Commercial Content Can Thrive Again!

Can someone please explain ‘Ad Blocking’ to me? And by that I mean I understand it completely, I just don’t see it’s usefulness, except maybe to undermine a free market.

Ad blocking usage has grown by 41% in the past 12 months. More than half of the $14 billion annual digital display spend alone is a complete waste of money since less than 8% of display ads are even seen my real people! I don’t know about you but I find this baffling.


Insert TiVo’s new Bolt, a device that lets viewers skip commercial pods entirely and the ad blocking game has now completely usurped commercial supported programming on all levels. I’m sure TiVo’s CEO Ton Rogers is proud. I don’t know where he’s going to advertise the company’s newest device, but I’m sure he’s proud nonetheless.

More than $5 trillion a year changes hands in an advertising and content  industry that employs over 12 million people around the globe. If nothing changes, if people don’t start to think as radically and disruptive as the technology that’s trying to put them out of business, then there won’t be a business model left to protect.

  • The 1000+ channel line-up will be history.
  • Networks and web-sites will move to subscription models.
  • Free On Demand will be a thing of the past.
  • MILLIONS of web destinations will fold. Probably not a terrible thing 😉
  • Apple TV, Amazon Prime and Netflix will thrive.
  • Jobs will be lost, by the millions.
  • OOH Advertising (and possibly radio) will thrive.

In light of all that, here are some completely free, easy to use, super simple ways to deal with ad-blocking.


  1. MAKE BETTER ADS   – You know those ads we see on TV or YouTube that makes us cringe and punch on the FF button or hit SKIP as fast as humanly possible?  Don’t make those.  Think about the medium you’re advertising on, sell, for sure, but it’s probably going to go over a little better if your angle is kind of entertaining.
  2. PLAN BETTER MEDIA –  Ever sit down to watch your favorite show and find yourself seeing the same ads over, and over, and over again?  Limiting same ad runs in a half hour show might be a smart move.  Repetitive ads tend to make people lunge for that remote or hit a Skip button as soon as they can.
  3. BUY TIVO – Hell, Google, Apple, Microsoft buy up their competition, long before they have any power to hurt their business model.  Maybe someone with a few more bucks than me will step up and be a hero.
  4. IS THIS LEGAL –  Serious question here.  Has anyone ever challenged the legality of ad blocking?  It seems as though tampering with someone else’s intellectual property might be frowned upon.
  5. RUN FEWER, MORE EXPENSIVE ADS – So few that it would make hitting and stopping a FF button a complete pain in the ass. Sponsor recall would surge and viewers would have a more enjoyable viewing experience. Seems pretty simple.
  6. WITHHOLD CONTENT – Distributors can lock content until ad blocking is disengaged.
  7. MAKE EM’ PAY –  If the commercial model fails, I have no doubt that viewing content on any channel or site or app will be a pay as you go venture for the consumer. And even at that, it will have limited commercial interruptions and a disabled fast forward feature.

It will be interesting to see what unfolds.  If I was a bettin’ man, and I am, I’d expect a more improved and streamlined version of pay and commercially supported experiences play out.

To Your Success!