Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Don't Bug Me

Michael Learmonth over at Silicon Alley comments on a NY Times article about how NBC is seeking to get advertisers to sponsor entire shows, as they did in the early days of television. It's an attempt to help bypass the impact of TiVo-like ad skipping.

While the expectation is that sponsors will have some input into the show, I think the ultimate model is a bit less.... participative.

Expect to see TV shows broadcast with corporate logo "bugs" included. You know, those little icons in the bottom corner of the screen that are somewhat intrusive but usually bad only when they cover something you want to see. One or more sponsors could purchase a certain amount of bug time during the show. It might not stop piracy, but it would mean TiVo viewers can't completely avoid the messaging.

What's more, with the advertisement now firmly attached to the video--sort of a cross between a product placement and an ad--the networks may be able to grab more coin from sponsors, as the ad would travel with the video wherever it was syndicated (cable, TV, web, even reruns).

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