Advertisers welcome Apple’s iTunes Store commerical-free content

“As it turns out, ‘commercial-free’ is not exactly a dirty word in the world of advertising,” Jon Lafayette writes for TV Week. “Top members of the advertising community welcomed with open arms the news last week that The Walt Disney Co. and Apple will make hit ABC shows available for download commercial-free on iTunes.

“Perhaps it sounds counterintuitive-marketers endorsing a new business that bypasses the traditional delivery of their messages-but executives last week identified at least two reasons a move like this is good for their businesses,” Lafayette writes. “For one thing, podcasts could actually improve the performance of shows in prime time, where marketers do advertise-especially if the downloaded shows are of a serialized nature. Second, the value of product placements within podcast shows could blossom the same way executives expect placements in shows to increase in value when they are viewed on VOD.”

“What’s more, industry insiders see the Disney-Apple deal, which calls for the ABC hits ‘Desperate Housewives’ and ‘Lost’ to be available without ads, as a possible precursor to or foundation for a model that does include ad support,” Lafayette writes. “Serialized shows, such as ‘Desperate Housewives,’ ‘Lost’ and Fox’s ’24’ and ‘Prison Break,’ have great potential for getting a boost from readily available airings on emerging viewing platforms because they enable viewers to catch up on plot lines, said Rino Scanzoni, chief investment officer at Mediaedge:cia.”

“‘The more opportunity you give people to stay with it and stay engaged, the larger your overall audience is going to be, so I think it’s actually positive for the broadcast advertiser,’ he said… Indeed, a big question facing marketers is where advertising fits into a world in which users are willing to pay for better access to TV content. While the content is currently ad-free, most do expect an ad-supported model to emerge. ‘What I’m hoping will evolve, and I think it will, is the capability to target individual users like we can on the Internet,’ said Coleen Kuehn, executive VP of strategic development at Havas’ MPG. Basic ad implementation, she said, could look much like what’s currently offered for broadband video-15-second spots or one 30-second spot before the show,” Lafayette writes.

Full article (free registration required) here.

The New iPod with Video.  The ultimate music + video experience on the go.  Buy it now at the Apple Store. From $299. Free shipping.
The New iMac G5 – Built-in iSight camera and remote control with Front Row media experience. From $1299. Free shipping.

Related articles:
Apple opens Pandora’s box for the media business, could have profound long-term consequences – October 17, 2005
Apple has the potential to change not just the audio industry, but the whole entertainment industry – October 17, 2005
New York Times writer can’t think different: ‘video iPod may not be ready for prime time’ – October 17, 2005
Podfather: iPod porn is going to be huge – October 14, 2005
Forrester Research: Apple transformed music distribution, now it is doing the same for video – October 14, 2005
Get ready for the iPod video torrent search sites – October 13, 2005
Apple’s new iMac G5, iTunes 6, iPod video designed to bait Hollywood – October 13, 2005
Apple video iPod+iTunes could create mass audience for video on the go, despite studios’ misgivings – October 13, 2005
Using QuickTime Pro to create videos for playback in new Apple iPods – October 13, 2005
Analyst: Apple has just produced ‘the tipping point’ for entertainment content – October 13, 2005
Apple’s video play likely to unsettle movie, TV, advertising and retail markets for years to come – October 12, 2005


  1. the bottom line is they are going to want to put ads in Video content downloaded on iTunes. Nothing is more irritating than ads, whether they are pop ups, banners, or 15 to 30 second torturous spots before programing. I want content not adds. I am paying for content, therefore it should be ad free. I dont pay for NBC, ABC, CBS, or Disney directly out of my pocket so they can run as many ads as the public will tolerate. I like to watch movies on uninterupted cable channels or from my DVD player. Whenever I see ads they just make me want to fish around for other content on other channels, and usually I find something more entertaining on another channel. Ads do not keep me glued to shows like Law and Order, Lost, or Desperate Housewives, they don’t even keep me glued to football. I hate being sold something I dont want (advertised products I don’t want or need). It just not for me but for anyone else, yes maybe. I dont need to see a commercial for Star Wars to get me to go buy the DVD. When it comes out I will be there, and I dont need to be sold dishwashing liquid while watching previews to video games. So let the ad agencies in, all they want is 15 seconds of your time to make you life hell.

  2. Download shows for free, but with 30 sec ad at the beginning, which you cannot skip, and maybe an ad at the end. Mmmm. As long as they don’t put ads within a show, I wouldn’t mind. At least I can watch the show uninterupted.

  3. You can buy the season on DVD a few months after the last episode for what $30.00? So you get the show sooner for ony two bucks – Disney and ABC still get their money. I’m guesisng that many will download the episode for the iPod to watch in the meantime and will still get the season’s DVD. Notice the networks are really quick to put out a season on DVD? They are hoping to sell while the show is still on peoples minds. How many will buy the season a few years down the road? How many would buy Dallas or Knight Rider on DVD now? This is a great move by the networks to sell while the show is still popular.

  4. I agree with WhatEver…
    I sat down to watch a movie on DVD – and had to sit through 4 movie previews which I was blocked from forwarding through.

    I wonder if the movie industry realises that shoving ad’s down our throats on DVD may end up hurting an industry worse that they already are. I’m not interested in purchasing DVD’s if I have to sit through all the crap at the beginning.

    In the same sense – there is a reason companies put “skip” on their flashcrap on their web sites.

  5. I wonder how the advertisers will feel when Steve says ‘no’ to their ads. One of the great things about the iTMS is that there are no ads on the website at all (unless you count a link to the iPod store).

  6. I was wondering, as a curious person I though Apple should make an optional download with each show, the commercials. I bought 2 episodes of “Lost” if there were and optional download of the commercials, I would have downloaded and watched them. Mostly to see what companies advertise on the show I like so much.

  7. We have a groups of mates watching ’24’ on DVD. If we can pay for the next series on iTMS and watch it together, then if someone is unable to make the night we can put it on up to 4 additional PC or Macs so they can catch up at their leisure.

    $1.99 per episode divided by 5 is WAY less than the nost of the beer and curry we consume! Great for shift workers not home at the TV time, or parents (I am still working when Sponge Bob is on and would love the set to watch anytime). Go the Sponge!

  8. Actually if you archived the shows some of the ads could be kinda cool 10years from now. Especially the Apple ads. The type of thing people might pay money for in the future. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    MDN word: moment, as in, not at the moment.

  9. Regarding DVDs with ads, FBI warnings, etc. that you can’t skip through: just get yourself Mac the Ripper. It not only removes any region encoding, it will (if you wish) remove UOPs (User Operation Prohibitions) that prevent you from skipping over the aforementioned annoyances.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.