Who’s Paying for This Awesome Content?

My kids watch a few hours of TV each week. Most of the time its a movie or show on Netflix, viewed on our flatscreen TV using the Roku box. One awesome benefit of watching Phineas and Ferb on Netflix – no commercials! Yippee! Wait a minute, they just raised my Netflix bill. What’s that about? Oh, no commercials means they have to charge the viewer more. I see. Any chance you could reduce my bill – maybe even eliminate it – by showing me a few commercials? Heck, I’ll even fill out a general survey so that you show me ads I WANT to see. Maybe I’m a freak, but I’d rather see an ad than pay the tab for content.

Here is a great discussion from Streaming Media East 2011 with Andrew Kippen (VP Marketing) from Boxee and Hans Deutmeyer (VP HBO GO) from HBO having a spirited discussion: http://bcove.me/9y1u70jf. Awesome stuff. Andrew points a finger at HBO, insinuating that HBO doesn’t care about the viewer who chooses to avoid cable bills by “cutting the cord”. Because HBO will not allow their content to appear “off cable” in Netflix or other online services, a person must subscribe to cable first in order to have the ability to subscribe to HBO. Its a good debate, but I have to admit it kills me to pay the cable bill every month. I don’t subscribe to HBO because I won’t fork over the money every month. The only reason I pay the cable bill is for news and sports. My kids don’t watch cable often (other than an the occasional program we’ve DVR’d), and my wife watches programming you can get on Hulu.

As soon as I can get my news and sports online – I’m officially cutting the cord! Why? I don’t want to pay for content. I don’t feel I’m alone in that I say “SHOW ME THE ADS” and don’t charge me a nickel! Now, don’t get me wrong – I CAN’T STAND WATCHING PROGRAMMING THAT HAS TOO MANY ADS! How can we remedy that? Maybe show me more relevant advertising based on information I want to share (such as city, state, age, gender, hobbies, favorite foods, shopping habits, etc). I mean, heck, I would much rather see an ad for a cool, new tent at REI than an ad for a retirement community. I’ll watch the ads and I might even buy the product. Can’t we work out a win-win where I don’t have to pay for the content, but am not subjected to too many ads? There has to be a compromise out there somewhere.

My recommendation to Netflix: show me some ads and stop raising my bill.

One funny note. My kids very rarely see ads on “TV”, primarily because they’re watching Phineas and Ferb on Netflix most of the time. When they do see an ad – OH BOY! – they bite hook, line and sinker. My 6 year old daughter ran through the house looking for me a few days ago, so full of excitement. Best Western was offering a deal that if you stay for two nights, the third night was free! She could hardly contain herself. The sheer excitement in the voice-over was more than she could handle. She had to share this amazing offer with me, and made me promise to look into in and let her know if we could stay at a Best Western soon to take advantage of this amazing offer. Same thing happened last week with a cleaning product. My daughter dragged my wife to the television to show her this amazing new cleaning product. The announcer was so excited, it had to be simply amazing.

Point? Maybe too many ads make us tune-out. Show us relevant, less-frequent ads and maybe I’ll go running through the house too. “Honey, you won’t believe it! They just came out with a golf ball that corrects for a slice! I’ll be right back! They’re having a sale this weekend and I don’t want to miss out!”

Posted by Chuck Ebbets   @   27 July 2011

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