Apple’s secret weapon to kill ads and dominate TV

“Apple dominates music players, online music, smart phones and tablet computers. Steve Jobs’ dream was to dominate the TV business, too,” Nigam Arora writes for Forbes.

“I keep coming back to the following statement Tim Cook made to his shareholders earlier this year, ‘You can be assured we are working as hard as ever this year to deliver an incredible year and some products that will blow your mind,'” Arora writes. “Apple is a very secretive company. I have found two sources that are a treasure trove of information. One is the litigation that Apple is involved in and the second is the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.”

Arora writes, “Yesterday Apple was granted patent number 8,249,497 for ad skipping technology.”

Read more in the full article here.

33 Comments

    1. Its a rather interesting idea…
      something notable for a while.

      Apple ditching Flash on iOS helped for some while to avoid annoying banner ads made from AdMob – Googles web ads.

      iTunes TV episodes came before other sources, (guessing before Netflix) – but the idea of removing irritating advertisement has been noticed as an Apple quest for some time now – No?

      If Apple can continue to avoid advertising on portable devises it will stand in the consumers eyes as a DIFFERENTIATION in products and strengthen the line.

  1. Broadcasters already have a way around skipped ads. They plaster 1/4 of the screen with promo stuff when the show itself is playing, sometimes covering key parts of the scene. Bastards–as if 1/4 to 1/3 of the showtime isn’t already devoted to ads.

    IIRC Star Trek episodes in the 60s were about 51 minutes long, “hour-long” shows are now 40 minutes of actual content.

  2. Yeah, i remember when cable TV was just breaking out. The promise was to eliminate ads, since user subscription fees covered the costs of the service. That lasted a few years until Wall Street demanded faster profit than jacking up service fees would allow. Now subscribers pay ridiculous fees for bundled content they will never watch and get inundated with ads too.

    I would love to live in a world where advertisements weren’t shoved down our throats at every turn, with selling messages and corporate graffiti on every visible surface.

    But if Apple doesn’t like ads, then why are they managing the iAd service on their mobile platform??? The mobile phone industry has ALREADY adopted the cable TV profit-extracting model. Bend over, customers, this is what you’re gonna get.

        1. Actually the idiots running PBS are looking at putting breaks into programming- more like commercial broadcasters. They are already polluting content with intrusive lower third promotional bullshit. This is what happens when people from commercial TV pollute the public broadcasting environment- just like the commercial TV castoff villagers that have turned PBS NewsHour into Beltway Speak.

      1. “Try Public TV and noncommercial radio”

        Well, yes, provided you are aware that self-promotions and ‘sponsor messages’ are rampant. But they do not interrupt or occur during program content, which is the main thing.

    1. Apple is not AGAINST ads. They are against overly intrusive ads,,,,,ads that somehow know how to increase the audio volume by several million db’s and those never ending ads that keep going on and on and on.

      iAd is designed to give you ads that people WANT to look at under their OWN control. With a mobil device you can do that. You can explore it all you want or stop exploring all you DON’T want.

      Apple have said many times,,,,’we want to design things that WE (Apple Management, I assume) would want to use’. They make their devices first and foremost for themselves and use that as a proxy for what others, such as you and I, will want.

  3. ads, ads, ads.
    ads, ads, ads.
    sounds like MontyPython’s spam, spam, spam.

    the most annoying thing in modern life are ads!
    believe it or not, more annoying than lawyers ; )

    every bloody hole in our bodies, each bloody second in our lives is plugged with ads, in print, online, on tv, at the public latrines, on the phone.

    which is worse, getting screwed mentally with god-like omnipresent ads 24/7 or by financial rape from taxes?

    if this is the Age of Aquarius, the most heavenly blessing surely comes from people’s effective hatred of ads. read the signs: Google ads & FB ipo plummeting in effectiveness.

    f’ ads!
    who still buys because of ads?!
    mags: 90% ads, no content.
    web: ads spoil content.
    tv: just see NBC’s monopolizing London Olympics. ads were so excessive, one could vomit.

    result:
    advertising is stupid.
    what these asses do not get is this:
    ad fatigue.
    they increasingly find new ways of shoving it up our collective asses. they give each other awards for this type of human evolution!!??!

    but us user, people, watchers, surfers, only grow in hatred towards ads, and in effect, we boycott buying due to ads. so the advertisers steal client funds, since ads are totally ineffective. if you piss off viewers, they will purposely not buy from the ad & even boycott that company all-together, as they did choose to bombard us with their message.

    what advertisers don’t get:
    f’ with us less, we get it already, we see yr ad enough, we do not need to be reminded as if our memory lasts no more than 1 second, we buy what when we want at our own pace, not your pushy b.s. lies. stop yr condescendence & forced rapy marketing & maybe we’ll respect u & buy from u.

    associations, companies are dumb.
    the music industry was saved by iTunes Store.
    the film industry thought they’d bypass Apple but lost so far.
    piracy will exist as long as they don’t get it @users.
    same with ad industry.
    as long as they think they outsmart us, they will lose.
    like piracy, we’ll boycott, won’t buy.

    power is in the people. never in the cliques.
    at least in the long run.

    ads have to be a pleasant experience.
    otherwise shove it.

    let’s teach those mf. with their own medicine:
    lock all ad/tv managers in a room.
    feed them with 24/7/365 ads till they puke.
    even raise the ad volume as they do – the gov. is just as complicit in this!
    so add gov. leaders in that pile of dung room.

    tip to any type managers:
    always put yourself in consumers’ shoes.
    only then, will you succeed.
    that is Apple’s secret!
    scary than all its competitors had 30+ years & still don’t get it.

