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Television Advertising Media The Media Technology Entertainment

A Mixed Review For CBS's "All Access" Online Video Streaming 85

lpress writes I tested CBS All Access video streaming. It has technical problems, which will be resolved, but I will still pass because they show commercials in addition to a $5.99 per month fee. Eventually, we will all cut the cord and have a choice of viewing modes — on-demand versus scheduled and with and without commercials — but don't expect your monthly bill to drop as long as our ISPs are monopolies or oligopolies.
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A Mixed Review For CBS's "All Access" Online Video Streaming

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  • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @01:25PM (#48271429) Journal

    Eventually, we will all cut the cord and have a choice of viewing modes — on-demand versus scheduled and with and without commercials

    Don't expect many people will be willing to pay for skipping the commercials, once they see how much extra it is. You can be certain that skipping commercials will cost you more than $20 extra, are you willing to pay even that?

    Why do you think every website, from Facebook to Twitter to the crappy newspaper down the street, is trying to get a way to show video ads? It's because they make a lot of money off those things.

    • by OzPeter ( 195038 )

      Don't expect many people will be willing to pay for skipping the commercials, once they see how much extra it is. You can be certain that skipping commercials will cost you more than $20 extra, are you willing to pay even that?

      Yet look at how much people are prepared to pay just for the convenience of having an always connected, portable computer in their pocket

    • by Anonymous Coward

      In the 70s, when cable TV first started rolling out, one of the big selling points was "no ads." Obviously, the temptation to make more money won out, because after all... People will pay whatever you charge if they have no alternatives. We can rest assured the same will happen again.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        I can rent or outright buy the dvds for seasons at a time for usually 15-30 bucks, less if I look at used dvds. All commercial free except for maybe 'hey here is another show you may like' at the front of the sometimes unskippable commercial. Instead of boring political drivel, or car I will not buy, or food I do not want to eat. For what I dont like I re-sell.

        I too remember the promise of 'adfree' in cable. Then I remember 'only between shows'. Then I remember the promise of 'only quality ads'. That

      • when cable TV first started rolling out, one of the big selling points was "no ads."

        You're mistaking the sales pitch for premium channels with the sales pitch for cable as a whole. You're thinking of early marketing for HBO/SHO/MAX/TMC

        Cable in general was marketed as "more channels, clear picture"

        Antenna might get you 5 or 6 useable channels, here that was:

        WCIA 3, CBS Champaign (some slight snow)
        WILL 12, PBS Urbana
        WICD 15, NBC Champaign (too snowy most of the time, sometimes couldn't receive at all.)
        WAND 17, ABC Decatur, (snowy)
        WHOI 19, ABC Peoria
        WICS 20, NBC Springfield (snowy)
        WEEK 25

      • In the 70s, when cable TV first started rolling out, one of the big selling points was "no ads."

        Not true, since cable TV started out as literally a shared antenna with cables to each house.. So it was "just" getting OTA, which obviously still had/has commercials in it.

        Plus, even if that WERE true, just use a VCR or nowadays a DVR. (Though there are RARE times I will use On Demand for a show with 'forced' commercials.. Though several commercial-cable channels end up having their shows On Demand WITHOUT comm

    • I don't completely agree with this. Yes, it will cost a fortune to skip commercials, but that is because the commercials are still tied to the legacy business model. They exist to make money for broadcast television, and have been a solid revenue stream for cable television for decades. If people can switch their content delivery medium and skip commercials, the demand for the commercials from the customer side (the customers are the advertisers) will plummet, and the legacy model will collapse. Once th

      • Why ads exist (Score:5, Insightful)

        by sjbe ( 173966 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @01:46PM (#48271691)

        Yes, it will cost a fortune to skip commercials, but that is because the commercials are still tied to the legacy business model. They exist to make money for broadcast television, and have been a solid revenue stream for cable television for decades.

        Advertisements make money for both the broadcaster AND for the company doing the advertizing. Ads exist because there is a market for companies that are trying to sell to customers. Broadcast TV is merely the medium and the broadcasters happen to have a platform for reaching customers. This is no different than newspapers or Google. The business model of having a platform to get ads in front of potential customers is alive and well. The only difference is WHICH platform works today. Google and Facebook are on the rise, TV is holding steady and newspapers/magazines are having a tough go of it. But they all have basically the same business model - it's just that certain platforms work better than others and thus are more profitable.

      • I'm totally okay with the move to a netflix like model.
        Commercials? nope.
        High quality original content? yep.
        flat rate? yep.

        Seriously, you can keep your 9 minutes of commercials per 30 minutes of uninspired idiotic TV.

        Without sounding overly cynical, take something like 'Big Bang Theory'. You realize you're getting strung along like a marionette right? Commercial, dumbed down humor (with laugh track), blonde, commercial.. repeat.

    • My kids are happy watching amateur-made crappy videos on YouTube. They can always find something on Netflix. At $6/month for less available content (and commercials???) I don't think they have much hope with the younger generation.

