Monday, December 05, 2005

You Have To Take the Good With the Ad

Don't worry. The front page won't have ads. You'll actually have to look hard to find them.

I've added Amazon Standard Identification Numbers (ASINs) to the trivialTV database for many series and some movies. (And I'll continue to add more.) Whenever you use one of the search features, such as historical TV listings, you may see a small Amazon ad/link for a show. If you click on the link, you'll be taken to Amazon's web page for the DVD that contains that particular show. These links represent my only source of revenue from the site.

That's it. That's all the advertising you'll see.

But it's actually the beginning of a good thing. In the near future, I'll be adding links to and for each airing. And when AOL (and others) release online video, you'll also find links for videos too. These links will become even easier to use when I release the feature that lets you find series episode lists.

Why go down this route? My goal is to make trivialTV an unaffiliated portal for finding info and video for TV series. I foresee few such viable options in the future as companies reach agreements:
  • AOL will be the portal for Warner Bros. series.
  • iTunes/Apple will likely be the outlet for Disney/ABC series, given their recent relationship for ''Desperate Housewives'' and ''Lost.''
  • Viacom has tagged Google as its probable portal for online delivery. CBS is in discussions with Google; plus, Google already was the provider for the UPN series ''Everybody Hates Chris.''
  • Relationships are usually hard to break, and NBC-Universal already has past ties to Microsoft through MSNBC. 6 Dec 2005 Update: Obviously I miscalculated how much the MS-NBC relationship soured. NBC-Uni will use iTunes as its outlet, according to this note at B&C.
  • Fox will continue to do its own thing and will likely introduce its own portal, given some recent acquisitions.

That list covers the Big Five TV companies and four of the existing Big Five online portals. What else might happen?
  • Many series are not controlled by the Big Five networks. Those series controlled by large production houses will be easily accessible because a large production company has enough cash to bring them online. (And enough motivation since they're trying to drive DVD sales.) Small production houses will have to band together or negotiate agreements with the online portals.
  • Yahoo's CEO has already announced that he expects the production companies to maintain their own content, and Yahoo's initial strategy for linking to these multiple locations is not clear. They may use a hierarchical search/link structure, zap2it TV listings to provide a searchable database, or a user tagging method.
  • is controlled by Amazon and they will continue to focus on DVD sales (or Amazon online video sales in the future). Only one problem. If it's not on Amazon, may not link to it.
  • Since CNET purchased, they've turned into Now it's the same info as before but is much slower because of ads, increased steps to find info, more extraneous stuff, and the community-based rating system. On the surface they appear to be very slow to implement new features.
  • It does not appear that wants to venture outside of its news niche.
  • TV Guide is really trying to find it's way in the new media world, and they should be trying to become the place to go online for TV info & video. But they've embraced their web presence reluctantly.

If you're trying to find info about a particular show or buy a DVD or view a video, I hope to make this site frill-free and easy-to-use so that you can satiate your desire very quickly. It won't be clear to the casual internet users that they'll have to go to AOL to watch ''Welcome Back Kotter.'' And it seems obvious that all users should be able to go to single site to find a link to this (and any other) video.

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