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Google Businesses The Internet Patents

Google's New Patent on Commercial Breaks 134

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the we-interrupt-your-regularly-scheduled-inanity dept.
theodp writes "What could be more annoying than having ads precede online videos? How about having commercials interrupt the videos? That's the premise behind a newly-published Google patent application for Using Viewing Signals in Targeted Video Advertising."
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Google's New Patent on Commercial Breaks

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  • by ccguy (1116865) * on Saturday March 15, 2008 @03:25PM (#22761124) Homepage
    The interesting part of the patent is not that they interrupt the video to show a commercial (surely there is prior art on that), but rather than the commercial breaks are determined automatically by analyzing the video and audio (detecting scene changes for example).

    Also, they gather 'interaction data' with the first commercial, and use it for the following ones.

    There's a bidding system to buy advertisement slots on specific video, so if there's a very hot video in say, youtube, you can put your commercial there almost inmediately... seems like the best way to maximize advertising costs.

    • by namgge (777284) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @03:34PM (#22761200)

      ...so if there's a very hot video in say, youtube, you can put your commercial there almost inmediately... seems like the best way to maximize advertising costs.

      Quite so. Far better to adopt VW's approach: make an entertaining advert and stick it on youtube in its own right. Then people can watch it without it being interupted by some film,

      Namgge

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        That could backfire. If the ad weren't flagged as an ad, then we'd have to watch ads while watching an ad! Commercial breaks during a commercial! Shhhh....don't give them any ideas!
         
          Captcha: horrible
        • by Tony Hoyle (11698)
          Don't know if this idea has crossed the pond yet, but in the UK we have whole hour shows containing ads (albeit mildly amusing ones), with commercial breaks in between.

          So they already had the idea.
          • Good point. The more popular term for that is "product placement".
          • Oh, the US has had what gets called "Paid Product Programming" for years and years; the UK probably got it from us. I will admit, you don't generally get commercials interrupting the commercial, though; the sponsor paid his money to have an hour or two, and he gets it without interruption.
      • by Qzukk (229616)
        Far better to adopt VW's approach: make an entertaining advert and stick it on youtube in its own right.

        But will a volkswagon bug blend?
    • Sounds to me like I would never watch a video interrupted by commercials unless it was actually like hour-long (like hulu) so they'd be shooting themselves in the foot, losing their existing ad revenue. Also the autodetected scene changes would never work; the fashion in video editing these days is to use simple frame-to-frame cuts for scene changes.. how are you going to distinguish between the camera cutting around the scene in a fast-paced action scene and actual scene changes? People are going to get an
      • Audio analysis, if it's a consistent scene, it'll have consistent features in the frequency domain, etc.
      • by ccguy (1116865) *

        Also the autodetected scene changes would never work; the fashion in video editing these days is to use simple frame-to-frame cuts for scene changes..
        The patent says they use audio analysis too.

        Besides, this the google. Just because you (or I) can't think of an algorithm that works well all or most of the time it doesn't mean it isn't possible.
        • by SL Baur (19540)

          The patent says they use audio analysis too.
          Yeah, that would make sense. Most videos have natural breakpoints built into them that would be suitable to inject advertisements into. Detecting that without a human involved would be innovative.

          Books have natural breakpoints too, we call them "chapters".
          • by rtb61 (674572)
            Get real the concept is stupid, five natural break pints in five minutes of content and what, you show ten minutes of commercials. It is all just a marketing scheme targeted at the sellers not at the buyers. With the current adwords/spamwords budget advertising reaching the end of life due to a lack of actuall retail sale, google is forced to search for a new marketing scheme.

            For video content, the typical length to allow an add in the content is a least 20 minutes, 10 to start then adds ten to finish, so

      • Other people pointed out audio analysis.

        Another thing is action shots are fast and quick.
        Thats easily detectable.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dissy (172727)

      (surely there is prior art on that), but rather than the commercial breaks are determined automatically by analyzing the video and audio (detecting scene changes for example).

      I'm glad they just didn't take what TV broadcasters have been doing for decades and added 'on the internet' to the end. I suppose the automated part makes it unique.