      1. and here is MY ad for Netflix…

        eldernorm
        just watched many hours of tv for one low price monthly price of 7.99 — though your service provider may increase your data usage.

        hope Apple buys them out or challenges them with a better solution – Netflix is worth the money – h.265 will be very helpful

  4. Ad skipping tech is pretty old. The Dish network is being sued and/or threatened by every network and cable operator because they put out Dish-boxes that do this now. Search for the news about it. TiVo 10 years ago developed this too. They sold the I.P. because they were threatened then by the same litigation facing Dish. Ads on TV are “marked” in the transmissions so we all should be doing this now. TiVo changed the way their DVR’s work so they wouldn’t be sued-you can only skip at certain intervals when playing back content instead of all the way through the commercials. I didn’t read the patent but this will be a hurdle and not a catalyst to Apple entering the TV/Cable market in any way.

  5. Is this a joke ?
    Ad skipping technology ? It is called channel
    Surfing !
    Also apple idea of replacing ads with other shows and returning back to original program after the ad ends is RIDICULOUS!
    Who in their right mind would
    Want to watch snippets of a full show in between real show?

    If this truly the ” power ” of apple tv then surely it laughable.

    1. “Is this a joke? ” —- No, it is speculation from a non-Apple source. Apple files every conceivable idea it comes up with for patent, and most never end up on/in the products we buy. Don’t conflate this writers conclusions with Apple’s intentions. They are not likely the same. So, you can tone down the scorn and ridicule.

    2. are you assuming you understand how the technology works.
      SEAMLESS STREAMING and COMMERCIAL-LESS

      The streaming show will use a particular (scan forward and analysis technology) where it can compare the video images (before and after the commercial) automatically cutting out the Advertisement so, you won’t even know it happened.

    1. Do you really to listen snippets of songs ?
      Only to be jerked back to a show?
      What is the show is an entertainment show and you walk away thinking it is an ad ? Weird right

  6. Of course, articles like this will contribute to the skittishness and resistance of the content provider and cable world of doing business with Apple. An article yesterday mentioned that they may be forced to in order to get to the small screen (with ads).

    I hate ads in their current form as well. Unfortunately, it is big part of the “elephant in the room” when Apple is negotiating with content providers to try to bring them into a future more aligned with viewer’s wants.

  7. This is interesting thinking. I DVR and watch no commercials . . . but . . . every once in a while as I’m skipping forward I see something interesting . . . and watch it. So I actually want to see the ads that interest me. This leads to better ads I hope, or ads that I can choose. I don’t use most of the products that try to get my attention. I love what some of the internet TV folks are doing . . . one of them asks if you want to watch a longer ad at the beggining with an uninterrupted show, brilliant! Now let me pick from 5 ads and I’m all set. Even the advertisers can’t complain because the folks that DO watch the ads have a higher chance of paying attention.

  8. This is a bit off topic, but just to let people know that when I switched from BrightHouse Cable to AT&T Uverse, all of the loud commercials stopped. That was a great first step. Let’s see what else can be done.

    Just a sideline, BrightHouse also claimed that my poor reception was due to my inside wiring. Funny that Uverse uses my same inside wiring and the reception is remarkable. I have no love for the cable companies. Their existence is time limited.

  9. So Apple’s new strategy, in an attempt to dominate the TV industry, is to piggyback on the technology and ideas of others? BRILLIANT!! I’m not suggesting that Dish was the first to unveil ad-skipping technology, but at least THEIR product delivers something useful to the viewer. I have the Hopper, and with Auto Hop I can skip ads on my previously-recorded Prime Time shows. It saves me a ton of time, and the wife doesn’t nag me for the remote every time an ad pops up. Apple’s patent is for radio ads, but Apple doesn’t even offer radio yet. A Dish coworker convinced me to get the Hopper, and even though the networks got angry, I am glad my provider took a risk to offer me something better!

  10. Multimedia (internet cable satellite etc..) distribution system configured for use with a source of programming, a source encryptor for transmitting the programming in encrypted form with missing content such that even if the programming is hacked, the programming is not usable, wherein the encrypted programming is wrapped in a time envelop based upon a signal generated by an atomic clock at a time of said transmitting the programming and includes applicable policies, rights and/or rules associated therewith to the recipient location; an authentication device at the recipient location to interact with a third party responsible for authorization of accessing the programming; and a receiver at the recipient location, the receiver including: an input for receiving the programming, an encryptor for encrypting again the programming so that the programming is unique to the receiver, a decryptor, an output for delivering the programming to the audio/video output device, a bi-directional link for communicating with a third party authenticator, a sensor for receiving a programming request from the authentication device, and a processor operative to: a) send a signal to the third party in response to the programming request, b) cause the decryptor to add the missing content while decrypting the programming in response to an authorization signal from the third party, wherein the decryptor succeeds only at a specific time specified in the time envelop such that an attempted unauthorized decryption at a later time would not be possible, c) cause the decryptor to control the usage in accordance with the policies, rights or rules, and d) output the programming to the audio/video output device.

  11. They want all ads to come through iAd. And so do I. If it popped up over a show I was watching, I could watch the ad or not.

    If Apple gets the advertisers on board with AppleTV and targeted iAd, then goodbye commercial TV for good!!

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