake of brevity, I?ll restrict myself to a particular genre for the rest of my examples: The remakes of The Thomas Crown Affair, Ocean?s 11 and The Italian Job were all, if anything, better than the originals in my opinion.

To be sure, some films (I?m thinking of you, WarGames: The Dead Code) can just never live up to the originals. But some most certainly do.

Pirate with a one legged parrot says:

Yes I would, I can always skip commercials and there are some funny ones(just go to Youtube and search for “funny commercials if you doubt it).

The problem is exclusive contract regions.
It has to be global and TV producers just don’t have the global reach to do it, they are not Google and so they would try to limit the regions.

Also there is a problem with contracts to other distributors like cable that are their real customers so I don’t see them interested in doing so.

Squall says:

Re: Re:

Hit the nail on the head. 90% of my downloads are US television shows that never make it over here. I’d love to watch them on the network sites, ads and all, supporting the show as much as I can – but it’s just not possible with all the Geo-location and localisation.

Unfortunately, that’s a tough cookie to crack unless we let Murdock dip his grubby paws into every country’s media.

Pirate with a one legged parrot says:

BTW, I don’t watch TV, it has been ages, and not even am I downloading torrents right now, mostly because I’m annoyed and so I made a decision to not consume any TV show/movie/music that is not global and free(as in freedom).

About the ads, when I disable blocking I almost always regret it, because it keeps showing underwear ads with semi-naked women which gets me embarrassed in front of others, so I learned to never ever unblock ads without reviewing being able to review what will be shown.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

The point is that Hotfile was ordered by a court to turn over almost all of their data (user and other) to the MPAA at the start of this week. Mike has carefully ignored this ruling, mostly because it may blow the file locker business out of the water entirely, I think.

Even Torrent freak ran the story, but Mike, well, I think it hurts his pride when the courts actually agree with the MPAA.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The point is that Hotfile was ordered by a court to turn over almost all of their data (user and other) to the MPAA at the start of this week. Mike has carefully ignored this ruling, mostly because it may blow the file locker business out of the water entirely, I think.

It was a ruling on discovery, which was neither surprising nor that big of a deal. The ruling itself certainly doesn’t blow the locker business out of the water. It merely was a ruling on discovery.

I read the ruling, didn’t see anything too surprising about it. Didn’t have much to say about it, so didn’t see any reason to cover it.

I think it hurts his pride when the courts actually agree with the MPAA.

Yeah, that’s why I’ve never covered any of the cases where they won. Are you mad? When the actual ruling on Hotfile comes down, I’ll almost certainly cover it. A minor ruling on discovery? I’ve got more important things to do.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

You don’t think that Hotfile having to turn over all data (user and other) and exposing how their business model worked was significant?

Do you not think it a huge deal that the MPAA will have the user information for every uploader, for everyone that HotFile was paying via their affiliate program, etc?

It isn’t a minor ruling, they were order to turn over everything in their business except the source code for their site. That isn’t minor.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Paul, I think not. One of the things are the core of this case is the direct involvement of Hotfile, specifically that they profited from pirated materials.

It doesn’t bode well for the free file locker business, particularly those who make their living by selling advertising or more importantly selling access to the materials.

These are cases that will redefine the safe harbors for hosting companies.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Once again, you mss the central point. Yeah, the ruling here might affect file lockers greatly (at the expense of legal content, of course). But, other services will appear that are immune to the latest legal ruling, as they have done since the first Napster ruling.

You’re playing a losing game, which can quite easily be addressed by serving your customers and letting them pay for the content they desire, when and where they wish to pay for it for a reasonable price. Until that happens, the Canute act will continue, and it makes you loom ridiculous.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

Paul, you can think that if you like, but honestly, where do you think we would be now without the legal action from Napster on?

For the content industry, the word would be “f–ked”. Actually, more like “dead”. Quite simply, they cannot compete with free, they don’t have upsell products that they can promote with free, and there aren’t enough suckers willing to pay for the freeloaders to make it work out.

Nobody is going to pay $100 for a movie theater ticket (as they might stupidly do now for a concert ticket).

So you may say it’s a losing game, but my feeling is the tide has turned already, and as more “business models” that depend on piracy get busted, the money goes out of it and they tend to disappear.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

” you can think that if you like, but honestly, where do you think we would be now without the legal action from Napster on?”

More services provided to fulfill customer needs instead of the legal arm of the law stifling newer businesses?

“Quite simply, they cannot compete with free, they don’t have upsell products that they can promote with free, and there aren’t enough suckers willing to pay for the freeloaders to make it work out.”

They can. They’ve had the ability. They’re just lazy in suing everyone first. If someone can make a business out of cyber lockers, online storage, and music delivery systems, what’s stopping the music industry and the entertainment industry from hopping in with both feet and figuring it out for themselves? Old thinking?

Thought so.

“Nobody is going to pay $100 for a movie theater ticket (as they might stupidly do now for a concert ticket). “

No shit, but they will pay $100 in the course of a year if they had a place to put their movies that they legally owned through Bittorrent downloads, streaming suggestions, and DVD rips. Hmmmm…

“…and as more “business models” that depend on piracy get busted, the money goes out of it and they tend to disappear”

No, it just doesn’t go to the industry or it goes to the lawyers for all of these frivolous lawsuits. Or it goes to other entertainment endeavors such as gaming or music. Money never disappears. If the entertainment industry can’t figure out what it wants to do, the customers will find something else to do with their time.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Jay, I am sorry, but it really doesn’t work out.

Network TV, example, is pretty much surviving on either people over 40, or a younger demographic tuning in for Jersey Shore. The only things pulling good ratings (and unable to be easily pirated) at the American Idol style live shows. Otherwise, the ratings are light, yet the shows are still enjoyed.

Why? People downloading, sharing, and distributing “commercial stripped” copies online.

It isn’t a question of a business model that depend on piracy getting busted. It’s a business model that requires some control over how the product is consumed, in a manner that allows for commercial sponsorship. Without it, it is pretty much impossible to make the very product that you all so happily pirate.

Call it enlightened self interest for the view. Piracy in the end lowers the value of the commercial messages, which in turn lowers the amount of money available to produce the shows, which in turn means lower quality shows, which is turn means less viewers… and so on.

I can understand the “free” mentality, but it is literally killing the golden goose to have a great feast for a night. It’s self defeating.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

… I don’t know how you glossed over what I said to go on about piracy but let me bring this back to the topic at hand:

“Network TV, example, is pretty much surviving on either people over 40, or a younger demographic tuning in for Jersey Shore. The only things pulling good ratings (and unable to be easily pirated) at the American Idol style live shows. Otherwise, the ratings are light, yet the shows are still enjoyed.”

Please note: There are a lot of people cutting the cable cords because they don’t want to watch Jersey Shore, Bad Girls, horrid reality shows, or American Idol. The viewership is fragmented and the huge profit margins of the cable companies are going to go the way of the dodo. This is a given. The push for more internet is upon us as the cable guys clamor for eyeballs. People are still going to watch some series. But they may watch it through torrents authorized by the producer or they may watch it through a pirate site. It’s a choice. They might not even have cable in the future. So why not offer that choice to the people instead of the usual “but… but… piracy” response?