      My only hope, them being google, is that once the TV broadcasters DO try to automate what they do, google sends them cease and desist letters!

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Hasmanean (814562)
      So will the algorithm try to maximize the annoyance caused by the commercial, or minimize it?

       
    • by tambo (310170) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @06:06PM (#22762034)
      The interesting part of the patent -

      Wait, stop right there. There's a discussion of a patent on Slashdot, and the first comment acknowledges that it's interesting, and not that software patents are the spawn of the devil?

      If you took this exact same story and s/Google/Microsoft/'ed it, this thread would instantly fill up with "oh noes, Microsoft is patenting commercials in internet video" comments, and "there's no way that that's novel" comments, and "down with software patents!!!" comments. But I guess that since it's patented by Google, it's OK... or something... right? Help me out - my Slashdot Moral Compass is adrift at the moment.

      I don't intend this as a trolling post - just an interesting reflection on the culture here at Slashdot. Don't get me wrong; I like this place - I've even got it tied to a "/." keyboard shortcut - but the community often appears very inept when discussing these sorts of issues.

      - David Stein

      • by Tony Hoyle (11698) <tmh@nodomain.org> on Saturday March 15, 2008 @08:19PM (#22762576) Homepage
        It could be worse.. it could be patented by Apple!

        Then anyone who suggested it might be wrong would be modded into oblivion.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by chromatic (9471)

        ... but the community...

        There's the problem. You assumed that there's a single dominant opinion.

        • You must be new here.
        • by 5of0 (935391)
          Ever hear of groupthink [wikipedia.org]? There is a single dominating opinion, and it involves:
          1. Microsoft is evil
          2. Google is not evil*
          3. Patents are evil

          Approximately in that order, so when 2) and 3) clash, 2) wins out. See how simple it is?

          *Well...this one's complicated. But in any case, they're better than Microsoft.
      • premises of self-delusion in believing "Google Be Good; Microsoft Do Evil" rearing its ugly head once again when closer to true reality is neither of them are fucking Saints.

        What did that skinny dude from India once said? "Action expresses priorities."

        And we all know what Google's priorities are.
        • by jo42 (227475)

          we all know what Google's priorities are
          Make container loads of cash - just like every other Evil Corporation.
      • If Microsoft made the patent, I'd actually be happier, because then it would be illegal for Google to put this annoying shit on Youtube ;)
      • The interesting part of the patent -

        Wait, stop right there. There's a discussion of a patent on Slashdot, and the first comment acknowledges that it's interesting, and not that software patents are the spawn of the devil?

        If you took this exact same story and s/Google/Microsoft/'ed it, this thread would instantly fill up with "oh noes, Microsoft is patenting commercials in internet video" comments, and "there's no way that that's novel" comments, and "down with software patents!!!" comments.

        Actually your knee-jerk reaction is just as bad. Perhaps more so, since presumably you believe you are above such things.

        I don't see you saying that the patent isn't novel. To my knowledge it is - I can't think of any system that automatically places ads inside video based on some detection method to find where it would be appropriate. And algorithmically this is indeed an interesting question (in fact, I question how well this would work). So, if we treat the issue on its merits - and not as Google vs. Mi

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Frozen Void (831218)
        Slashdot has alot of google fanboys.
        "Do no evil" is just marketing gimmick, its another corporation with commercial appetite. Wait for ten years and Google will show its true colors.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by tomhudson (43916)

      Also, they gather 'interaction data' with the first commercial, and use it for the following ones

      So what are they going to do when most people's "interaction" is to click on "close", or to just go somewhere else, or tab over to another site while the ad plays (unwatched)?

      And now, we can finally say it - "In the GoogleSphere, ADS WATCH YOU!"

    • by STrinity (723872)

      The interesting part of the patent is not that they interrupt the video to show a commercial (surely there is prior art on that), but rather than the commercial breaks are determined automatically by analyzing the video and audio (detecting scene changes for example).

      That's prior art, as well. TV networks use software that looks for completely black frames as a marker for where ads go. When Joss Whedon did Firefly, he wanted to have a full second of blank screen at the end of an act so the story had time

    • Seems like Google patenting the video-equivalent to popup ads.

      It doesn't matter if the popup ad only shows up when you scroll down to the next chapter.

      Interruption ads are still interruption ads.

      Video interruption with ads in the middle is just as evil as popup ads in the middle of viewing a website.

      And here I thought Google's motto was to not be evil. Oh boy was I wrong...

    • by Xeth (614132)
      Then a legitimate patent exists on the algorithm used to detect those gaps. That would reward legitimate research and innovation. Patenting the general concept of such insertion does not.
    • by eonlabs (921625)
      So, does 'Interaction Data' include recognizing that a user has punched their monitor or thrown the keyboard out the window?
  • Ads (Score:5, Insightful)

    by FredFredrickson (1177871) * on Saturday March 15, 2008 @03:28PM (#22761152) Homepage Journal
    I'm one of the few that don't care about ads, show 'em. Keep services free! But only under the following conditions:
    1. There's a subscription service to get rid of ads. I use sites like YouTube enough that I'd pay to get rid of 15 second ads every video play.
    2. Non interrupting ads only. At the beginning, at the end, what have you. But none in the middle, please.
    3. Get a variety of ads. I'm sick of HULU playing the same 2 ads every three minutes. Seriously, it makes me want the product they're advertising even less.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      I use sites like YouTube enough that I'd pay to get rid of 15 second ads every video play.

      Youtube finally found its (one person) market! Now if you can figure out how to cover a USD 1 billion annual subscription fee, we'll have sorted out the site's revenue model once and for all.

      • by Samah (729132)
        It's funny you know, I think I must be the only person on the whole intarweb who actually BOUGHT mIRC...
        • by jZnat (793348) *
          Well, I bought RAR, but that's also due to the fact that they have a Linux version and Ubuntu has it available in their non-free repository (which just uses my rarreg.key file).
    • 4. Level the ads to have the same average volume as the clips themselves. Every time I play a video on IFILM and am deafened by ads that are twice as loud as the videos they are accompanying, I'm less likely to purchase that product that I've just seen advertised on every video I watch.
    • by uranus65 (837545)
      4. Have the actual content play as smoothly as the ad. On CNN.com the ad usually plays flawlessly but the news story may not play at all. So I find myself considering a Netflix subscription while forgetting what I was going to watch.
    • by mbius (890083)
      I'm a guy who doesn't mind cancer so much, provided it's curable, doesn't rearrange my DNA, has vitamin C, that sort of thing. If they need to give me a freckle or two to justify continuing to let me see things free, well, shucks, I'd be a jerk to complain.

      It's not impossible after they invent silent, invisible, opt-in, informative advertising. From there we can talk to Satan about putting a day spa in Hell.
      • by XenoPhage (242134)

        It's not impossible after they invent silent, invisible, opt-in, informative advertising. From there we can talk to Satan about putting a day spa in Hell.
        Are you sure it doesn't have one already? I mean, I was able to find and marry a beautiful woman, as well as help to produce two wonderful children (with that same woman). If hell hasn't frozen over by now, well, then it just doesn't exist.
    • by lavaface (685630)
      to be fair, hulu only plays ads every 10 mins or so . . . .
    • by DavidD_CA (750156)
      RE #1: Agreed.

      RE #2: I'm okay with interrupting ads if (and only if) the videos are quite long. If I'm watching something that's 5+ minutes, it's perfectly acceptable to show me an ad every 5 minutes or so. It's just like commercials on TV.

      RE #3: Oh god yes.

      New #4: As long as the download of the ad doesn't impede the actual video. I can't count how many times I've tried to watch a video online but became frustrated because the preceding ad took forever to load (or didn't).

      New #5: The ad doesn't cont
    • by Kelbear (870538)
      1. I might be interested depending on the cost.
      2. I don't really mind the ad-interruptions since they tend to go where the commercial breaks were anyway, and since right now they only show the one brief commercial it's short enough that starting to do something else during that time isn't worth it. I just watch the commercial and wait.
      3. Yes PLEASE. I am sick to death of seeing the same damn ads over and over.
  • by the_rajah (749499) * on Saturday March 15, 2008 @03:30PM (#22761170) Homepage
    just sit on the patent to keep anyone from doing it. They do promise to do no evil, right?
    • by cdrudge (68377)
      Even if they do use it, this would be a good thing as it would prevent others from doing it (unless they paid the additional money to license it). Right?
    • by Infonaut (96956)

      They do promise to do no evil, right?

