Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Pay To Not Play

Now, for a small fee, you can skip all ads online.

The company is SpotXchange. The service is called SkipIt. According to the website, they’re rolling SkipIt out, still not sure in what form the consumer will pay to be able to skip ads. By answering questions? By paying money? By spending more time?

Perhaps SkipIt will work. Perhaps not.

But in my opinion, SpotXchange is making the wrong hypothesis. The consumer isn’t trying to avoid commercials. What the consumer is trying to avoid is an interruption to his/her viewing experience.

When a pre-roll comes on before the video I want to see, I try my best to avoid that interruption. I don’t even know, or care, what the commercial is. All I know is that the commercial isn’t what I came to see.

It’s not the commercial that I'm trying to avoid. It’s the intrusion. It just happens to be a commercial.

Why is this more irritating online than offline? Because it’s my foot on the gas pedal online. When I watch TV, the networks have their foot on the gas pedal. I can only go as fast or as slow as they let me. DVRs and Tivo give me some control back. And, as research indicates, when given that control, consumers use it.

I know I do.

When I’m online, I’m the one driving. And pre-rolls and other intrusive, forced views, try to take the wheel out of my hands.

I don't like that.

Again, I’m not sure how SkipIt will work. But if it requires me spending more time to skip an ad than it does for the ad to actually play, then I’m going to go the most expedient route.

Time is the ultimate form of money online. The less time I need to spend on something that I don't want to see, the richer I feel.

Let’s see if SkipIt factors that into their platform.

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