So, as the ad industry continues to talk about how the consumer is in control, they also spend a great deal of time trying to figure how to take away that control from them. How's this for a quote:

"At the end of the day, there's very little difference between what a DVR and VOD allows you to do. . .there's overlap between them, but [a DVR] allows you a lot more control as a viewer."

So networks want to push VOD over DVR's because DVR gives a lot more control to the consumer? Yep, that certainly sounds like we're putting the consumer first, eh? When you add the fact that many networks now take up 20% - 25% of the screen to hype a show other then the one you're watching -- now complete with sound & motion -- and I start to think that maybe the ad industry doesn't really believe this "consumer in control" thing.

Now, I do believe that there is a value equation here, but I also think it's changing. Before cable, when we really didn't pay for TV, we excepted commercials as the payment for getting our shows. With cable, that equation changed. After all, we are paying now to get the cable and those channels. But, we tolerate commercials anyway. And it seems that we'll watch commercials in exchange for more freedom to watch shows when we want. Right now, that might still be an acceptable value exchange for consumers, but we'll see how long that lasts.

Of course, there's no mention of creating better commercials that people actually want to watch. And that's the challenge with any ad that's delivered without consumer control. As long as they don't have any choice, we don't really worry much about the content.

I wonder what would happen if agencies got paid based on the Nielsen ratings for their commercials. If most people skip your commercial, you don't get paid. If it draws big numbers, you get paid a lot. Betcha' that would change the industry a lot.

In the meantime, let's stop pretending the consumers in control. Because really, that's not how we treat them.

TV networks are scrambling to come up with a way to force viewers to sit through commercials.

If they had their way, you'd never be able to fast forward through an ad again.

Right now, their best bet for keeping viewer eyeballs glued to those all-important cash cow ads is to supplant DVRs -- a paid service-- with fast forward-disabled video on demand (VOD), which is included in your cable bill. Believe it or not, networks are actually finding that viewers are more than happy to put up with commercials if it means being able to watch shows whenever they want and not having to pay extra to do so.

Not so fast -

Image source: chapendra

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