“Why? People downloading, sharing, and distributing “commercial stripped” copies online.”

Did I not say that they can offer an official torrent, track it, then offer incentives for people to donate either their time or money? Why is it that the *only* way to watch a show is through TV? In the digital age, that does not make sense to be tied down to your TV if you want your content in another manner.

“It’s a business model that requires some control over how the product is consumed, in a manner that allows for commercial sponsorship. Without it, it is pretty much impossible to make the very product that you all so happily pirate.”

So on one hand, there’s consumers and how they want to control their entertainment. On the other hand are the distributors who are believing that entertainment has to be controlled. Who do you think is going to win this battle?

“Piracy in the end lowers the value of the commercial messages, which in turn lowers the amount of money available to produce the shows, which in turn means lower quality shows, which is turn means less viewers… and so on.”

Ok… Name four shows that were canceled because of piracy.

“I can understand the “free” mentality, but it is literally killing the golden goose to have a great feast for a night.”

No, I don’t think you understand what’s going on. You look at piracy as a scapegoat for everything. There’s no “free” mentality. People could pay for ancillary products and don’t want to pay for individual shows with either their time or money. DVDs are an ancillary product. If someone likes a show on TV (free), they might buy the DVD and show it around. Same thing occurs online. I’ve shown other scarcities in the above post.

If the industry wants to make money, it’s high time they stop acting as if their entitled to money, lower some prices and learn to compete with what everyone is offering.

What’s sad is that no matter how many examples otherwise

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

You want to know where the audience went?

Could I destroy the entire Roman Empire during the reign of Augustus if I traveled back in time with a modern U.S. Marine infantry battalion or MEU?

They probably are reading Rome Sweet Rome, that started as a simple question and some crazy dude popped up with an epic story about marines fighting in ancient rome.


Now everybody is jumping in to produce music, 3D models, artwork.

Fock me, that sounds more entertaining than watching Glee.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

How did they manage to find that kind of money? OMG chicken little how did they did it?
Budget: ?28.000
Awesomeness: ✩✩✩✩

That doesn’t seem much to me.

Also the tools are getting cheaper, Blender is free did you know that?
Look what it can do.

And as Sanctuary proved you don’t need more than that if you can get a good story going.

“More than 3 million viewers tuned in to the premiere of Sanctuary on October 3, 2008 making it the highest rated original series premiere since Eureka debuted in July 2006.”

So chicken little can you explain again why those people need all that control that by the way they never had before when costs of productions are going down?

People since the VCR could copy those shows for free and they distribute it too, they also skipped the commercials.
Still today more people want that crap because they have access to it which probably raises the tertiary market for that incredible crap that in 20 years everybody will look back and say “how did I watch that crap?”.

Just fock it, close the doors, put some ridiculous intrusive DRM in there, I want to see what happens and I’m betting it won’t be pretty for the numskulls in the industry.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:


Where do you think you are right now?

You are in the past of something, because all I see is free movies and TV shows for anyone wanting to watch it.

Please point out any film not available for free right now if you can.

Why are the industry not dead yet?

They should have died by your own words and here we are still discussing about the dead moving corpse of an industry that has nothing but contempt for their own customers, and don’t try to say that the industry doesn’t need the pirates if they didn’t they wouldn’t be trying so hard to make them pay, which will not happen in your lifetime until we go back to medieval times where electronics didn’t exist.

Also there is no commercial piracy business in place, the people pirating stuff are not in for the money you crazy person.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

Go watch some Bones on Youku

They have all episodes in there. That is just unbelievable, everybody worried about Youtube while the copycats are doing better.

The only concession they made was blocking foreign IP’s which one can easily bypass using a proxy in China.

I see how table turned.
Instead of having a friendly government and a friendly business that dominated the landscape you idiots passed the tourch to people who don’t care and will be hostile to your interests at every turn.

Ha ha ha ha.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

honestly, where do you think we would be now without the legal action from Napster on?

With RIAA and MPAA clients making a lot more money, that’s where we’d be.

The Napster ruling has no effect whatsoever on piracy rates. Zilch. On the other hand, if the content industry chose to work with them, they’d still be profitable.

Oh, well. I’m no fan of the current content industries, so I don’t particularly regret their bad decisions. It just opens up the playing field for everyone else.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

“Paul, you can think that if you like, but honestly, where do you think we would be now without the legal action from Napster on?”

If these companies had instead worked on bringing their businesses in line with what customers demanded? A far, far better place.

“Quite simply, they cannot compete with free”

Funny, I thought this was a discussion about TV companies, who were themselves based on “free” before the advent of cable, and many still are.

“Nobody is going to pay $100 for a movie theater ticket”

Ah, I see. Not only are you trying to shoehorn your already debunked idiocy from another thread, you don’t have the imagination to compete in industry based on anything other than price. You are a poor businessman, and if you are unable to compete on product value then your businesses deserve to die, and good riddance. Smarter businessmen will prevail.

“my feeling is the tide has turned already”

Delusional as well, I see. So long as fools like you try to pretend that piracy is your major problem, you are still going down the tubes. Address the demand part of the equation instead of tilting at the supply windmills, and piracy will no longer be a problem even if it’s still around at current levels.

Rekrul says:

Re: Re: Re:

Who wants to keep waiting 30, 60, 90 seconds? and have to change proxies so you can get the next part that will end when you download the whole 60 parts?

Where do you find proxies that actually work for downloading from such sites? Every single “surf anonymously” web site has been useless for downloading because the scripts on the sites don’t work properly and finding actual proxy servers (where you enter the IP and port # into the browser) that work is like looking for a needle in a haystack. By the time I find one that works, the wait time has expired anyway.

redwall_hp (profile) says:

I would rather have convenient online streaming with some ads. (By convenient, I mean new episodes online as soon as it airs on TV, otherwise they’re still slower than the “pirate” alternatives.) Basically, how Hulu was supposed to be. No “here are five random episodes,” no 8-day delays. Entire back catalogs of shows, and new ones online right away.

Torrents require that you download them in advance, while streaming is on-demand.

BearGriz72 (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I would think that doing All of the above would be the best way to go myself. Convenient online streaming with some ads, free torrents with some ads, and (reasonably priced) paid ads-free subscriptions for both.

NOTE: Two key elements.
1) The ads: said ads must be “good advertising” (granted it is subjective) but if your ads are annoying, stupid, or excessive then I will go somewhere else.
2) Pricing:reasonably priced” does not mean what the TV broadcasters think it is worth, it means what the CONSUMERS think it is worth. Again this is somewhat subjective, but I think the economics here have been covered enough already.

*For myself, I would happily watch some (good) ads if it meant that I could help support the shows I enjoy, while getting them when I want & how I want them.*

adhd-shoegazer says:

Re: Response to: redwall_hp on Sep 2nd, 2011 @ 9:52pm

I noticed Project Runway now offers one super old full eisode on Hulu, and a bunch of clips. But instead of making the rest of the full episodes paid via Hulu plus, they offer them free on lifetime.com (with shorter commercial clips). The newest episode is available the next day after airing on TV.

