Friday, January 26, 2007

Keep a Stiff Upper PiP

I've talked before about placing ads in the black border when you watch shows in letterbox mode. And I mentioned targeted TV ads so many moons ago.

But I think I missed a few obvious things.

Think break-free shows. Notice I didn't say commercial-free.

Every TV will have multiple picture-in-picture (multi-PiP) capability. Dual PiP is readily available today. What if one of the PiP boxes is dedicated to commercials?

Don't laugh too hard.

Think about this idea. The cable company puts a PiP box in the upper left hand corner while you watch TV. Targeted ads are shown inside this box while you watch a show break-free. These ads can be national or local.

The concept seems reasonable. TV screens are much larger, providing more real estate for such options. Soccer has essentially been doing this type of advertising on a national scale for years. Such a scheme provides a simple way for your local cable company to use Google as the broker for TV commercials.

But here's the beautiful part of the concept. What if you don't want to watch commercials? Just pay the cable company a flat monthly rate and you can watch everything commercial-free. The cable company pays the network a small fee for each upgraded viewer to replace the lost ad revenue.

This idea may even make cable less expensive for those who don't mind watching commercials since it will be subsidized by those people who are willing to pay to avoid commercials.

Sounds like a win-win-win-win situation to me.

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