IBM to shove ads onto DVDs
IBM hopes to slip commercials onto your DVDs. Big Blue has asked the US Patent Office for the exclusive rights to a "system and method of providing advertisements during DVD playback."
If this thing ever shows up in your DVD player, your discs won't be ad-free - unless you shell out some cash for some sort of digital certificate.
"Whenever a DVD is to be played, a certificate is consulted to determine whether the content of the DVD should be played with or without commercial interruptions," the patent reads. "If the certificates provide for commercial interruptions, then commercials can be obtained from an online service that renders commercials on demand, or from the DVD itself."
And, yes, those commercials would be littered throughout the DVD - television-style.
Big Blue argues that DVDs "may be a great source of advertising revenues that are not being tapped" and that "revenues from DVD advertising may contribute to the reduction in cost of the DVDs". Presumably, an ad-laden DVD would cost less than the discs of today.
Considering that DVR-wielding consumers have already revolted against television ads, we can't see the public embracing this DVD bastardizing technology. But we wouldn't be surprised if IBM and big-name movie studios tried to force it down your throat.
Of course, the whole notion might be completely irrelevant. Even without ads in place, the future of the DVD isn't exactly bright. ®
Hah. It's not what you think.
The MPAA/RIAA and obivously now IBM have got it into their heads that consumers will swallow ANYTHING. Its our fault for not whining loudly enough about DRM etc etc.
Fuck with the common man's DVDs, and he'll go and get the VHS out of the attic.
We, your customers, are not here to be abused, we're here to be appeased. Without us you're nothing, remember that.
I don't see the economic model for this...
I'll start out by saying that I can't comment on the European situation. However, here in North America, save for your cable fee, most television is free to view. As we don't have a TV tax, the "basic" channels (without cable) are free to watch. Therefore, I don't mind spending almost 25% of my viewing time watching advertisements in exchange for the other 75%, which is presumably a program that I enjoy. To me, that's a fair exchange.
However, when looking at DVD, the entire model changes. I have now paid money in order to view this program. That is, I have spent time at my job to earn the money so that I could turn around and purchase this DVD. Fair enough, I will spend money so that I can watch this program uninterrupted (as well as being able to pause, re-wind, rewatch whenever, etc. - features which are quickly becoming devalued with the use of PVRs, but I digress...). Now, according to this proposed model, I will first pay money (which I have already exchanged my time for) to acquire said DVD, and I will then pay with my time again having to watch the advertisements. In essence, this model proposes to increase the 'cost' of watching a DVD program.
The only way I can see this model working - and just barely working at that - is if the initial purchase price of the DVD was reduced by a commensurate amount vis-a-vis the amount of advertisements included in the program. Following the television model, where the program to advertising ratio is 75% to 25%, your typical movie will increase from 90 to around 110-120 minutes. How do you put a value on 30 minutes of time spent watching advertisements? Do you use the wage rate? Arbitrary amount?
I feel that they won't be able to reduce the price of a DVD low enough to keep the 'cost' neutral. This will only lead to the increase in the 'cost' of watching a DVD program.
They want to kill DVD
Have any of you considered that this is a win-win for the industry?
I mean, DVD tech is already "broken" from an industry perspective: it is virtually impossible to stop ppl from ripping and sharing movies; DVD burners are ubiquitous; companies like Netflix can not only mail movies but stream non Hi-def movies easily, making DVD purchases less attractive; OnDemand cable services provide a similar service; and on and on and on.
I think they don't mind if DVD gets killed because they still have some control over next-gen discs (for now.)
So consider this:
(1) If they get the patent, they cram ads on DVD discs.
(2a) Ppl either watch the ads or don't, though I bet a good portion of the population will still buy DVDs and just tolerate this shit the way they do everything else.
So they get a little extra bang for their buck (or cents, if you count production costs.)
(2b) Ppl decide *not* to buy ad stuffed DVDs because the "industry" offers you a compromise...
buy hi-def BluRay or HD-DVD with no ads! You get netter video quality, no obnoxious ads, etc. etc.
Probably not the case, as I doubt IBM and MPAA execs are that scheme-worthy (though they are certainly evil enough.) Still, allowing for a momentary spark of brain activity, I wouldn't put it past any of these guys to chalk it out like that.