Jon Stewart is doing the same with his show.

I don’t own a TV, and don’t plan to waste money on one ever.

I believe Jon Stewart does the same with his show.


Re: Streaming really isn't better

Streaming really isn’t better than a download. Once you’ve got a download, you are completely independent from the network. You can navigate the content in any manner you wish. You can probably also use the video player of your choice rather than the one that’s forced on you by the content owner.

A DRM free download is also much more portable and is something that you can transform into a format that can be used with any playback device.

Streaming services involve quite a lot of BS and artificial limitations.

Anonymous Coward says:

“There are, certainly, a lot of people who insist they would never do that because they hate all advertising. I still think those people really just hate bad advertising, and don’t realize that they actually like good advertising (for example, the TV shows they download? They’re just “advertising” for other episodes of that TV show).”

You are really, really wrong.

– We don’t want advertising. Even the “good” advertising (what the fuck does that even mean?) Advertising is for weak-minded individuals that can’t apparently make a decision without being pushed the idea beforehand.

– We don’t want third party or second party unaffiliated content with our primary content. This includes buttons all over your webpage, third party tracking. I’m on your site or your show or playing your game because I have a sole interest in that media. Just because you made product X does not mean product Y is a good fit for me: That is my decision to make, not yours to push upon me.

As for this particular idea, I would just go with my normal, reliable Torrent feeds that already are RSS’d and have been for many years. They are reliable and they are out at most a few hours after East Coast air-dates.

I do buy Steam games. Steam is less hassle than piracy, its cost is affordable, its service is fantastic and adds value versus piracy.

Media however like movies and shows I’m a lost cause, I’ve already found my alternative source and I’m quite happy with it.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

– We don’t want advertising. Even the “good” advertising (what the fuck does that even mean?) Advertising is for weak-minded individuals that can’t apparently make a decision without being pushed the idea beforehand.

You read this site. This site is advertising for me.

That’s what I mean by good advertising. All content is advertising something. Good content is good advertising.

darryl says:

Re: Re: Re:

which is I guess, why you state that you make very little money of TD from advertising.

You are wrong, of course, its Good advertising creates good content.

Like TD without the advertising you would not have the content, and with more advertising you could afford to provide more content.

Or if your content was better you would get more money from advertising, and make money (profit).

So you will make statements based on your perception of how many people will read your statements as opposed to writing the truth and not make as much money.

This is called concensus driven news, or the tail wagging the dog.
You dont bother saying what is correct or the truth, but you base your statements on how much money you will make, facts are secondary to you.. as long as you get the page hits to pay for your lifestyle.

And at a absolute minimum cost of ‘content’ creation.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You are wrong, of course, its Good advertising creates good content.

Like TD without the advertising you would not have the content, and with more advertising you could afford to provide more content.

O rly? Maybe we’d see less articles due to the fact that Mike would have to split his focus with another job but no content? Because no art was ever produced without proper remuneration, right? Because all science was ever done was for the profit only, right?

If Mike gets enough page views to pay for his needs it’s because he puts effort in what he does and thus ppl keep coming and generating ad revenue with their eyeballs. So uh, you fail.

Joe Perry (profile) says:

Re: Re:

If you think that watching an ad forces the product on you, you are the weak-minded one. I am perfectly capable of making my own decisions, but I like to be informed before I make them. Ads are one of the ways you become informed. If I’ve never heard of a good product that fits me well then I don’t have the option of specifically researching it based on my interest. The ad allows me to hear about a product and make an informed decision on whether or not I want that product, it doesn’t lock me into a decision. You must seriously undervalue yourself if you avoid ads so you don’t get forced to buy things you don’t want.


Re: Re: Just a waste of my time...

An advertisement is just a waste of my time. In the case of something like Hulu, it also interferes with the normal flow of the screenplay. Ads are designed to be placed in certain locations or not at all (for films). If you insert them randomly then you interfere with the “artistic experience”.

For broadcast/cable, the amount of ads is considerable and in the aggregate means a lot of my time being completely wasted.

I would rather have more content.

Then again I’ve owned a PVR since the 90s and have a big DVD collection. I won’t tolerate unskippable commercials. They are like an unforgivable curse.

nasch (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Just a waste of my time...

In the case of something like Hulu, it also interferes with the normal flow of the screenplay. Ads are designed to be placed in certain locations or not at all (for films). If you insert them randomly then you interfere with the “artistic experience”.

Since when does Hulu insert ads at random points during the show?

Wes says:

Why comment?

You want to know what’s annoying? It’s not the ads. It’s not the crap TV shows. It’s the annoying morons who would comment on a story like this with, “Well, I for one certainly would not download shows, I don’t watch the inane drivel on TV so I don’t now and never will watch ads.”

Thank you so much! You are just the most enlightened freakin’ sons-of-guns I’ve ever heard of!

This is revolutionary. I have now canceled my FiOS. Thank you for saving me! Look, out the window, there’s people and trees and stuff out there. Who knew!

fake_name (profile) says:


If they released a standard format where I was not forced to use some player of theirs & I was able to get the show from them before or at the same time I could from piracy, yes. Otherwise why would I? Better quality from piracy. At this point the only thing that would get me to bother downloading from them is having it before I could pirate it. I might even use a restrictive player for that. Currently shows come out about 30 min to 1 hour after they air, I might rather wait than watch 1/3 commercials.

Karl (profile) says:


I’m a user who has fell in love with Hulu, so naturally I would gladly download from official channels if they had advertisements. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone.

The biggest problem I have with legitimate streaming sites like Hulu, is that they (at the behest of the content producers) do not stream shows in a useful way. There are always regional restrictions, windowing, etc.

It would be a LOT better if shows allowed free streams, as users want them, even if we have to put up with ads. Those ads will almost certainly be better than the idiotic bullshit people have to put up with merely to view e.g. The Pirate Bay’s front page. (Has anyone visited them recently? I did out of curiousity, and it’s a total horrorshow. It’s totally worth paying a couple of bucks per download just to avoid them.)

Furthermore, the public is used to dealing with this sort of inconvenience. Everyone who grew up on TV (which is pretty much everyone over 25) knows what’s up and why. It’s not even perceived as an inconvenience.

So, yeah, if this is what it costs to get rid of idiotic windowing, or the ridiculous amounts the studios give to Congress to stifle all our rights, then I’m all for it. Bring on the ads!

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Ads

A follow-up to that:

There’s been a lot of talk lately about the show Wilfred. I was totally on the fence about it. But then I realized that all the first season was on Hulu, so I would be able to watch it, make up my own mind, and subscribe if I wanted to.

Well, I did, I liked it, and I’m now subscribed. That wouldn’t have happened if they didn’t stream it – or if only a couple of episodes could be streamed. (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, take note – even though you’ve always been very good to us fans.)