      • I don't think they have much hope with the younger generation.

        So true. Our teenagers are now completely uninterested in anything on TV, recorded or otherwise. Their transition to YouTube is complete.

      • My oldest son's latest YouTube love? Watching people play video games on YouTube. He loves video games, but we can't afford every game/gaming system out there. So he can see how a game progresses as someone plays each level. Even if we do get the game, the YouTube videos act as a purchasing filter for us. He can see if the game is something he'd want to play or not before having to spend the $50+ on it.

        • My oldest son's latest YouTube love? Watching people play video games on YouTube. He loves video games, but we can't afford every game/gaming system out there. So he can see how a game progresses as someone plays each level.

          And now you know why some video game publishers have decided to take down or at least claim ad revenue on Let's Play videos on copyright grounds. You have admitted the existence of a demographic for which a complete playthrough video substitutes for buying the game itself.

          • In some ways, it is a substitute. However, many times these are games we aren't going to buy since we can't afford to buy every game out there. In other cases, for example Mario Kart 8 videos, they got my son psyched up to try the tracks himself. Even the ones we can't afford to buy psych my son up and he will pester us about buying the game for weeks. These play through videos can be powerful commercials for the games.

            • by tepples ( 727027 )

              In some ways, it is a substitute. However, many times these are games we aren't going to buy since we can't afford to buy every game out there. [...] These play through videos can be powerful commercials for the games.

              People who just flat-out pirate a game, movie, or album have made exactly this same excuse on Slashdot.

            • by Rakarra ( 112805 )

              I'll put on my "soul-killing media company" hat here, because you're trying to argue logically with them, while they'll come at this from a different perspective.

              In some ways, it is a substitute. However, many times these are games we aren't going to buy since we can't afford to buy every game out there.

              Then you and your son can do without. It's either no experience, or you fork over the cash for the game. There is no legal middle ground there. You don't get to keep the cash and get a degraded game experience. Not being able to afford the media isn't an excuse, if you don't want to, or can't buy it, then you go without completely.

              That would be the

        • You do realize Amazon bought twitch, a video game video site, for $970 million in cash, right?

          I'd never heard of it before the news came out.

          • I'd never heard of it before the news came out.

            I'm embarrassed to admit that you're ahead of me on this count -- I hadn't heard that Amazon was running a profit in the first place.

    • $20 per channel? Seems improbable, as HBO (and other ad free subscription networks) charges much less than that for a bundle of channels featuring original content. And while I hesitate to mention the BBC, given differences in salaries and other overheads US vs UK TV production, that provides, what, four TV channels (or is it five now? I've been out of the UK for a while), a similar number of radio channels, all with wide regional variations, and a symphony orchestra, for approximately $250 a year.

      Even i

    • Why do you think every website, from Facebook to Twitter to the crappy newspaper down the street, is trying to get a way to show video ads? It's because they make a lot of money off those things.

      That is because most people don't pay to visit a web site. Other than their ISP fees.

    • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

      > You can be certain that skipping commercials will cost you more than $20 extra

      I can already get ad free reruns for only $8.

      With an antenna, I can get them for FREE.

      Why should anyone expect it to cost as much as what you're claiming?

    • Commercials are okay. It's like an automatic pause button so you can go pee and make a sandwich.

    • I never even finished my 2-week free trial of Hulu Plus because they wanted to charge a monthly fee and STILL force me to watch a show with just as many commercials as it had when it aired. I have no problem with a service that has commercials. I have no problem with a service that charges a monthly fee. But I do have a problem with a service that wants to do BOTH. I will be damned if I'm going to pay for the privilege of being forced to watch a bunch of commercials. Even my cableco's DVR let's me fast-forw

    • But that has to be bullshit. There is no way the amount of commercials that I view (skip over with Tivo) are worth $20 across all channels, let alone a single network.

      CBS just thinks they are going to get to double-dip on pricing, and people will and for it. #1 network my ass. How many versions of the exact same CSI and NCIS can people put up with?

      • There is no way the amount of commercials that I view (skip over with Tivo) are worth $20 across all channels, let alone a single network.

        Do Nielsen ratings take into account commercials skipped with Tivo?

        • I am not even sure Nielsen ratings count Tivo time shifted programs at all. The old ratings and advertising systems seem to be breaking down.

  • by Charliemopps ( 1157495 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @01:29PM (#48271469)

    Blog posts filled with random unsupported opinions = News???