      I'd put TV-style advertising way down on the "evil" scale. Producing content doesn't just magically happen for free, and nobody is going to make the next Blade Runner without a profit motive. Certainly a patent on this sort of ad tech is (to name just one example) far below helping certain governments filter access to Web content.

  • by MLCT (1148749) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @03:31PM (#22761176)
    The history (and part of the reason for its success) of google's ad business has been that the ads they serve *aren't* annoying. No flashing banner ads, no "punch the monkey to win a prize", just small clean fonted textural links. That being the case I would be very surprised if they implement this patent as read - they are too smart to do something that daft.

    The problem of delivering advertising with digital video is a real one for online activities, so I don't doubt google are working on it - but what is guaranteed is that they know if they annoy people then they will just go elsewhere.
    • This patent probably came from their youtube purchase, because youtube already does this in videos, or did at one point. I never really go there anymore due to the poor quality videos.
  • by edwardpickman (965122) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @03:32PM (#22761178)
    Google hearby patents all forms of advertising that annoys the piss out of users. All forms of pop ups and redirected ads will also fall under the user annoyance patent.
    • by Khaed (544779)
      Man, when I read the title of this, I thought you were saying they were patenting "users that are annoying" by "annoying users."

      That would be AWESOME...
  • If they were truly going with "don't be evil", the only reason they'd patent such a thing would be so nobody could do it: patent it, then deep six the idea.
  • I recognize the need for advertising to support valuable online services, so I'm not reacting in the usual "OMG THIS SUCKS" demeanor. But Google has been successfull where other ad pushers have not because they understand that users are annoyed by ads, and theirs are the least annoying so far. If they can keep this "clean" where it doesn't become an annoyance, more power to them.

    It's a shame they have to patent it, but given today's IP climate I also understand why they have to go that route. Of course if

    • by Hatta (162192)
      I recognize the need for advertising to support valuable online services

      I think this is false economy. Where do you think the advertiser gets the money to buy the ads to support the site? From the people who use the site and purchase the services advertised. But if you're not exposed to the advertising, you're not going to spend so much money, and you'll have more left to support the site through donations.
      • by chromatic (9471)

        But if you're not exposed to the advertising, you're not going to spend so much money, and you'll have more left to support the site through donations.

        Have you seen that business model work for anyone who wants more than $3000 a month in revenue?

    • Their "this is Google" halo could be dented in short order rolling out something like this obnoxiously. I don't see Google wanting to explore that risk in the short term. More likely, this is a rainy day patent, if a revenue downturn in their existing business threatens their core competitiveness.

      Another move is that they might deploy something like this, but on a very small scale, enough to recover their Youtube bandwidth costs and not actually lose money on this service.

      It would be cool if some pharmace
  • More Google Evil (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196)
    What's more annoying? How about patenting a business practice? How about patenting SW?

    Pretty goddamn "annoying".
  • Maybe they should patent their user tracking system [google.com] instead, it makes the NSA look like a bunch of amateurs.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by rdradar (1110795)
      I first modded this down as a troll, since Analytics is just a regular statistics scripts for webmaster. However, then I got it; its so clever. That Analytics service is used on millions of websites, almost every site uses it (slashdot aswell). Its a great tool, easy to use and free aswell. Theres no ads, and theres no any paid or premium user like service. And you know why? It brings more data to Google than anyone could ever imagine. Google Analytics script is now on almost every site on internet. They c
      • by mikael (484)
        The only problem is that whenever a large slashdot discussion page fails to download and appear on the screen, the delay is invariably due to a file called 'http://www.google-analytics.com/ga.js' or something similar.
      • by LingNoi (1066278)

        So what I can fastly see, they can track users both with ads and the more hidden (and cleverly disguised) Analytics.
        You think this is a secret? I think you're the last guy to get this and it's not even that smart as all you need is no script installed and their puny user tracking ability simply vanishes.
      • by Jesus_666 (702802)

        Google Analytics script is now on almost every site on internet.

