Clover’s Week: Let’s pause for a moment

If a report in the Wall Street Journal is correct, Apple is planning a Cloud-based DVR, anything to stop people talking about an Apple TV set.

Part of the proposed product is a tiered service, which at the premium level would compensate broadcasters for the loss of advertising revenues, should the consumer decide to skip through the commercials.

The ability to skip advertising or even substitute one commercial for another is growing in popularity for web-based services, where it is already used by the likes of YouTube.

There are already advanced plans by Sky to launch targeted advertising to its Sky+ homes, but the broadcaster’s proposals would see one advertiser’s product swapped for another by the same company, with the charge falling on the advertiser.

This will presumably not prevent the consumer from fast forwarding any recordings and missing the advertising altogether.

We have also seen the trade show demo or the PowerPoint explanation of how in the future (yawn) we’ll be able to choose if we see advertising or pay a premium to miss the commercials. This is sort of what Apple is said to be proposing with broadcasters taking a proportion of the fee.

But who’s fault is it that we have a situation where broadcasters have allowed a model where people can miss the advertising that keeps them in business in the first place?

It’s not too difficult technically to tell a DVR that it cannot fast forward at a particular point in the programme. The problem is that 10 years ago it either couldn’t or wouldn’t be implemented.

Several million installs later, who wants to be the pay-TV operator that tells the consumer you can no longer skip the ads?