updated 11:30 am EDT, Wed October 19, 2005
Ad-free videos at iTunes
Apple move to sell ad-free video content for its iPod via iTunes 6 is . Reuters says that the pay-per-ad-free episode strategy has the industry rethinking its reach to users with portable media players. "The announcement sent a new chill through an advertising industry struggling to reach consumers amid an explosion of media outlets. ABC and rivals like Viacom's CBS are seeking new ways to deliver entertainment out of the television box, whether on the Internet or with new devices. The bigger fear, and some say opportunity, for advertisers is how to keep their brand messages in front of consumers as iPods, other portable media players and increasingly sophisticated cellular phones pick up speed and vie for time once dominated by television and the 30-second commercial."
While Apple won't allowing advertising on its iPod/iTunes platform, the report notes that both TiVo and satellite radio have warmed up to advertising and advertisers/sponsors themselves may request to be part of the content delivery--regardless of platform.
"It's a great concern to advertisers," said Jason Maltby, co-president of national broadcast for media buyer Mindshare, part of WPP. "Why spend a couple hundred thousand dollars for an ad unit on 'Desperate Housewives'? The value keeps eroding."
The article says that Apple could offer pre-video messages from sponsors that download to the beginning of each purchased video or content producers could turn to integrated advertising within the program to help combat ad-skipping technology.