So, Hulu and FX are getting ad money from me that they wouldn’t get if they’d locked it up or put it behind a paywall. And good for them – despite the fact that I’m watching ads that I wouldn’t have to if I pirated the show, I do not feel like I’m being taken advantage of in any way. They made the right choice, and I’m glad that show is getting a bit of money in exchange for my viewing pleasure.

adblock plus says:

Re: Re:Use Firefox with adblock plus

If you are using Internet Explorer to visit the pirate bay site, then you’re doin’ it wrong. Seriously, use Firefox with Adblock Plus and Flashblock, at the very least (and No Script if you don’t mind the annoyance of it).

These days there is no reason for you NOT to have control over advertising. White list the sites you trust, if you want to support them, but stop letting the websites decide for you.

And for the love of all that’s good in the world, don’t use Internet Explorer…ever.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:Use Firefox with adblock plus

Seriously, use Firefox with Adblock Plus and Flashblock, at the very least

I habitually use Chrome with AdBlock and Better Pop-up Blocker. Even with these in place, TPB is fucking annoying. I only visit that site whenever I want to debate trolls on here.

Perhaps there are “better” pirate sites, but to be frank, I’m not really interested. The stuff I like isn’t available on pirate sites anyway (because nobody else likes it enough to upload it).

Still, even your comment proves my general point. The pirate sites are annoying as hell, and generally unfriendly to users. The fact that users would rather get content from them, instead of official channels, speaks volumes about the horribleness of the official channels.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:Use Firefox with adblock plus

Still, even your comment proves my general point.

Sorry, I wasn’t clear. The fact that you even need pop-up blockers and other defenses against annoyances, proves my general point. If the pirate sites truly were “user-friendly,” this wouldn’t even be necessary.

The fact is, people flock to these sites because even with those annoyances, the product they’re getting is better than the official product.

And: If users are willing to go through the trouble of installing software just to get content, they will certainly be willing to put up with ads in the content, especially if they’re “intelligent” ads.

Nkari says:


No, intrusive Commercials where useful at the age of the TV..

I would however pay up to 5-10 dollars for a site with _all_ TV content on streamed, ad free. And every anual Quarter, the companys share the subscription fee based on unique IP adresses watching episode X of show X.. Pure % based..

Oh and it is WORLD WIDE.. not this region shit that everyone hates..

Alex Lorenzen (profile) says:

People are naive to think that without commercials that their favorite shows, news casts, etc. would be able support themselves and keep production alive.
Releasing a straight DivX rip with commercials embedded every 10mins would make it easy work for pirates. They would just strip out the commercials and republish the episodes hours if not minute later.

There would have to be SOME sort of DRM like a standalone media player or other enforcement safeguards in place.

Yet I HATE getting into a show just to be interrupted by commercials.

IDEALLY I would rather go uninterrupted by watch a pre-show 3 minute commercial.

Unfortunately people would use this time for a restroom break and get back without ever seeing a minute of the commercial. So some level of enforcement such as a questionnaire, etc. would have to precede the commercial(s).

In the end this would best benefit both the industry as well as the consumer. The benefit to the industry would be to have a more focused consumer whose eyes are glued to the ads in order to gain information needed for the preceding questionnaire, while giving the consumer a zero interruption experience.

DRM sucks, cable bills suck, Ads that ruin the users experience suck, etc. but their needs to be some sort of common ground here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Go to EZTV and watch the TV shows appear exactly one hour after being aired.

How is that any different?

You never encoded a TV stream did you?
It is automatic there is no problem with that, the majority of time spent on a pirate copy is to rip off the ads and that is today.
All the encoding is done on the fly in realtime.

So I doubt it would make more easier for the pirates, it is already dead simple unless you have a better way to rip off the ads.

A group of 10 translators working on 5 min parts can finish translating and checking in under 30 min for a 45 min TV show.

Naive are the people that believe DRM is going to stop anything, it will aggravate paying customers that is all it serves.

TV doesn’t have DRM it is free why should it be any different in the internet?

That is just crazy talk, put the ads in it and put it out without restrictions and people will watch it.

Start creating barriers and people will just flock to the alternatives and you will lose money.


Re: In truth, people are really lazy.

In truth, people are really lazy.

If the most convenient and easiest option is the one with the commercials, then that is the one they will choose. They will not go out of their way. They won’t go out of the way to avoid commercials because they already aren’t for the most part. The lack of adoption of Tivo was a nice demonstration of this. People are spoon fed a PVR from their cable provider and they still don’t really take full advantage of it.

Most people just want to sit and vegetate.

The industry is fixating on the wrong 10% of the market while ignoring the other 90.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I am one of those people who despise being advertised to. Absolutely despise it. Advertising, and particularly the egregious variety such as the bugs in the corners of the screen, is one of the primary reasons that I stopped watching broadcast and cable TV altogether.

Perhaps Mike is right, and I only hate bad advertising, but in that case I’ve never seen any good advertising. I just mention it to give context for this reply.

People are naive to think that without commercials that their favorite shows, news casts, etc. would be able support themselves and keep production alive.

Why can’t I simply pay and forgo the commercials? If the show is good, I am fully willing to pay real cash. And I do so through Netflix and DVD rentals.

If this is not economical, then I don’t care as I’m not watching the shows anyway.

There would have to be SOME sort of DRM like a standalone media player or other enforcement safeguards in place.

This is an even bigger deal-killer than advertising. Special media players universally suck. If I can’t watch it in my preferred media player, I don’t watch it.

DRM sucks, cable bills suck, Ads that ruin the users experience suck, etc. but their needs to be some sort of common ground here.

The common ground is easy: charge me. If the price is too high, I won’t buy it. In fact, that’s what advertising is — it’s just that for me, personally, the cost of putting up with ads is higher than the value I get out of the product, so I don’t buy using that currency.

Beyond that, there certainly doesn’t have to be any sort of common ground at all. Why should I have to compromise with the media companies? That makes no sense. It’s their job to accommodate me, not the other way around. I owe them nothing.

If the current crop of companies can’t do that, then let them go out of business. It’s not like they’re making anything of actual importance to myself or society at large, and they’ll certainly be replaced by new companies that can actually give me what I want at a price I’m willing to pay anyway.


Re: Nothing is going to stop it...

Nothing is going to stop it.

If you want to capture something and share it with a million of your closest friends, the tech is already out there. You simply don’t need any “help”. The only question now is what are the “little people” going to do. Are they going to be serviced by Big Content or are they going to be ignored long enough that they will catch onto what it takes to pirate.

The longer Big Content waits, the more likely they won’t have any customers left by the time they get their act together.

Chris Bird (user link) says:

advertisements in downloadable shows.

There are 2 obvious problems here. First is that there is a significant proportion of the population that just hates advertisements in general. The second is that advertising is generally placed in shows at time if creation and is potentially useless at time of consumption. So why bother with it? New product launches perhaps are sensible, but anything that is date/time sensitive is just a waste of time.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: advertisements in downloadable shows.

Agreed, but I’d see it as something of a stepping stone. If TV companies were to transfer their business tactics to online content, then work out better ways to monetise it rather than depend on ads, that might be better than them just diving headfirst into a new business model. Also, it’s not impossible for ads to be dynamically generated at the time of download/streaming rather than being hardcoded into the show.

