In the Loop

In the Loop: July 25, 2007 Archive

Would you like advertisements with that?

Posted at 11:00 AM on July 25, 2007 by Sanden Totten (2 Comments)

We can duck, we can dodge, we can fast forward and we can plug our ears, but like it or not, advertisements are coming to podcasts.

Not the LoopCast of course, but this New York Times article mentions a new industry group that is working to get commercials on your iPod. Understandably, businesses are eager to tap into the podcasting audience, and many podcasters I'm sure would love the extra income. The problem is figuring out how to use the commercials and how to find out who is listening to them. Since there is money to be made though, I'm sure this group will come up with a solution.

Now, as a savvy navigator of the internet and it's various offerings, how does that make you feel?

In my opinion, this is a game of cat and mouse that gets played all over our media landscape. Audiences enjoy a program, advertisers stick in their product. Audiences go somewhere else, advertisers show up there too.

Let's face it there is no escaping commercials. TiVo seemed like a good solution, but advertisers found a way around that. According to this article, Visa started making it's "Life Takes Visa" campaign more striking and colorful so that even on fast forward it will catch your eye. And then there is product placement. Some TV shows are going so far as to tell websites what products their characters use so that viewers can see a pair of jeans on an actress they like and order them on-line during a commercial break. It's not just paying for the show, it's selling the show.

Does that seem a little extreme?

Well, maybe. But let's face it, somebody has to pay for the shows and podcasts we love. Since we obviously can't stomach the idea of paying for content ourselves, why shouldn't we let businesses do it for us? I may lament the idea of advertisers creeping into my iTunes, as long as I keep getting my favorite podcasts for free, I say it's worth it.

Just please, no stupid jingles.

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