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Patents IBM Media Spam

IBM Files DVD Spam Patent Application 170

An anonymous reader writes "Mark Wilson of reports that IBM is applying for a patent for DVDs that contain or download 'on demand' commercials that cannot be skipped. Consumers would be able to purchase these DVDs at a lower price than regular DVDs and pay extra to enjoy their purchase ad-free without having to buy a second DVD. Perhaps this is part of the massive shift in advertising that IBM predicts."
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IBM Files DVD Spam Patent Application

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  • Spam? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Whiney Mac Fanboy ( 963289 ) * <> on Monday November 26, 2007 @07:09AM (#21477043) Homepage Journal
    Consumers would be able to purchase these DVDs at a lower price than regular DVDs and pay extra to enjoy their purchase ad-free without having to buy a second DVD.

    The thing that distinguishes spam from commercial mail is that it's unsolicited. These discs sound like they suck, but they're not spam. (I note the linked article doesn't mention spam either)
  • by aix tom ( 902140 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @07:16AM (#21477093)
    ... is based on shoving it down the consumers throat will ultimately fail.

    If I see an add which annoys me, I will try pretty hard to avoid that company in the future.

    So companies should not try to figure out "How do we FORCE people to see our adds", but "What can we do that people WANT to see our adds".

    THAT is the big shift in marketing that could save the advertising business.

    Also, since this idea is based on the DVD player having an connection to the internet, it would be pretty simple to set up the local network in a way that redirects all download attempts to a local server which just gives out 0-second spots or something.
  • by Idaho ( 12907 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @07:23AM (#21477141)
    If they enforce the patent, there will likely be less DVD's that actually use this technology (assuming most content distributors won't want to pay for a license on the patented technology).

    Then again, who cares anyway. TV is already dead, now if DVD's also get killed by gratuitous advertising left, right and center, it will only drive people towards other alternatives (such as iTunes or using bittorrent) even faster.

    In fact, this has been happening for a while, what with many DVD-players forcing you to watch the MAFIAA warnings they put in front of each and every movie these days.
  • by SCHecklerX ( 229973 ) <> on Monday November 26, 2007 @07:23AM (#21477149) Homepage
    Been to a movie theater lately?
  • by siyavash ( 677724 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @07:26AM (#21477161) Journal
    um... you mean the place where my mom and dad used to go when they were young?... no? There are BIG TVs you know. Why would I want to hear people talk, chew, spit and play with their bags?

    I'm a movie fan... I enjoy them without "people".
  • Step one (Score:4, Insightful)

    by edwardpickman ( 965122 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @07:31AM (#21477185)
    I'm sure they feel if they can get people used to having ads then they can drop the lower price point then just make it standard on all DVDs. They'd probably phase it in but I have to believe that's the real intent is to make the technology available industry wide and slowly get rid of the option and simply make it another revenue stream. I won't watch FX Channel because of the in program ads on the screen. If they go this route with DVDs, force feeding commercials, I'll stop buying and renting, period. I barely rent as it is because there are so few films worth seeing. This is just another way to bleed a few extra cents out of each DVD. I just hope people aren't stupid enough to accept it but given the lack viewer reaction to the current onslaught of commercials I have to believe the future is even more pervasive commercials and me reading more books.
  • by IainMH ( 176964 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @07:33AM (#21477197)
    I thought about this on the weekend. When you buy any Sunday paper, you get masses of leaflets and spam etc. I'd happily pay 10p more for the paper if it came without any ads or pamphlets.

    The problem is, the ad people probably wouldn't be too happy about only advertising to people who are by definition parsimonious.
  • by drfireman ( 101623 ) <dan&kimberg,com> on Monday November 26, 2007 @07:33AM (#21477201) Homepage
    Current DVDs, at least those for popular new releases, tend to have 5+ uninterruptible previews/ads up front. I guess these new ones will be more intrusive, but cheaper. There are things to like about that, I guess. As long as they're starting down the road for tiered pricing, it would be nice if they could offer ad-free DVDs as well, a product that's not available for most titles now. For that matter, it would be nice if they offered extremely cheap DVDs with ads interrupting the movie every scene or so.
  • by SmallFurryCreature ( 593017 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @07:46AM (#21477291) Journal

    Think about it, little kid asks for something, parent says no. Kid logic kicks in and the kid starts whining about it, bad parenting responds and gives in, proving to the kid that whining works.

    Advertisers ask us to buy X with ads, we say NO. Advertisiers logic kicks in and starts forcing us to watch the AD, do we give in? Doesn't really matter, if we don't, they just push harder and if we give in, then IT WORKS, so they push harder to sell even more!

    F1 racing used to be broadcast by every country in europe, this was great because in olden days it meant you could choose your preffered commentator (if you live in holland you get English, Dutch, Belgian and German state TV on cable) ALL without commericial breaks. Then came some commercial channels that outbid the state tv offerings, so people stopped watching the feed from that country and just watched F1 in a foreign language. When the Dutch F1 broadcast went commericial I switch to the BBC and when that went commericial I switched to Belgian tv.

    When that too went commerercial, I stopped watching F1. The commercial breaks were just too many to put up with.

    So what has the F1 organisation achieved? They lost a viewer who at least saw all the regular ads on the racetrack because they wanted more money. So they wanted more and got nothing.

    I may be alone, but viewing figures for F1 are down. They blaim it on the races themselves but might it just be that people are sick to death of the show being interrupted constantly for ads?

    A similar story can be seen around Dutch soccer. That was broadcast by tradition by the NOS, the state part of state telivision. (I am not a soccer fan so excuse me if I get some details wrong) Years ago a commercial channel was launched (sport 7?) which would be pay-per-view like setup. People didn't subscribe. At all. It was a HUGE FLOP. They had totally miscalculated dutch willingness to pay for soccer matches. They thought they would be rich, they ended up bankrupt.