Anonymous Coward says:

What is shocking is that over the air TV is already DRM free and free as in free beer, nobody pays to receive that signal and everybody can recorded. It has ZERO security.

Now somebody can explain to me why in the tubes should be any different?

People can already copy and distribute that crap, it is not like anybody bought a TV with DRM in it that would stop recording, besides a TV capture card or USB plug starts at $25, it makes you wonder what is so expensive about TV sets when you can put a TV receiver/recorder on a device the size of a lighter.

theskyrider (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Research ‘Fritz Chip’ or ‘CBDTPA’ The TV companies already tried to put DRM on their ‘HDTV’ at the point of recording.

Also research ‘Broadcast Flag’ and ‘Replay TV.’ They tried to get the FCC to issue a mandate that all technology that can record HDTV must abide by the rules. ‘COPY NEVER’ would be good for Presidential speeches…..

Anyways, the broadcast flag is probably embedded in tv tech by threat of lawsuit rather than law. There have already been several documented glitches, which means that somebody is getting ready to flip a switch.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trusted_Platform_Module (Fritz Chip)

Replay TV is the ReplayTV sued or the offerings from the crazy people under the brandname Catch-Up-TV?

Anyways if they could do it, they would have done it already, the fact that they didn’t, tells me that it is a pipe dream that will never come true, the technology to do that was there for at least 20 years, serious pushes have been made in the last ten and nothing came out of it, which is a shame I would love to see people not being able to record TV or radio and their reactions.

I have already moved on, if it is not CC commons and I can hear it globally from anywhere it doesn’t exist for me, how many others would fallow that path?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

There is the people from the open hardware movement too, I bet that plans for non-tampered hardware will be readilly available everywhere.

This push to protect things may be just the thing that the world needs to get a nudge in the direction of crowdsourcing production of hardware, which like the Pirate Bay will be resilient against monopolies.

Anonymous Coward says:

I would (depending on the amount of advertising – it would need to be fairly minimal).

I currently torrent all the tv shows I want to watch, but I’d be willing to choose ad supported downloads for the following reasons:
– the same high quality every time, guaranteed, so I never get poor quality
– no chance (as opposed to almost no chance) of falling afoul of the law, so I run no risk
– available for download at exactly the same time as the first broadcast anywhere in the world, so I don’t have to wait
– bundled with script-perfect subtitles, so I don’t have to find them myself
– torrent files available on a url I can bookmark, so I never have to search
– seeded by the production company, so I always get a fast download

Yes, I’d put up with some ads for those guaranteed benefits (they’re all also possible with illegal torrents, but never certain).

Anonymous Coward says:

To ad to my post above: if I were running a TV studio trying this idea I wouldn’t put ad breaks in between show segments, I would super-impose (short, silent, small, non-animated) ads on top of the actual show itself (banner or corner).

People would complain at first, but they would have literally no alternative (unless someone actually thought covering the ads with black rectangles was enough of an improvement over a logo to go to the trouble of doing it).

All copies, pirated or not, would be ad supported. Studios get revenue, consumers get fast, free, high quality, convenient tv online.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“People would complain at first, but they would have literally no alternative (unless someone actually thought covering the ads with black rectangles was enough of an improvement over a logo to go to the trouble of doing it).”

Actually it is, it stop the logo from the channel getting burned in on the expensive flat TV.


A lot of people complain about screen-burn-ins.

Frost (profile) says:

Ever hear of product placement? Ads are already in the content.

Any show you watch today is jam packed with ads! They just hide them a tad and incorporate them into the action. You have a series star driving a Well Known Hybrid going into town for some manufactured reason and then they use The Awesome Auto Parking Feature of the Well Known Hybrid showcasing the driver keeping her hand off the wheel while the logo on the wheel glitters alluringly at the viewer…

Advertising in the actual content is already there! The rest of the advertising is to maximize ad revenue and profits beyond the stealth near-subliminal program-the-viewers type advertising woven into the story itself.

Designerfx (profile) says:

the companies that want the ads make horrible ads

Of course people simply don’t want the bad ads.

However, guess who consistently has horrible ads? all of the network tv channels. I have yet to see good ads outside of adult swim’s entertaining ones or during the superbowl. I’m exaggerating a little but not much. We’re not just talking lack of relevance, we’re talking boring ads.

Hell, TV show ads sometimes are ads for shows on the same channel. Really, is that needed?

pete (profile) says:

why not just allow streaming?

Instead of creating a torrent and making people download it (with ads) why not just allow people from outside of the U.S. to watch the shows on the network’s website? The networks don’t have to split web-based advertising revenues with anyone on the creative side so they’d be getting a lot more views of the ads attached to the shows and cutting down on “piracy”. Plus they’d be increasing the popularity of the shows they produce and likely of DVD/BD sales in the future.

MBraedley (profile) says:

Yes, conditionally

I’ve been saying that this should be done for a while. While I have DVR included with my cable subscription, I’ve only used it during the summer for a daily show that I watch. During the regular TV season it sees much more action to squeeze an extra hour or so of TV viewing into the evening by allowing me to skip commercials.

So, the first condition would be that I should be able to skip the commercials on the free offering. In a similar vane, the video should be in a community supported format, the current de facto standard for 720p video being a Matroska video (.mkv) container, and should be DRM free so I can choose the video player to use.

The next thing that my DVR allows me to do is watch a show while it’s still recording, so my next condition is that the torrents be available for downloading when the show actually airs, or at the very latest, the next day. None of this 8 days later crap.

Do I think these conditions are very onerous? No. Will the lack of DRM allow pirates to take those videos and cut out the commercials? Yes, but by the time they get their torrent uploaded, it’s basically too late, as everyone else who doesn’t care about the commercials has gotten the official version already. I think this just makes sense.

charliebrown (profile) says:

Video On Demand: My Favourite Topic

This isn’t about shrinking markets. This is about expanding the current market. Network TV, syndication TV and DVD/BluRay sales will still exist. Video on demand is an additional market, not a market replacement. This is the point many people miss. (This is my point and I believe in it so much that before I hit “submit” I’m putting it at the start as well!)

I’ve posted about this at a few places. I’m starting to feel like a parrot who talks to deaf owners. Why? Because nobody who is in a position to do anything about it listens to me! If I had the money, I’d attempt this myself.

Look at this video here at YouTube:
It starts with a commercial, as some videos do now

Did you see what happened at the one minute mark? A commercial break! A loaded-separately commercial break! Now, if YouTube is able to do that, I think they have the perfect streaming-video-on-demand service.

There could easily be multiple levels of video like this available, not just from YouTube, but from everywhere. The cheapest level is “free” – video on demand, streaming or download, with advertisements built in. Yes, I hate ads as well, but not all ads are bad. However, with the ability to locate you via your IP address, they can select appropriate advertising for your area. A sign-up option could allow a user to select advertisements they may find interesting through optional user settings.