        Which means that every so often a site takes more than a minute to load because Google Analytics takes that long to respond. Also, it's an additional DNS lookup, which have been pretty slow for me the last few weeks.

        I'm going to put GA into my hosts file under 0.0.0.0; the scary tracking ability is part of the decision but the tipping stone is the fact that GA makes the web slow. Well, even slower.

  • This may not be as bad as it sounds as long as they utilize the "skip commercial" link included in the patent.

    The suckfest would start if that link were disabled or omitted. Nothing is more irritating than being forced to watch a commercial which is almost as long as the video clip itself (I'm looking at you, cnn.com!). This could also suck for low-bandwidth users.
  • Shows have been interrupted for commercials for decades...

    Annoying as all hell, but nothing new.
  • It should be relatively straightforward to detect Google's commercials and strip them from the video stream.
  • by hyades1 (1149581) <hyades1@hotmail.com> on Saturday March 15, 2008 @04:02PM (#22761376)

    ...instead of using the patent to bury it in a hole so deep it's almost out the other side of the Earth, I'll stop having anything to do with Google.

    Interrupting a video would only be the first step in taking us to that Trailer Park Nirvana where you will never, not even for one second of your waking life, be free of some kind of solicitation.

    • by maxume (22995)
      Unfortunately(I guess), that's their goal. If you don't want to look at advertising, they aren't worried about getting you to look at content.

      I say "I guess" because somebody has to pay for something somewhere, and the way they do advertising in search, I wouldn't pay very much to get rid of it. For video of any length, they are competing against free(p2p) and $3 DVD rentals, so they can really only screw it up the experience so much before people walk away. For short videos, the ads better not exceed a sma
  • How is different from what cbs.com [cbs.com] does with their videos?
  • Interesting patent (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Coopjust (872796) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @04:07PM (#22761408)
    So, having read the patent filing;

    -They're looking to dynamically take popular videos and put commercials in at points deemed good by the computer
    -They put in something that they think you will like (based on your Google history/ad watching history/content of the video)
    -They take your reaction to the newest ad and use it to better insert ads for both content and length. Maybe you like computing ads, or maybe you'll interact if the commercials are less often but longer (30 secs instead of 15 secs maybe).
    -Ads are taken by bid amounts- it'll prioritize ads that pay more to Google.
    -It'll automatically insert ads as it sees fit- if it can't find relevance, you don't get charged; if it finds people with interests similar to your ad, it will get inserted.

    This falls into a huge debate under the "don't be evil" motto. On one hand, Google is trying to make advertising $ better spent and make ads that the viewer will actually like. On the other hand, it opens a whole can of worms on privacy. One big one I see is shared computers. Having more than one user can really mess with the profile building it is trying to do...

    Personally, I see any implementation of this as a massive intrusion on my privacy- if YouTube implemented this, I'd stop going there. But Slashdotters aren't representative of the internet population as a whole; will people really mind targeted ads? Most people don't see adwords as an invasion of privacy, but this approaches a whole new level...
    • by mattinasi (649284)
      There seems to be an assumption that this patent indicates that ads will disrupt video watching. That is probably not going to happen - people would hate it and stop watching. The ads will be alongside the video, much like the positioning of ads on web pages.

      Stopping the video for a message from the sponsor would be stupid - I think we call that 'T.V'. The only reason people put up with that on television is because that is how it all started, we're used to it.

      The patent looks like a great way to make money
    • by Phroggy (441)

      Personally, I see any implementation of this as a massive intrusion on my privacy- if YouTube implemented this, I'd stop going there.

      If YouTube reported their data back to the advertisers, I'd consider that a massive intrusion on my privacy, but Google doesn't know any more about me than what I give them. Google doesn't know anything about me that I've chosen to keep private from them, so the only way they could possibly intrude on my privacy is if they share my private info with third parties, and I've seen no indication that they're doing this.

