Re: IP was: My Extropian Manifesto...

Date: Sun Aug 13 2000 - 20:39:02 MDT

For another look at the future challenges to IP, see
(US people can register for free. Try cpunks/cpunks if you like.)

This talks about TiVo and Replay, the new "personal video recorders"
which save TV shows on disk and let you watch them whenever you like.
The article predicts that these things will be the same kind of threat
to TV that Napster is to the music business. The problem is, these
systems allow you to skip past commercials. If they catch on, the whole
financial basis for the TV industry would be in jeapordy.

The article goes on to suggest that the solution ultimately will
be advertising so targetted that people will _want_ to see the ads.
The only way for this to work is for the advertisers (or at least some
part of the advertisement-delivering machinery) to know a lot about your
tastes and preferences. TiVo and similar systems might allow this kind
of information gathering.

Theoretically, everyone wins. Advertisers present their ads to people
who are maximally receptive to their message, and viewers see ads about
the very products they are most interested in.

However there seem to be flaws in this tidy picture. If people really
want to see the ads, why should the advertisers pay for expensive TV
programming to wrap around them? Normally the only way they can get you
to watch ads is by putting them in shows. If you actually liked the ads,
there's no reason for the advertisers to pay for the shows.

Also, as the article mentions, much advertising doesn't fit into this
model. Everyone buys toilet paper, but most people aren't going to be
eager to see ads for it. The nature of advertising may change as only
certain kinds of products can be presented in an appealing way.

I wonder if the industry will try to pass some kind of laws to preserve
the status quo in the same way that the music and movie people have done.


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