And then for the paid options, there could be the “cheap” version, with a small amount of advertising (say an ad or two before each show) in the download or stream, then the “expensive” version with no advertising.

There needs to be no digital rights management other than no ability to skip advertisements (is that possible in a download?) – maybe offer an “upgrade” version? Get it for free with ads and if the user likes it, paying for it will strip all advertising and related DRM from the file.

The files will need full portability: it will work on a PC, a tablet, an iPod, etc, with no additional payment needed. Pirate versions already offer this, why should a legitimate paid for copy remove a vital feature?

The tricky part is a combination of making the full catalogue of existing TV shows available to go with new shows. And, of course, music rights, the stumbling block that has made “The Wonder Years” not available on DVD. Quite frankly, in my opinion, the right to use a song in a TV show or movie should automatically mean the right to include it on a DVD or in a download or stream of a show.

As we move closer to computer based television viewing, the old television systems (PAL, NTSC and SECAM) can disappear. No more PAL speedup of 24 frames per second material. No more 2:3 pulldown. And why not have the original aspect ratio as well? A TV show made in 4:3 can be viewed on a 16:9 screen with either black bars down the side or the viewer’s graphics display can stratch it out however they see fit.

Of course, this will mean a new business model for the television industry. Make a show, play a show, sell it through syndication, yes (not everybody wants to cut their cable) but also be prepared to sell it to consumers via video on demand as well as on DVD, straight away. No delays. Some people don’t want to wait for three months past the current season for the DVD. This isn’t about shrinking markets. This is about expanding the current market. Network TV, syndication TV and DVD/BluRay sales will still exist. Video on demand is an additional market, not a market replacement. This is the point many people miss.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Video On Demand: My Favourite Topic

I know what you’re talking about, unfortunately nobody in the ‘industry’ cares. They just want to go back to 1998 and stay at that level of control forever and ever.

So sadly things are only going to get worse in this area, not better.
I say good riddance and fuck them. The sooner they die off the better.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Video On Demand: My Favourite Topic

“As we move closer to computer based television viewing, the old television systems (PAL, NTSC and SECAM) can disappear.”

You’ve accidentally hit on one of the major points here. At present, the industry is built around regional distribution. This made perfect sense when different formats meant that, say, a British VHS could not play on a US VCR and vice versa. Now that virtually all TV are capable of playing both formats, and PCs don’t care about the TV format, it should be possible to consolidate distribution and at least stream everything internationally if not sell DVD/Blu on top. The fact that the industry still clings to 1980s market realities speaks volumes.

btr1701 (profile) says:


> There are, certainly, a lot of people who insist they
> would never do that because they hate all advertising.
> I still think those people really just hate bad advertising,
> and don’t realize that they actually like good advertising
> (for example, the TV shows they download? They’re just
> “advertising” for other episodes of that TV show).

I guess if you define ‘advertising’ that broadly, then everything is advertising and the term kind of becomes meaningless. But even so, people will still hate whatever interrupts or takes them out of the story they’re currently enjoying.

So yes, maybe the episode I’m watching can technically be deemed ‘advertising’ for next week’s episode, but it’s also a dramatic story in its own right and the entire reason I’m spending time in front of the TV. To have that interrupted every five to eight minutes with blocks of video advertising *other* stuff is distracting and annoying because it interrupts the dramatic through-line of the show.

Anonymous Coward says:

Another Advertising Example

for example, the TV shows they download? They’re just “advertising” for other episodes of that TV show

OK, if that’s “advertising” then how about this: The meals your mother made for you? They were just “advertising” for other meals in the future.

Yeah, I guess EVERYTHING is advertising if you want to redefine it like that.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

A caveat about the ads, if you do pop over ads its all off.

People are tired of the channel bug in the corner. They know what station they are watching, they managed to find it do they need to be reminded again?

People really don’t a rats behind about whats coming up next, and really don’t need the bottom of the screen rolling up so we can see something promoting your new offering while detracting from what we are trying to watch.

Don’t try to find more ad chances in the show.
The 90 minute glee special is a great example.
The show ran 56-57 minutes.
The rest was ad space.

And you wonder why people download when you offer them “more” but give them alot less.

I bet you could even get some of those “brought to you ad free” deals for the shows. I’d put up with a 1 min commercial block for random unneeded product in my life front loaded or back loaded onto the show.
Then you could get a premium from the advertiser as they are the only ad impression in that show.

No DRM, no special players, no trying to kill this so then I have to buy the 14 different versions of DVD offering coming out.
Try adding behind the scenes and other cool things to the DVD offering rather than trying to release 2 episodes a disc to get as much as possible out of the show.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Here’s the rub – you wanted the high end, costly entertainment, and it has to be paid for somehow. There are only so many potential viewers for a show, and a hit like Glee isn’t suddenly going to add millions more viewers to raise ad rates. So instead, they have put more adds into the show.
57 minutes isn’t out of line, typical including credits and all is 22 minutes per half hour, 44 minutes per hour. 90 minutes would hit at 66, so they adding in 8 more ad spaces in 90 minutes (or about 1 per break).

If you (and everyone else) aren’t willing to pay for the content (by “watching” the ads), there is no money to pay for the programming. Every scheme and every system you find to get around the ads just shoots yourself in the foot. You keep making it harder and harder to make the content, and then bitch about the content. Amazing!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Well if nobody is willing to watch the ads you get what you have now people flocking to other alternatives, until you find a way to block that somehow which is unlikely in the near future, but even if that happens what do you think would happen?

People would just take it?

God knows I just turn the TV off, it has been years since the last time a turn it on, today I tried using the “free” legal streams from Fox, CBS, PBS and others just to have a go at it, when it was “Not Available in your country”, I couldn’t watch it, and when I could watch it it had the same focking ad over and over and over again it gets old pretty quick and turned me off to the whole experience.

Instead I was watching Annoying Orange 51. Jalape?o -starring James Caan the actor that is also Chairman of an Internet company called Openfilm and surprise I can watch that crap for free from anywhere in the world, where do you think my eyeballs are going to go?

The super over protected crap from TV stations that apparently don’t want me to watch their shows and content or to places where I can have a good time and don’t have to worry about that copyright crap you are so fond of?

Fock the TV studios, fock the movie studios, fock the labels, fockt he people who believe they need to protect that crap, they can all go to hell, I am going to watch more Annoying Oranges, The Guild, Spellfury, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog, Red State Update and others.

Webseries are just as fun as the other crap on TV these days and the great part, it is available everywhere, there are no DRM crapoula, region limitations crapoula or any other crapoula that those numskulls can imagine.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

How many more eyes on the show would Glee have if they provided a stream? “Piracy” is such a huge growing thing, one would expect that you could reach more viewers by offering a stream.

I have no problems with ads, I have problems with the shows being jumpy messes with the ads. I have problems with the self promotion of other shows in the middle of the action. I have problems with lots of screen bugs doing dances and drawing attention to themselves.

There is a way to offer a stream for a price, and that will reach that many more viewers.
The automatic response for the content providers will be to try and squeeze more out of it by stuffing more ads in, and this will just make people continue to find other sources.

