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Get paid to watch the adverts...

...as Sky has obviously seen the effects of the Sky+ PVR on its demographics and revenue stream, as it wants to activate the second slot on all Sky boxes in order to implement a "loyalty card" scheme...

There's a company, miCard.tv, which is working on developing these cards, and the software to go with it. You'll "earn" points for watching channels - or for not fast forwarding through the ad breaks.

Me, I'll stick with my new viewing habits, thanks. What I want, when I want it, and without those tedious mind-numbing commercials.

However it does imply an API which can be used to get additional information out of a TV programmes interactive channels. I wonder if there's something in that which could be used to develop a new generation of interactive TV applications that link digital satellite to media PCs...


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Oct. 28th, 2004 04:46 pm (UTC)
Well you can pay the same subscription, stick on a PVR and not watch the ads.

That works for me!
Oct. 28th, 2004 04:18 pm (UTC)
So, having no interest whatsoever in Sky, let's see if I've got this right: they charge the advertisers to place the ads and they also charge the viewers a subscription to watch them? A perfect set-up (or is that rip-off?). And now you get some sort of "reward" for not avoiding the ads? Let me guess: some kind of "free" airtime where you get to ... watch more ads? It's brilliant.
Oct. 29th, 2004 08:30 am (UTC)
Even without the Murdoch (*yeuch*) connection, this would be enough reason to give Sky a miss. Bet there is a whole slew of morons thinking "How wonderful" out there, though.
Oct. 29th, 2004 11:35 am (UTC)
Personally, I think it makes sense. Not for me, I hasten to add, but for Sky. They've spent a fortune developing and marketing Sky+, and are going to have to find a way of recouping that whilst keeping the shareholders happy. Introducing this sort of monitoring etc does indeed open the possibility for all sorts of future developments.

If everyone has PVRs it leads to fewer advertisers and sky cutting the price of their ad slots, and this way they can keep the advertisers happy. Of course, I would far prefer "watch X number of ads in a week and get a fiver off your subscription" than some sort of ghastly loyalty thing, which is probably "get 10% off the next 5 PPV premiership matches", which would interest me not. But I'm with NTL, so this is all rather academic.

One way around this would be to record the ads on your PVR, and then download them onto VHS so the machoine thinks you're wathcing them, then ffwd. But I suppose that does somewhat remove the point of having a PVR...

Note: BSkyB is only 35% owned by News Corp. James M is not an employee of News Corp. Conspiracies are all very well, but if he couldn't hack it he'd be out in seconds no matter who his father is - remember when Elizabeth Murdoch was running Sky One? She didn't last long.

Although I do find sky to be a rather predatory company, it is important to note that although they skate close to the edge, the OFT has never managed to level any formal charges at all against them. I don't really like News Corp, but RM laid everthing he had on the line to get Sky up and running and keep it going in the early days, when no-one else was really that interested in multi-channel. The reason why Sky is the dominant DTV platform is because the kit and software are tested to destruction before anything's implemented so it's dead reliable, and the customer service is first rate.
Oct. 29th, 2004 02:47 pm (UTC)
the reason we have sky is 1 the cable companies are too stupid to cable a yuppie area like Putney so 2 it's the only way to get the TV we want. With a PVR we skip the ads very easily; I can't get used to not being to do the same on the car radio!
Oct. 30th, 2004 03:56 am (UTC)
A lower-tech TV loyalty system was tried in Australia a couple of years back. This looks rather neater. Try Googling for "adopt a dot" for more.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )