ABC and Cox Communications have announced a new VOD service that will let cable subscribers watch primetime network shows any time they want. The catch? No fast forwarding through commercials.
This project seems similar in approach to Time Warner’s network-DVR applications, Start Over and Look Back: It gives consumers more control over access to content, but less control over the ads they’d likely prefer to skip. ABC and Cox actually announced the application last May, but it appears they’ve now run field tests and are ready to launch.
Between new on-demand ad technologies and the un-skippable commercials in content streamed over the Internet, advertisers are fighting back against several years of falling TV revenues. Not that they ever should have been worried. There’s always been alternatives such as product placement and, with the move to digital television, it’s always been clear we’d be hitting the reset button on the TV advertising model.
DVRs gave us a free lunch for a while, but advertisers are finding other ways to make us pick up the tab.