As I pointed out I didn’t say no ads, I said better ads. Trying to use the “presented with minimal interruption” model they have used in the past.

There is a balance, but no one has the answer yet. Alot of that has to do with the content producers thinking the world is the same as it always was and nothing has changed. They are about to debut a tv at an electronics show that downloads torrents. I think the time to get ahead of this has passed, and rather than kicking and screaming they need to start moving forward to catch up with the reality of people want to watch content where, when and how they want.


Re: Re: You gotta be kidding me...

High end costly entertainment? Surely you are not talking about GLEE of all things? That’s gotta be the cheapest crap on television short of a reality show.

Apologists such as yourself will only ensure that this nonsense gets worse as your corporate overlords simply have no reason to treat the audience in a civilized manner.

cconsaul (profile) says:

I got nothing against commercials

Way back in the day, when the TV corps (Ironic how that sounds) used to gnash their teeth and wail over the fact that we were actually recording our favorite shows on VCRs, we used to leave the commercials in all the time. It was kind of like a time capsule of bad taste and we could always fast forward them if they were too stupid. Why would anyone object to anyone doing the same thing that they used to fight tooth and nail against, if only to get their viewer base back? Silly silly tv companies!

Anonymous Coward says:

Part of the problem with ads and commercials is that it has been shoved on the viewer until the shows are the excuse to serve you ads.

At the start of satellite reception, when everyone had those big dishes in the yards, there were no ads. At best there was a space there for an ad but it was blank space. After that delay to allow local stations to insert their own commercials it would go back to regular broadcast.

Then came the cable broadcasters who got you to pay for the viewing. For a while they didn’t have ads either.

Then they went to double dipping with getting paid for running commercials and getting the viewer to pay for the broadcast. Triple dip came with the insertion of placed products in the show.

Like everyone else I got fed up with the commercial. I hate one with a passion. I didn’t realize just how bad I hated them till I started doing without the tv.

I’m not telling you run go cut your cable. If that don’t work for you, that’s alright with me. I don’t foot your bills.

Todd Stevens says:

I download all my tv shows because i don’t have a dvdr or tivo. I am never home when they come on tv. i used to download past season instead of buying dvd’s because I could get 7 seasons without the extra crap and overly expensive box sets. Plus, the dvd take up a lot of space I don’t have. I can fit 50 plus different seasons on a compact external hard drive. I said i used to do this, because I found out netflix has the most common shows back seasons I watch. So, instead I now just hit play on netflix. personally, i would rather pay the 10 bucks a month to have a place like netflix store the files for me so I don’t have to worry about downloading and storing for later watching. My only wish is that they roll out for the Wii what they rolled out on the netflix website for kids. it rocks. I would get a Wii & kids account (so I could setup seperate filtering of shows) if they did that for us.

Blatant Coward (profile) says:

I don’t torrent due to the job I have now and the one I had previously. One of those jobs where accusation is enough to convict things.
So I netflix all my needs, that suits me fine. I would love legal torrents with/without ads. My schedule is weird and with other issues, some months I watch no TV some months I have lots of hours open. With STARZ bailing out of Netflix though that has me bummed. Either way I am not getting back on cable, I do not need 400 hours of QVC crap for every hour offered of actual show.

Dr. Jackal (user link) says:

Ad rates not enough

I think much of the hesitancy here has to do with the reality that ad rates for anything on the Internet do not approach those on television. I say this not totally knowing the truth, but everyone on the interwebs seems to suggest this. Second, no method for definitively measuring actual viewership of this torrent exists at the moment, and I am not sure the networks could force use to use such server. Bittorrent has some interesting legal issues, since the network allows other nodes to redistribute the same content, I am not sure they can enforce any sort of reporting back to the main servers. Additionally, this information could get faked.

Perhaps creating some sort of media container format where a proof of viewing allows the network to distribute some sort of personalized key to decode the next part of the video in exchange for an ad. Still, the real value here would result form personalized viewing of ads. Ad buyer’s attitudes need to shift away from this imbalance. If TV rates fall and Internet video rates rise to near equal, perhaps even plus some premium to account for fees the networks get from cable providers, then a viable system may exist.

R says:

I’d definitely download them. Most people just go for the most authoritative source, esp. if it’s the first to be released. But they’d never do it – there’s no accurate way to measure the number of people downloading it if you’re using torrents. But putting that aside, they can’t let go of their need for control. Release a simple avi/mp4/mkv without DRM? Absolute madness – people might skip over the ads! Never mind that adding DRM would defeat the point of releasing them in an unencumbered format to being with…
Then there’s the whole region coding debate…

Robothustra (profile) says:

I’d totally do it but I think we’d need a total system overhaul in order to pull it off. There are too many restrictions in place that would prevent this from happening the way it needs to happen to not piss off viewers. Also, as soon as they tried to charge me money for it I’d go back to not caring about the authorized versions and watching whatever I want for free.

You don’t even have to illegally download stuff anymore to watch for free. There are streaming sites all over the world where one can find unauthorized content (and you don’t even have to look that hard to find what you want to watch). Sure, sometimes the quality suffers – but it’s the content I’m interested in. It’s the same reason why microcinema has become so popular. There were many who said microcinema would never catch on because viewers wouldn’t put up with the crappy quality, but clearly they were proven wrong.

Anonymous Coward says:

Anonymous Coward in post 118 has the idea.

Look at this thread. The majority will either ‘put up with ads’ or will do without them, no matter how the industry thinks it can control viewership.

The industry is already at the losing end of the battle when it’s viewers revolt. That’s exactly what’s going on.

Those that see the ‘but piracy’ as the only answer will lose this one. It’s not about willingness to view ads, it’s about a viewership fed up with the BS. Double and triple dipping incomes for the commercial end is great until the viewership has had enough.

It appears the majority here as a random sampling of responce has had enough of it. The industry will never be able to force the viewership to accept that.

Now back to post 118. He states in this that everyone is going to producing their own music, 3D models, and artwork. For my part, it’s what I do with some of that time I’ve gained from not having tv. I learned something of value to me, at the cost of giving something up of little value to me.

Here is an example of that type of art that really has my attention.


I can’t get that sort of material on tv. I can get it on the net.

Here’s an example of my work where I’ve modeled some stuff to add into the image.


While it isn’t what I would consider up to par for professional work, still I enjoyed the time it took to create this image.

I got that time because I no longer put up with TV as the industry wants it consumed. I can’t stand TV as it is today. I’d rather be doing something like the above than playing couch potato.

Ninja (profile) says:

I’d pay for ad-free experience. Stop and notice how much you are bombarded with advertisements everyday. My brain has learned to ignore all advertisement anywhere to the point that I’ll remember a determined ad if it’s funny or interesting but I’ll completely erase the brand (who is selling).

But notice, for the ad-free experience it’d have to be an all-you-can-eat solution. Much like Netflix for movies.

