Posted January 30, 2009 3:29 pm by with 14 comments

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AdAge reports that has started research to prove that online viewers will tolerate seeing multiple advertisements when watching popular shows like Grey’s Anatomy (funny, I can’t even tolerate that show.) So in other words, they can serve up ads similar to the way you would watch it on TV, and viewers will be fine with it as long as they get to watch their favorite shows.

I really don’t see how this could be true. Wouldn’t it just further encourage fans to use their DVR or to download the shows elsewhere (illegally or legally—i.e., iTunes). When you watch the shows on ABC’s website, you’re unable to fast forward through the ads. There is so much technology at our fingertips, that it gives viewers so many alternatives then sitting through a forced-commercial version of the show.

ABC said the data show that doubling the number of ads within a show from four to eight “did not affect the viewers’ overall experience with the player.”

I honestly can’t believe that’s accurate. If someone told you that you were going to go from a 30 second commercial to two minutes’ worth, I have to believe it would have some type of effect on the viewers’ overall experience. How could it not?

Does ABC’s increase of commercial advertisements ruin or even affect your overall experience? Is this a good move for ABC?

  • Jordan McCollum

    Then again, why not encourage (legal) downloads? They make money off those, too—though probably not as much as they do through advertising.

  • Two minutes of ads will give you time to use the restroom without hitting pause :.)

  •’s video experience leaves a lot to be desired. I watched the premiere of LOST last week, and not only was it annoying to see the same ad replayed multiple times, but I had to manually click a button to resume the show after each commercial finished.

  • The abc media is teaching English courses for people who are lack in English like me.

  • Fas

    Cant agree more with you, i have noticed that youtube also has started to give double the ads of late but no option we have there.

    Fas’s last blog post..9 THINGS I HATE ABOUT PEOPLE

  • I don’t buy into ABC’s claim at all. I personally hate having to sit through the same ad more than once and click to continue watching a show. I would much rather pay for the show via iTunes or download it from a Torrent if that is easier.

    ABC is kidding themselves if they think jamming ads into online content is going to work. Online isn’t the same as broadcast. Until they start to understand that they are going to upset a lot of viewers on their site.

    Jay Kerr’s last blog post..How To Edit A Scene

  • Last year – showed about 4 commercials during a 1 hour long program (actually they become like 42minutes because of the lack of tv commercials.) If you ran adblock plus – you watched it commercial free.

    This year we noticed that the number of breaks increased , but it is still one 30 second commercial each time. The more annoying thing about it – is not that they are there, but that if you are watching full screen, then it will take it out of full screen, play the commercial (which are often longer than 30 seconds, you just have to wait 30 seconds to play the show again), then click play again to resume the show full screen.

    These 30 second breaks would be far less intrusive if they just played 30 seconds of commercials without taking it out of full screen.

    In the end – its still faster and less commercials than there are on tv.

    We try to record stuff and watch it with the DVR, but sometimes you forget to record something…

    matt’s last blog post..Even Small Locations Require Quality Outdoor Lights

  • Does anyone else get the impression they’re just BSing to put more adverts on their programs?
    I hate how many adverts there are as it is, adding more will make it terrible!

  • I think that their research is probably quite accurate but may only, for now, be relevant to network originated content. The reason has to do with our conditioning. We’re conditioned by a lifetime of TV viewing to expect advertising. We have a basic understanding that there’s no such thing as a free lunch and the quid pro quo for free (legal) entertainment is advertising. I’m sure there were many who believed that 4 ads would be intolerable to viewers and yet it appears to be acceptable to their audience (caveat: I have no way of knowing what the ROI situation is for ABC and other networks with respect to internet accessible content).

    The thing I’ve noticed about their ads is that they’re relatively short (20-30 seconds) compared to the 3 + minutes you may have to sit through on broadcast TV. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of variety or rotation (i.e., one advertiser playing the same or a variation of the same ad) and I don’t know if this is their strategy or because advertisers aren’t flocking to the medium.

    With respect to your DVR comment, I don’t TIVO. I get my dvr from comcast and it’s limitation is that I have to either fast forward through the ads or I can advance in 30 sec intervals. Invariably I go too far and have to rewind. Add to this DVR limitations (can only record 2 shows simultaneously) and timeshifting and the fact is that by the time I get through avoiding the ads I’ve spent more than 20-30 seconds and endured a bit of frustration as well. If the networks maintain there current focus on short ads I think it’s a tradeoff most will accept.

    Right now it is a situation I’ll tolerate but I’m an old Boomer and can’t speak to the tolerance level of later gens, particularly the millennials who are as likely to be creating their own content as watching someone elses.

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  • I think viewers will tolerate ads in videos much more especially if it is a video that they really want to see

    Donny Gamble’s last blog post..Post Office Sunday

  • I personally hate the commercials. I typically will just turn it off when they pop up.

  • Nina

    When I watch TV programs on, I leave the computer when the commercials start. It they weren’t there that’s would be better, but it’s fine this way. There is always something I can do at home; get a drink, go to the bathroom, do a small chore. I actually appreciate having the program wait for me to press the button to start it up when I’m ready.

  • Flexibility while watching TV for watching ads during commercial breaks… great idea but I am doubtful about its success, all the best!

  • I definitely don’t mind watching the one 30 second ad they usually have spread throughout the span of the show, but I definitely wouldn’t want it to be the same as on TV. Now that I have TIVO, I can record my shows without having to watch them online and fast-forward through the commercials. So that’d be quite annoying to deal with more than 30 seconds. Then again, I still get to watch my TV show, so the ads won’t ruin my day.