Finally, more ads in online programming


Finally, a full slate of commercials in online shows.  This is where we’re headed.  People will moan and groan.  Purists will damn the defiling of their online sanctuary.  But, c’mon, why should we get to watch commercial-free (or -light) programming online?  The delivery mechanism doesn’t change the basic content, so why should the price (paid with my attention to advertising) go down by a quarter, or half, or all the way to free?

Think about this way:  The folks at Pfizer spend billions failing to cure illnesses, and billions more getting it right.  I want the medicine, I pay for it.  I don’t get a 75% discount to take the medicine from a spoon instead of a pill.

The delivery mechanism isn’t the issue.   It’s about all the money spent to develop something that works.

The folks at CBS wasted tons of dough making a bunch of lousy programs, but they also produced Two and a Half Men.  I want the content, I pay for it.

Again, the delivery mechanism isn’t the issue.  It’s about all the money spent to develop something that works.

If we could get medicine for free there wouldn’t be any medicine because nobody could afford to invent, produce and distribute it.

Same thing for content.  “We spend billions of dollars buying and making these programs. And if we give this stuff to consumers for free with limited ads, it’ll go away,” says Andy Heller, vice chairman of Time Warner’s Turner Broadcasting, in this WSJ article.

Over time, I believe we’ll pay for content in ways that differ from just watching 30-second spots.  We’ll get more involved with the advertising, because on the internet we can get more involved.  Maybe we’ll get more involved with fewer, more meaningful (relevant to our own needs and interests) brands.  But one way or the other, we’re going to pay for good content.  As well we should.