      Come to think of it, I'd also consider it an intrusion on my privacy if Google acquired per

  • by Whuffo (1043790) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @04:28PM (#22761474) Homepage Journal
    Prior art on this goes back a long way. I helped develop studio end hardware for the "UPI Newstime" system back in the mid '70s - the commercial breaks in cable programming were marked by a touch-tone sequence and the local broadcaster inserted advertising at that point automatically.

    That technology is still in use; ever hear a burst of fast touch-tone at a program break? That's this system at work. Other than that "using a computer" BS, what they're claiming is exactly what we were doing 30 years ago.

    For what it's worth, reliably detecting and decoding those touch-tone burst sequences using the technology available then was more than a little challenging. The Signetics 567 was brand new and looked so promising - but turned out to be a time sink. Never could get those little PLL chips to lock up fast enough and reliably enough. The real solution was a big mess of discrete analog stuff; those were the days...

    • Can't even take the 10 seconds to read the summary? It's a patent APPLICATION. It has NOT issued yet.
    • Another badly issued patent

      Zaa???

      You are correct that prior art goes back a long way, however, this is a patent application, not a patent.

      I highly doubt that Google will gain patent protection with the application as is and I agree that if this were to issue as a patent in current form it would be a mistake. I do think this is a good demonstration of the abuses attorneys put the patent system through though as most applications are exactly this general to begin with.

    • by sodul (833177)
      Well your 'prior art' requires a human to decide where to "mark" the video. The patent here will have a computer find the best moment in the video to place that mark, without having a human watch the videos. Do you think there is a bunch of people hired to watch every single video, and apply filters/marks for YouTube?
      I have not looked at the patent but it seems to be a novel technique to find the most effective time to place an ad. The thing that bothers me is that it might apply similar techniques as in t
  • If the ads get more insidious, the ad-blockers will get better...
    Within a few days (ish) of the introduction of such a "feature", the geek forums and technically-minded sites would be swarming with ways of blocking/limiting most of the ads or limiting the targetability.
    Then an effective block will get be written into an ff extension and dumped on mozilla (or merged with adblock+ or some other adblocking ff extension) and the problem (for the tech-savvy) is gone (for a while).
    Leaving Joe & Co. (the real
    • You're probably right, it'll happen. But it won't be days or weeks after it launches.

      There is enough desire to block these ads that the talent out there will develop solutions. But blocking these ads will be an order of magnitude more difficult than blocking EVERY OTHER KIND of ad.

      In every case of existing ad-blocking, you're either blocking a piece of discrete content that matches a number of defined characteristics, or you're blocking a discrete event (like the creation of a pop-up) that matches a number
  • by quiddity (106640) on Saturday March 15, 2008 @04:35PM (#22761508)
    See http://tv.boingboing.net/2008/03/12/goobees-animated-can.html [boingboing.net] which gets interrupted halfway through, completely ruining a short animation. idiots. what a hateful way to treat content.
    • Never gonna give you up / never gonna let -- We interrupt this video with a short ad relevant to your interests. "Ooooh, naughty girls with backup tapes. Only on DatacenterOfLove.com!" -- you down~

      The followers of Rick Astley probably won't be the only ones displeased.


      Of course things would be more interesting if they extracted meaning from the videos (or at least tried doing that) and used that to determine which ads to show. I wonder who'd then advertise in the 2G1C response videos... Charmin?
  • Teenage girls dancing to the latest rap crap with a mortgage company commercial in the middle. Perfect.
  • Nestle Quick. Yummy yummy chocolate milk.

    Now, back to our regularly scheduled flamewar.
  • Didn't read the patent text but my idea about having ads on online video without disturbing the watchers would be something like this:

    1. Short ad at the end of the video.
    2. Ads by user input as in showing ad video or flash-style animations while user has paused the video.
    3. Allowing video uploader to mark where they'd like to have ad content on their work.
    4. If keeping the time limits on videos, adding possibility for uploader to make video sequences out of them and show the ads when moving from clip to ano
  • Other than the fact the commercials might be dynamic based on the user watching, the whole idea of "advertisement slots" within a video is exactly the same as the good old TV shows/commercials we already know and love. This doesn't seem worthy of a patent.
    • by Vexorian (959249)
      Yes, also other than the part for which your post is different to a previous post it is exactly the same as a previous post.
    • Other than the fact the commercials might be dynamic based on the user watching, the whole idea of "advertisement slots" within a video is exactly the same as the good old TV shows/commercials we already know and love. This doesn't seem worthy of a patent.
      Is that perhaps why it's a patent application and has not issued as a patent?!
  • As annoying as some commercials are, it might be good to remember that radio might not have developed beyond a government service if someone hadn't figured out that selling advertising time during the broadcast could pay for the service.

