5 Feb

Back in Two and Two? Or Back in Fast Forward on Speed Four?

By Libby Esterle

Senior Account Executive

When we first got our DVR, I was in heaven. Even though I fought it for awhile (although I can no longer image WHY I fought it – I think I was worried I would start watching TOO much TV at the time. Silly Libby.), I quickly learned to appreciate the time savings, the convenience and especially being able to fast forward through all of the commercials.

Naturally, at the time when DVRs were first introduced, this was a huge issue for networks and advertisers. There was talk of patents being developed to eliminate the option to skip ads; there were stories of Dish Network being sued by advertisers for the same reason. As far as I can recall (and since we are still able to skip ads), neither went anywhere.

Then, a couple of years later, we subscribed to Netflix. Again, at first I wasn’t sure if or how much I would really use this service, except to finally get caught up on the shows everyone who had HBO or Showtime (one luxury we never bought into) had been buzzing about for years : “True Blood”, “Dexter”, “The Tudors”, etc.  It didn’t matter that I was a good season or three behind, I was completely hooked.  Not to mention all of the kid and family shows on streaming that have been more than worth the monthly fee (even with the controversial price increase several months ago).

So, what does this really mean? Well, except for the time I log on our treadmill when I am subjected to commercials because that TV doesn’t have our DVR or Netflix hook up or the times the girls are watching a show real time, usually during dinner and in the early evenings, I am completely, blissfully unaware of any broadcast advertising. I get my news and weather online and my shows are either recorded, streaming or on a Netflix disk, leaving me commercial-free. The only downside is that when one daughter asked for a “Stuffie” for Christmas, I had to have the other one point me in the right direction to find it and order it – online, of course.

*Side note: Between the free shipping, no taxes and uber-friendly and helpful customer service rep, I highly recommend Stuffies to anyone in the market for a large stuffed animal with multiple pockets for hiding things if you have a pack rat/bag lady child like I do.

Given this shift in our viewing habits, I wonder – will traditional broadcast commercials become a thing of the past?  Or will advertisers continue to find a way to reach us via television? I’d love to hear your thoughts…

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