    So the license went back the next year to the NOS. Recently another new station launched, this time "free" to watch, Talpa, and it too made a really big deal out of getting SOME of the rights to some of the soccer matches. Again they thought they would make it big, but people just didn't watch. The way the matches were broadcast was a constant source of irritation among soccer fans and the ads were way to heavy.

    End result? Talpa went bust and soccer matches are now more or less back in the old format.

    The odd thing? Holland is soccer nuts, so what could go wrong with pushing lots of ads around soccer matches? It works in the US right?

    Well, in theory it might be simply a case of too much too soon, you have to remember that it is not that long ago that the only ads were BEFORE and AFTER a match NOT during NOT even during half-time. Even more shocking, on sunday there were NO ADS AT ALL.

    This has changed but still, ads during the match itself may have been too much.

    A clear case of being too demanding, kids KNOW this, they know when to push it and when they are about to be sent to their room. Advertisers just don't seem to be able to spot the warning signs. They keep pushing and pushing when we already kicked them out of the house to freeze to death.

    The reason is offcourse simple, advertisers do NOT care about selling a product with their ads, they are selling ADS!

    Every obnoxious ad campaign that drives you nuts HAS ALREADY BEEN A SUCCESS because the ad SOLD!

    So us claiming that the ads for MS software on slashdot are a stupid idea are missing the real picture. The ad company that sold those ads, made a sale and that is all that matters. That is why you should never believe any research on ad effectiveness by an ad company unless you believe research on soap by soap companies.

  • by Thanshin ( 1188877 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @07:46AM (#21477293)
    2008. The movie will only play if there's at least a person connected to the player. If you skip the advertising, the connected person is tasered.

    2010. The player has motion and thermal sensors. Any heat-producing or moving entity in the proximities will receive a hit of "pain microwave ray" unless they see the full advertising.

    2015. Your salary goes directly to the MPAA so they can decide what you are going to buy every month. Nobody remembers what a movie is.
  • my predictions (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mapkinase ( 958129 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:04AM (#21477381) Homepage Journal
    I expect ad-infested DVDs will cost the same as now, and we will pay more than now for ad-free. That or I do not know anything about this world.
  • Re:Spam? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by El Lobo ( 994537 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:12AM (#21477415)
    OTOH, if they are much cheaper it may be a good deal. Anybody have one of the latest Disney DVDs? To just start the film you need yo click 12 times. And no, pressing menu doesn't help.

    First you need to see the Copyright notice (no skip), then you get 2 disney logos (the one with Ting and the Buena Vista one, no skip).

    Then you have no less than 8 "Comming to DVD" Disney films. Thankfully those can be skipped, but not directly. For some reason, you need to press skipp 8 times. And no, "Menu" doesn't get you directly to the

    Sometimes i don't care to press skip and rather let my son watch the whole thing.. they win again..

    And worst of all, those Disney VDs are in fact more expensive than those from other studios which have less ads.. Go figure

    So i rather pay less for the same ads (I doub they'll have more than Disney anyway).

  • by troll -1 ( 956834 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:13AM (#21477423)
    Before computers were networked we used to copy files onto floppy disks and walk them down the hall to the next office. As a form of content distribution, this is about where DVDs are at today.

    From an engineering point of view, putting stuff on plastic disks and physically moving them to their destination is a pretty dumb way to distribute content in the face of an Internet.

    In the absence of a successfully viable Internet distribution method that ensures some form of copy restriction, the likely reason for movies on DVD is to safeguard distribution rights. But things may change if the current method of funding Internet content through advertising is to expand to include television and movies, much like it does for broadcast TV and radio. So while IBM may hope to gain a market share in DVD advertising, the whole medium may be obsolete in a few years. Just a thought.
  • by ScrewMaster ( 602015 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:14AM (#21477431)
    or is going to try and create the change?
  • by lophophore ( 4087 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:24AM (#21477499) Homepage
    If DVDs are shipped with must-see commercials, then more and more consumers will feel willing (and perhaps justified) to "illegally" extract the desired content from their **purchased** DVD and burn a new, content-only DVD. This is a stupid plan.

  • by The_Mystic_For_Real ( 766020 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @08:50AM (#21477693)
    This is exactly the wrong direction for content distributors, I bet the pirated version won't have unskippable ads.
  • This is new? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by egburr ( 141740 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @09:29AM (#21478023) Homepage
    Most DVDs I get already have unskippable advertising. I suppose the new part is to allow you to skip if you have somehow connected your DVD player to the internet? I haven't seen one yet with a network card or even a modem. Anyway, my solution has been to use my computer to rip the DVD, strip out all the locks and usually the ads too, and burn it to a new disc. This has many benefits:
    • it doesn't matter if the kids scratch the disc, I can replace it easily
    • I can go straight to the movie after putting the disc in the player
    • I don't have to watch the FBI warning (I have one disc that has 3.5 minutes of warnings from various conutries that was unskippable! They really expect me to sit through that?)
    With VHS, I could just fast forward through the ads. With DVD, if you are going to make the ads unskippable and thus make me take the effort to correct that, I'm going to just remove the ads altogether from my copy. You lose ground by being too greedy.
  • by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Monday November 26, 2007 @10:28AM (#21478609) Homepage
    Last I checked, I could still invite all my friends over to my house to watch a movie, without putting up with sold out movies, long lineups, bad seating, hundreds of other people who have no regard for people watching the movie, sitting through commercials, and starting the movie on someone elses schedule.

How many NASA managers does it take to screw in a lightbulb? "That's a known problem... don't worry about it."