    I occasionally watch tv shows on fox.com/fod, and I find the short interruptions of a single add to be more acceptable than dozens of ads during regular broadcast shows. A GOOD show might attract a high-bidding advertiser.
  • But is this a good thing? If you patent this type of advertising, then google can sue the crap out of anybody that uses it? If google doesn't use it then nobody does. Yah! I'm gonna patent bills in December.
  • I am an old retired programmer. If this stuff gets too egregious, I will come out of retirement and Tiv*(patent pending) the content. Might create an amusing programming war with Google. I wonder if they are too fat and happy to respond with vigor?
  • Adult Swim Fix already does this. Each TV show is broken up into different segments, and there is often a commercial in the middle iof those segments. I smell a patent lawsuit already.
  • The Patent (Score:1, Informative)

    by BIGELLOW (970109)
    Didn't anyone read the patent? The ad doesn't fill the entire screen space. The ad is a thin banner along the bottom of the screen. The video will continue to play uninterrupted. If the banner is in the way of anything, you can click a close button to make it go away. If you are interested in the ad, and click the banner, the video will be paused and you will see the full version of the ad. Once you stop interacting with the ad, you will be returned to the video which will continue to play where you l
    • by Tony Hoyle (11698)
      Firstly there's hugee amounts of prior art for ads at the bottom of the screen. This is not new (it's also illegal in some countries due to the implicit mixing of advertising/content that it causes, but probably not in the US where most of googles content will be generated).

      Secondly that a heck of a lot *more* annoying than full page ads, because to skip it you have to fast forward past parts of the programme you actually wanted to watch.

  • Enough with ads, they have the whole page to display ad, and an insert at the beginning "sponsored by..." should be enough without them having trying to rape the content.

    I come from a country where TV station are limited by law to one ad break per movie/tv show and where they don't pollute the screen with overlays of next weeks programming. Tv stations still make plenty of money don't worry. The difference is that our talk show host don't need to tell you they'll be right back every 8 minutes. It might b
    • by pretenda (1217974)
      What country is this? I want to move there. Our subscription TV here in Australia is horribly riddled with ads, and we still pay for the service. On top of that, our shows are generally a season or two behind (This is slowly being fixed, I think the Internet is making them understand that they need to get the shows out earlier.) Our free to air TV is even worse ...
    • I come from a country where TV station are limited by law to one ad break per movie/tv show and where they don't pollute the screen with overlays of next weeks programming.

      I agree with the other poster -- where is this country?

      I find US tv simply unwatchable and if it is anything like the futur of googletube you can be sure that I'll be amongst the first to install "video ad block" or whatever the name will be.

      I agree. Over here we call it "DVRs" or "BitTorrent", or, occasionally, "Rentals" -- it's very

  • motto. Never was much on creeds. Newman!
  • I have a great idea, and I'm going to take this one over to the monkey man to integrate into his company's newest over-bloated operating system, codename Excalibur.

    Excalibur will be based on the fact that computer users want to wait as much as possible for their computers to do things. This already happens in the company's current flagship product (well, it happens if you can find a machine that's actually compatible with it). You push a button and the hard drive grinds and grinds and grinds and grinds unti

  • ...and the match is getting short.

    One of the biggest draws for me to watch stuff online instead of on TV is the lack of interruptions in the middle of a program. Breaking off the main content right at a critical point will keep me watching, yes, but it will also make me rather perturbed. I don't take undesired content well when annoyed. If stuff like this starts happening, then not only will I not bother with the ads, I'll be moving to an entirely different video site.

    Of course, I'll be rather SOL if big co

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