    • by Sowelu ( 713889 )

      I dunno, a big network buy-in to a new distribution model is definitely news in these parts, and "they still show commercials" is an informative summary telling you all that you really need to know.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )
      Perhaps the "news" is that more influential columnists have become aware of the practical problems in MPAA members' business models. (CBS shares a corporate parent with Paramount Pictures.)
  • mixed? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by frovingslosh ( 582462 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @01:30PM (#48271505)
    OK, it has technical problems, it cost 6 bucks a month for CBS, it still includes commercials, and it is run by and finances a corrupt entertainment industry. In what way is this a mixed review? I don't see anything good about this at all.
  • What they put on television isn't worth watching even without commercials. The only way you're getting me watching CBS is if they pay me. And they could if they worked their business model out to share half the advertising revenue with the watcher. Sure it'd be very tricky in technical details to make sure someone is watching and not just spawning a bunch of processes, but advertising where you share revenue with your viewers could be done. Some fringe video game sites are doing stuff like this already.
    • I was just speaking for myself. Obviously people watch CBS. They need to determine if they make more revenue on 6$/month or free to watch + commercials. I tend to think it would be the latter.
  • by FictionPimp ( 712802 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @01:49PM (#48271725) Homepage

    WTF??

    I can record your shit OTA for free. If I'm giving you money I'm not watching commercials. Sorry this is DOA to me.

    • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

      Agreed. I am not watching their commercials period. I would pay extra for an alternate ad-free option before I would bother with this nonsense.

      Although CBS comes in fine OTA where I live...

    • I can record your shit OTA for free.

      That depends on how much you want to pay TiVo per month for DVR service.

      • TiVo is not the only way to record television shows. You can do it free of any charges, IF you know how.
        • by tepples ( 727027 )
          You mean recording OTA with MythTV? You still have to buy a device to dedicate to recording and subscribe to listings.
          • Or hell a VCR and a timer!

            • by tepples ( 727027 )
              But do well-known companies still make VCRs with a digital OTA tuner and affordable blank tapes? I thought new VCRs sold nowadays were either A. limited to line-in recording, which means you have to sit there and change the channel between one timer program and the next, or B. not actually VCRs but VCPs (video cassette players
  • Will Not Pay (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Scottingham ( 2036128 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @01:52PM (#48271763)

    I have a simple rule; I will not pay a subscription for a service that also makes me watch ads. Not going to happen. Hulu-plus can fuck itself, as can this CBS trash.

    • I'd be okay with it if we were allowed to pay in ads. I'd love to send them some clips of Preparation H or Summer's Eve's commercials.
    • by 1gig ( 102295 )

      100% Agree with this you want me to pay for it then no ads!! This is the only reason I refuse to subscribe to Hulu-plus no way in hell I'm paying them just so I can watch ads. And this is the reason NetFlix and Amazon Prime have my money No ADS!! As long as HBO goes Ad free then I may subscribe to them as well then I'm done that should be all I need or want.

    • I have a simple rule; I will not pay a subscription for a service that also makes me watch ads. Not going to happen. Hulu-plus can fuck itself, as can this CBS trash.

      I am perfectly fine with Hulu Plus, because what I am paying for there is a DVR not an advertisement free experience. After cutting the cord Hulu Plus is the easiest way to watch my shows whenever I want. Now CBS can go fuck itself because it just wants more money than what Hulu will give them. $8 per month for a DVR is fine, but $5-6 per month per channel is ridiculous. That is why I only watch Big Bang Theory and don't even try out new CBS shows anymore (the fact they make me wait an extra week makes me e

  • by kheldan ( 1460303 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @02:00PM (#48271867) Journal
    I'll stick with an antenna and TiVo and skip the ads, TYVM.
  • by DutchUncle ( 826473 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @02:12PM (#48272037)
    The television industry isn't about ads being inserted into shows; it's about shows being put on to draw people to the ads. Since there are other ways to watch shows, especially if one is willing to wait, sports has become the only "must-watch-live" item, which is why the networks are willing to pay so much for the rights to broadcast sports.

    That goes for Facebook and Youtube and all of the other services, too. They just stumbled on cheaper ways to produce their "shows", namely provide the infrastructure for viewers to entertain each other.
  • Sure, I'll give CBS $5.99, NBC $5.99, TBS $5.99, ect, ect, ect. Just that fact that every network thinks they need their own on demand distribution channel is enough to make me avoid any of them all together. If they would all back Netflix or Hulu or NextBigThingStreamer with past and current content I'd have no problem paying $40+ a month even with limited commercials. Other than thinking they need to increase their margin quarter after quarter while paying Ashton Kutcher $1 million an episode for 2 and h
    • You can get all three of the channels you mentioned bundled together with about 200 other channels delivered by satellite for about $40 a month... paying channel by channel just gets too many credit card fees on the way there.

      • by PRMan ( 959735 )
        But we don't watch anything on NBC or TBS, so I wouldn't pay for those. My $40 just went to $18. And besides, let's be real. Everybody but CBS is on Hulu Plus for $8 a month and probably isn't going anywhere anytime soon.
  • by Corporate Gadfly ( 227676 ) on Thursday October 30, 2014 @05:28PM (#48274001)

    OTA plus HTPC-based DVR plus comskip = F U CBS

  • a Youtube model where I can store my preferences locally? I wouldn't even necessarily need an account, then. There'd be commercials sprinkled in, but otherwise I'd have access to everything made by the networks ever. And then, if I don't like the commercials, I can whip out my card and pay to get just the shows.

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