Brian says:


I would personally have mixed feelings, I for one am tired of the same Viagra commercial I see single time its time for a commercial, if you sit and watch TV for 4-6 hours you’ve seen the same 8-15 commercials almost 100times. There are no commercials that pertain to me personally. So yes I will pirate certain shows without the commercials and gladly watch a full hour show in 40mins. If I have to watch actual tv for say castle, bluebloods or rookieblue I will mute the sound or DVR past it if I had the foresight to pre-record.

Chris Brown says:

I would rather pay a subscription fee to watch a certain network’s TV shows, than to watch advertisement. One of the main reasons I don’t like ads on TV is that I don’t like being interrupted with product placement every fifteen minutes. You’re right about not liking bad commercials, but I would prefer to just not have them at all. They are intrusive and annoying, and often serve as little more than a means to continue bad stereotypes and cliches.

Squall says:

I’d happily download ad-powered official torrents. It’s how I fund most of my Android apps, and I’d be happy to fund TV shows in a similar fashion. I have no problem with advertising per se, it’s essential to our current worldwide economic model.

However what I do always have a problem with, and this is a small but constant annoyance, is volume levelling. Sick of having to turn the volume down every ad break because they think it’s going to grab my attention more if the commercial’s three times the volume of the show it’s cutting in to. No advertisers, that just makes me hit mute and go make coffee.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I would be great if Netflix or Hulu or whatever would have an offering where people could watch video commercials and accrue credits or points towards their account for every one watched. With enough points they could then watch something for free.

This is one of those business models that content providers need to try out. The ultimate test is whether people actually end up watching the ads.

Not saying it’s a bad idea… I’m saying it’s an idea that needs to be tried out.

Pity that content producers likely won’t allow this sort of business model to exist. Nobody knows for sure, but it could’ve been a good one.

darryl says:

We all pay for ALL advertising anyway !!

you get advertising with google content.

You get advertising with TV content.

You get advertising with Techdirt content.
You constantly get advertising that you did not “pay for” or get “paid for” all the time.

But you most certainly PAY FOR that advertising regardless of whether you use the advertised product or not.

I see at the bottom of this very page and advertisment

Pay TV from AUSTAR

AUSTAR would have had to pay google some money for google to post that add, that money means that AUSTAR product is more expensive. So if I used AUSTAR but did not do so because of the add at the bottom of this page. Then some of my AUSTAR bill goes to advertising.

Or my milkman might use AUSTAR and he is charged more, so he has to change me more for my milk.

Why do you think a TV station would broadcast programs if there was no advertising ?
Just because they felt like it ? or because it is a ‘nice’ thing to do ?

Who then pays the electricity, and the wages and for the production of the shows ?

They put on the best shows possible to gain the highest ratings, that means they get a large number of viewers watching and therefore they can charge the companies who want to advertise more money for a better service.

Without that money, there is no revinue stream for them to continue, that revinue stream is derived from advertising.

That advertising is paid for by the consumers of the products advertised, and therefore the entire community.

You pay for those adds on TV regardless of if you watch that add or not and regardless of if you use that product or not. The cost of ALL products are inflated by advertising.

But that advertising goes back to the production of shows and movies that will get the most people watching it.
So the benifit of advertising is higher quality content, and content that would not exist without advertising.

Anonymous Coward says:

Hell No

I do not participate in the culture of advertising, which is why I prefer torrents.

I refuse to waste precious life watching corporate propaganda lying to me to induce me to spend money I don’t have on things I don’t need.

Advertising is cultural effluent. Bin it. Use AdBlock and refuse to view media with advertising. When nobody responds to the lies and the junk then it will go away, and we will all be better off because of it.

another mike (profile) says:

TV commercial breaks? pass

If they’re quick like Hulu ads I’d jump on it but if they’re padding out a short show with long commercial breaks then, no, it’s not worth it.
When I cut the cord and started watching everything on Hulu, my TV viewing actually went up! Because they weren’t padding out 45 minutes of show into an hour time slot my viewing went up by a third. I could watch four episodes in the time it used to take to watch just three.
So, again, streaming free with ads from an official source that doesn’t waste my time? Please, the sooner the better, more, more, more. Try to return to the glory days of broadcast? I’ve got better things to do, like watch your show.

Anidem says:

Tv needs a reboot of it's ad model.

A theme mentioned was that people do not mind good advertising. While that may be true to an extent, I do not think it applies here.

Advertising proved a useful tool for giving the mind/body a bit of a rest from programing. In today’s world, the pause button does that for you. The effectiveness of that model is broken as it is no longer necessary to take a break on the programs schedule instead of yours.

A step backwards in time to when programs were commonly sponsor by a single advertiser might be the best approach.

Single sponsor on-demand viewing with frequently mentioned product placement could achieve a measure of targeted marketing efficiency necessary to make transition from TV to on-demand viewing while the genre is still in the growth stage.

Once this starts to take root the marketing departments could start to make a whole new web of connections and crossover marketing based on how on-demand viewing grows naturally. Not by force feeding a new technology into an old revenue model.

Sometimes it takes a step back to make 2 steps forward. The media overlords seem to refuse to even acknowledge this in regards to it’s licensed properties. Let alone figure out how to make this all work.

hodonkain says:

If TV Companies Released Authorized Torrents With Ads, Would People Download Them?

I play video games through Steam and it has advertisements for other games that pop up after you are finished playing a game. I really don’t mind, and I take the time to look through them. As far as Television goes, the commercials generally aren’t showing you the latest prices for an object or telling you if it happens to be going on sale. usually.
For me, I use to set my VCR to record and walk away and watch the show when I have the time. Yes, I fast forward through 99% of the commercials. If the show itself is a form of advertising, then let it be the main source. If I can’t see a show without commercials, then I won’t watch it at all. And the number of viewers drops. Commercials kill it. People remove the commercials for a reason. No one wants to be constantly interrupted while trying to watch something that keeps their interest. I’d admit, like “Steam”, it wouldn’t be that bad if the commercials were targeted towards me or even shorter or less of them.-then I wouldn’t mind.

the guy sick of greedy gold diggers ruining my ent says:

Simply put hell no this is exactly why we stopped supporting on demand shows and movies and as long as there are ads we can’t skip over for free we will not support it in any manner! The tv and film people need to get their greedy capitalistic ideals outta here we the people don’t want this crap and will never feed this as long as ads exist in it most of us will stick to free torrent sharing sites and wont support the greed at all!

Mike says:

NO I hate Commercials, are reason I torrent or stream!

Honestly no truth is commercials being forced on us on demand with cable is one the main reasons I have watched majority of my shows via torrents for past few years. I have zero patience or tolerance for all the stupid annoying commercials they straight up annoy me and i find it quite depressing humans are stupid enough to fall for such antics. So No i support torrents because they are commercial free. The only way I will support is commercial free availability period. I pay for disney+ cause I get no commercials for example. I will never watch any shows with annoying commercial bullshit i have a zero tolerance for them. Now will i pay for a streaming service shows to watch with no commercials yes I do so for Disney+ and plan to do so for dc universe and CW as well and possibly CBS once all the star treks are up and life goes back to normal and can afford to again lol. But the key for me is that there are zero commercials or I won’t pay nor support them period end of story I hate commercialization with a passion.

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