Ok, so I'm a little late with this post because bloggers were all over this, but unfortunately I have to work sometimes. Stop snickering that with a third post today, it looks like I wasn't that busy today. I was working on a presentation on secure RSS feeds for a major bank and had a meeting with RevenueScience. Sorry for the side track.
Back to the story. As reported by AdvertisingAge, Royal Phillips Electronics filed a patent that would not allow people to skip commercials potentially viewers to watch ads or miss their show when they need to run to the bathroom. Phillips had to issue a statement saying:
"Inventors from Royal Philips Electronics (Philips) filed a patent application, as yet not granted, that enables watching a television movie without advertising. However, some people do want to see the ads. So, we developed a system where the viewer can choose, at the beginning of a movie, to either watch the movie without ads, or watch the movie with ads. It is up to the viewer to take this decision, and up to the broadcaster to offer the various services."
Looks like they are defending themselves well, right? Uhh no - that's just PR speak. Read the patent for yourself and you'll find in the summary:
- An apparatus (270) and method is disclosed for preventing a viewer from switching from a channel when an advertisement is being displayed on the channel and
- A viewer may either watch the advertisements or pay a fee in order to be able to change channels or fast forward when the advertisements are being displayed
I have to tell you that Phillips should stop letting traditional advertisers into their new product development planning sessions. Really, let's just force people to watch something they don't want and prevent them from switching channels. What's next, going back to the days of only one TV station? Better yet, why doesn't Phillips design a TV with one channel that never shuts off? I wonder if they own the patent on that one too?
This is really a product that is not needed, unless of course your job depends on making TV commercials. Maybe that's the market for this product.