Does anyone not skip the adverts?

I was listening to a show on Radio 5 last night, where they were talking about the changing nature of Radio and how it has had to adapt to the times (Sorry I cannot remember the name of it!!).  One of the guests used the You Tube example of people now choosing when they watch content and how long they watch it for, basically becoming their own content programmers.

It got me thinking about how annoying I find advertising nowadays.  Back when I had Sky and Sky Plus, I never watched any adverts on programmes I had recorded.  Skipped all the ad breaks (and on Sky that seemed to be every 5 minutes!!) and just watched the programmes.  A friend of mine told me how she used to pause any programme she wanted to watch “live” and go and make a coffee.  Then come back and watch it, slightly delayed, so that she could fast forward through the adverts.  It was such a good idea, that I started to do this too.

Now that I do not have this facility, I find myself rarely watching TV anymore.  The BBC channels have adverts for their own programmes more and more and this just irks me.  I pay a licence fee for the ability to watch what I want, not what you are suggesting I watch at some later date.  ITV is just a mess now and when they put on the mean and moody music and try to pretend that they are the home of Drama TV, well….it just smacks of someone desparate to be noticed for something worthy, when in fact they are anything but.  I know that Freeview have their own version of Sky Plus but I have not heard if it is any good or worth the money.  My TV signal is bad enough, despite being in the centre of Aberdeen, that I am not sure the extra outlay would be worth it for me.

However getting back to the adverts and Radio, I wondered if there was any way to have a similar “plus” service for Radio.  I struggle to listen to commercial radio due to the high amount of adverts.  So even though the content can be good, the rubbish that comes with it often makes it not worth while sticking with it.  Also I stopped listening to music radio because, the non commercial channels often played music I didnt like.  So I stick to my own music collection.  I am at an age where I have no desire to hear new bands, so that may well be part of why I feel this way.

I like listening to Football on the radio, both matches and fan phone ins.  I do not like any other sport, well apart from American football but thats never on British Radio, so I get annoyed when I tune in to hear the football results and get rugby or some other sport.  I do occasionally think that each sport should have its own radio station and then we can all listen to exactly what we want, when we want.

So if as a consumer, I have all this power as to what I want to watch or listen to (or at least I am supposed to have), what can be done?

There is no doubt that the internet will become increasingly the conduit for any content that we want to consume.  With that comes advertising and that can just push people into the piracy avenue.  Seriously, I tried to watch something on 4OD and there was 8 unskippable adverts before the programme and 8 in the half way break.  16 adverts in total for a half hour programme.  4OD has such a great range of content but the adverts get in the way of my enjoyment.  You tube has that advert before the video plays and I have yet to meet anyone that does not skip the ad as soon as the option arrives.  When they hit me with an unskippable advert before the video, I just quit out.  I doubt that there would ever be anything on the ITV player that I would ever want to watch and Demand 5 does not seem to have a great range of content available (or at least it didn’t the last time I looked, over a year ago, so things may well have changed).

Now I know that 4OD etc and you tube are free services and they have to make money somewhere but the forcing of advertising on the consumer is possibly going to have the effect of driving people to other avenues where advertising is not present.  Surely there is a better way, just waiting to be discovered.  I just hope the accountants and the people who have to monetise everything are kept away from it.


2013s most pirated TV shows

From this Bleeding Cool Article

I have spoken about this before.  The easiest way for Big Business to reduce the amount of piracy is to make shows available legally faster and cheaper.  Once the show has finished its run, put it out on DVD.  If the show is an American show that no British channel has picked up, then tough, put it out on multi region DVD anyway.  The people who pirate are the people who want to watch it now.  If they know they only have to wait till the end of the run before they can see it legally, then you cut the piracy massively down.

Now I know that you will never get rid of piracy but the anti pirate measures that are put in place just hurts the legal consumer and that is no way to treat people who are giving you money.  If I have paid money for a DVD then I do not want an anti piracy advert on the disc, especially one that I cannot skip (same goes for adverts but that is another post!)

I know over here that SKY often transmit the shows very soon after the US air date, but to be honest there are so many advert breaks, I could not watch stuff live on Sky anymore.  Plus I cannot afford it.  Same goes for Netflix and Lovefilm etc, although with them it is because I do not have decent internet and I have a limit on my usage of the internet I do have.  I will not be the only one that this affects.

DVD is the perfect medium for me.  I get the show I want, no adverts, no breaks between episodes, other than the ones I choose to have.  It is perfect.  I sat and worked my way through Arrow series one in just over a week and a half.  If I was waiting a week between episodes, I may not have given it a chance as I was convinced that I would hate a Smallvill with Arrows.  Thankfully the show is so much better than the Superman lite teen fest that Smallville was.   As for Game of Thrones, the third series does not even come out on DVD until the end of Feb 2014…..a massive missed opportunity to get cash from people who want to watch it this xmas at the very latest

So in conclusion.  TV companies should just release vanilla DVDs of their shows as soon as the shows last episode airs.  Make them region free because the potential audience for the shows will already have pirated the broadcasts by the time their countries TV networks decide to show it, so get the money from those that want the show legally.

We may not have a right to watch any TV show but in todays society, we do not like to wait and that is where the majority of the figures from that article come from.

My favourite cover version ever

The purpose of a cover version, at least in my mind, is to make a song your own.  There are loads that manage this perfectly.

The Manic Street Preachers version of “Umbrella” is just so good that it could have been one of their tunes.  I hate the original but this…this is good.

Special Mention should go to the work of Mr William Shatner and his various covers of songs, some of which sound like he had never heard them before.

Seriously…just listen to his “Lucy in the sky with Diamonds” and tell me that he had ever heard the original before he stood in front of the mic for this recording.  So many joyous songs by him but his version of “Common People” is by far the best of his covers.

I also have a massive soft spot for Carmen and Dicks calypso version of “Love Will Tear Us Apart“….just genius.

However my favourite cover version of all time is this one

I am not an Elvis fan, so that may explain why I love this version.  I love the Disco beat and the almost monotone singing of Neil Tennant.  The song always makes me smile.  The video though….the video is a weird collection of almost surreal images thrust at the viewer at random.  All the while it hints of being part of a bigger movie and this is a weird trailer like you used to get in the 70’s and 80’s.

So click, sit back and enjoy

Good Morning World


P.S.   I found this which seems to be more of a wee film….worth it just for the mad acting skills of Joss Ackland

Both you and I, we never asked for any of this

There is a bit in the Invisibles comic where Mason Lang talks about stepping through a mirror and wishing he could go back.
In the Matrix movie (there were no sequels, it’s just easier that way, trust me!) Cypher begs to be put back in. To forget about the world as it is and go back to living in the illusion.
Sometimes that is how I feel.
Mostly though, I’m just angry at how things are and how it seems that the majority of people just accept it.  The song “225” by New Model Army is scarily still relevant even almost 30 years on.

Sometimes I see other media that speaks with a voice I wish I had.  Most of the time it doesn’t quite cover how I feel.

Recently I picked up Channel Zero by Brian Wood.

You should too

That is all