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Färre annonser, nöjdare kunder del 2: i TV

En och annan här i Sverige försöker inbilla sig att tittarna gillar att TV 4 numera bryter programmen med reklam. Men om tittarna får möjlighet att välja – vad händer då?

David Pogue skriver i New York Times om entusiasmen hos dem som använder de nya digitala videobandspelarna, som jag skrev om i juni ("Nu blir det ingen reklamfilm"):
Imagine a magic box that gives you an extra half–hour of free time every day. Imagine that it could also shift any TV show so that it comes on just as you sit down to watch. Imagine a gizmo so amazing that everyone who bought it turned into an evangelical fanatic, extolling its virtues to anyone within earshot. Such a machine exists, and it`s called a digital video recorder.
Den extra halvtimmen tjänas alltså in på att man slipper se annonserna:
You just can`t overstate how great that ad–skipping is (unless of course you work for a TV network).
Neil McManus, också i NYT, sparar betydligt mer än en halvtimme om dagen:
You may never sit through another commercial. (…) Recently, ABC filled three hours with the James Bond film "From Russia With Love," a 115–minute movie. My wife and I skipped 65 minutes of commercials. On another night, we watched six half–hour sitcoms in about two hours. (…) we`re giddy with power.
En DVR har förstås flera andra fördelar:
You can pause a live broadcast, rewind to something you have just been watching, put live TV into slow motion, jump back seven seconds to replay a line of mumbled dialogue, find out how far you are into the broadcast and so on. (…)

Furthermore, a DVR`s built–in modem silently downloads the next two weeks` program listings during the wee hours each night, via a toll–free call. As you scroll through these listings, one press of the Record button schedules a future show for recording. With an additional button press, you can tell the DVR that you want to record every episode of, say, "American Idol," all season long. The astonishing part is that you`ll never care what time or channel a show is on. The DVR rarely misses, even if the network fiddles with its broadcast schedule.

Later, when you fall to the couch, you call up a tidy list of everything your DVR has recorded, ready for playback. This is a killer feature, no matter whether you`re a heavy or very light TV watcher: it means that your TV never shows anything but good stuff. DVR owners never have to channel–scan; life`s too short. (Pogue)
Många funktioner, men klarar man av att använda dem? Ja, säger NY Times. En DVR är mycket enklare att sköta än de gamla videobandspelarna:
In many respects, the TiVo (www.tivo .com) and ReplayTV (www.replaytv.com) are practically identical. Both offer vast arrays of features cleverly organized into simple onscreen displays, exhibiting a religion of design simplicity that Microsoft would do well to study. (Pogue igen)
Med rätt mjukvara kan din dator också bli en DVR. McManus har provat. PC–baserade system har dock (som man kunde vänta sig) satsat på fler specialfunktioner snarare än användbarhet och enkel design. Ett system kan läsa text som förekommer i tv–bilden, och reagera när ett förvalt ord förekommer:
The ATI system offers a glimpse of what is possible with its word–match feature, which lets you enter words for it to monitor. (…) As a test, I entered the word "Sosa" and minimized the program during a Chicago Cubs game. Sure enough, the TV window opened up every time the announcer mentioned Sammy Sosa. This let me catch every one of his at–bats while I worked on my PC
Pogue skriver också om TV–branschens motattacker. Om DV–spelarna blir mer populära måste något gå: antingen möjligheten att hoppa över annonserna, eler hela den ekonomiska modellen för TV–branschen.

Idag har branschen stämt DVR–tillverkarna. Men är det bara en taktik på kort sikt. Det är svårt att stoppa teknik, särskilt som den inte är beroende av en tillverkare utan kan byggas av enkilda program i en dator.

På längre sikt har de fler val, menar Pogue: "…and some of them are scary."

Först att på olika sätt "lura" DV–spelarna att inte känna igen annonsformaten. Förmodligen föga långsiktigt även det.

Annars att bädda in reklamen i programmen – "an extremely icky scenario". TV 4:s meteorolog säger "…imorgon blir det 28 grader varmt på Gotland – perfekt läge för en iskall Coca–Cola!"

Eller går det att göra annonser som folk verkligen vill se? Kanske.
On the TiVo remote control, there’s no 30–second jump button—only a fast–forward button. TiVo executives have discovered that if you’re blowing through some commercial that looks kind of cool, you may still stop to view it at normal speed. They’re right: I do that all the time on my TiVo.

If the advertisers took it upon themselves to make their commercials irresistible—better than the shows, even—viewers would want to see them, no matter what ad–skipping features were available. (…) This is the ultimate win–win.
Men, å andra sidan, varför inte betala för TV? Helt reklamfria kanaler, som HBO i USA, kostar sådär 10 dollar i månaden. Kanske minibetalningar för just de program man vill se?
There may be something in between: a $2–per–month–per–channel plan in which we’d all get ad–free shows—and we’d keep our monthly bills reasonable by signing up for exactly the channels we liked. (I suspect this will occur over the cable companies’ dead bodies.)
En rapport häromdagen från Online Publishers Association menar faktiskt att internet–användare nu är mer villiga att betala för vad de får – även om nischen ännu är ganska liten.
More Internet users are showing a willingness to pay for content online — subscribing to news sites, for example, or paying fees to send e–greeting cards — suggesting a shift in consumers` expectations that online services should be free. (…)

The survey found that 12.4 million Americans paid for some type of content in the first quarter of this year, compared with 7 million in the first quarter of 2001. The survey did not include payments made to pornography sites.

A big chunk of the spending accrued to business and financial news sites, which in 2001 racked up $214.3 million in revenue from selling content, mainly through monthly and annual subscriptions. (…)

Several other prominent media companies have recently introduced for–pay packages on their Web sites. ABC.com said yesterday that it would begin charging $4.95 a month for "ABC News On Demand," which includes news clips and day–after replays of "World News Tonight" and "Nightline," as well as 30 days of the programs` archives. CNN.com began charging for access to video on its site earlier this year.
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07 aug 2002

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