So the latest invention in the quest by people to skip the very thing that keeps their TV programs on the air is an ad eraser embedded in new digital video recorders sold by Dish Network. Just turn on Auto Hop and ads automatically vanish. TiVo on steroids.
So, how do I feel about that – as a voice talent whose income includes payment for doing announcing for TV Commercials? In some ways, a lot like the chief executive of CBS who wonders how he will produce shows like “CSI” without the support of the advertisers running the commercials. Or maybe a bit like News Corporation who has decided not to run Dish’s DVR ads.
Everyone in the chain is trying to figure out how to snag the eyeballs (and dollars) of the consumers. Consumers who seem to be starting to turn away from paying for cable or satellite and are looking to the Internet. My niece watches TV shows on her laptop whenever and wherever she feels like it. When I do watch TV, it is still from my easy chair in the living room without a DVR, so I tend to see mostly reruns of Bones, Law & Order and NCIS.
I would miss commercials, not only because I get paid to record them, but also because for me they are a source of education and sometimes inspiration. Not that I am a TV junkie, but part of the whole TV watching experience is studying the spots. I realize that the vast majority of the TV watching public probably doesn’t really care for commercials (except during the Super Bowl), but maybe they haven’t really thought about how their TV shows are currently being funded.
The operative word in that last sentence? “Currently.” Everything changes. Eventually.
I wish I had a crystal ball. It would be nice to see what the new business model(s) might be. I’d like to be prepared for when the current one goes away, and with it part of my income.