Anyone else noticed? No commercials

Discussion in 'Apple TV and Home Theater' started by Jugney, Aug 29, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    May 6, 2008
    So it's been great to see all the app-channels added to AppleTV this summer.

    And as I check out all the new ones each time they come out, I'm struck by one thing - I've never seen a commercial on one!

    WatchESPN just shows some of ESPN's own sports photos during breaks. For everything else, you might as well be watching Netflix. Except of course that I'm not paying anything. It's awesome. And it seems too good to be true.

    How could this be? Networks just going along with this disruption of the advertising model.

    I tried Googling to find articles addressing this. Something that might answer the burning question - How on earth did Apple pull this off?!

    Does anyone have a clue?
  2. macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    I would think that they used negotiations until both sides reached a mutual agreement.
  3. macrumors newbie

    Aug 29, 2012
    I imagine commercials are coming. Doesn't the Fox News streaming App have commercials?
  4. macrumors 68000

    Aug 11, 2009
    You are already paying for WatchESPN so they don't need to add commercials. I believe Apple also pays a small cut to ESPN for providing access as well.
  5. thread starter macrumors member

    May 6, 2008
    Actually, I don't have cable. And don't forget cable channels still have commercials thrown in, even though you're already paying for it.

    And while I miss ESPN's live top-tier content, it offers plenty of other live and recorded content, commercial-free, without paying anything. This is part of what makes Apple's offering remarkable.

    I'm surprised more people don't get the significance of this or have curiosity about where this will go in the future.
  6. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 8, 2010
    Detroit, Michigan
    I enjoy the commercial free environment the Apple TV provides - I don't use Hulu - and sometimes, I feel like not even bringing up comments like these just in cases it gives ideas to those who would put commercials in! :p
  7. macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2012
    Fox News is one giant commercial already, so that doesn't really matter.
  8. Jugney, Aug 30, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2013

    thread starter macrumors member

    May 6, 2008
    Maybe I should elaborate on this.

    On my iPhone, WatchESPN doesn't let me watch anything without a cable subscription.

    On their website, ESPN doesn't let me watch anything that's live without a cable subscription. The recorded content you can watch comes with commercials.

    So the AppleTV not only lets you watch more than anywhere else - the live content is nothing to sneeze at because of the infrastructure required to deliver it - but it does so without any commercials or any branding (i.e. "Powered by Charter") besides ESPN's own.

    Or let's look at the YouTube app. There was a rift between Microsoft and Google this year over the Windows 8 YouTube app not displaying ads, which naturally Google didn't like, and they blocked it.

    You have to think there is mounting pressure for the AppleTV YouTube app to begin showing ads. I wonder how they can get around this long-term?


    Fox doesn't have an app for Apple TV. Whatever they've already done on iOS doesn't count because we've already seen the rules are different on Apple TV.
  9. macrumors 68000


    Oct 30, 2006
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    The YouTube app's lack of annotations, pre-video commercials and on-video banner ads makes for nice extended viewing as well.
  10. macrumors 68000

    Aug 11, 2009
    The Xbox WatchESPN app is the same way. The reason you see content is because of your ISP is paying for ESPN3. So it is not free. Some ISPs still have ESPN3 access even though they are killing it off and using WatchESPN access through your tv provider. And I have seen commercials during NFL games. But the lack of commercials is the same on all platforms for WatchESPN.
  11. macrumors 65816

    Oct 18, 2007
    Under that theory, people paying for Hulu Plus shouldn't be seeing commercials. Not the case.

    It's just a situation where a negotiation has been made for OTA advertising and not for online. Look at the Super Bowl, two very different negotiations.
  12. macrumors 65816

    Aug 7, 2006
    You can watch any replay with ATV's WatchESPN app. What you can't watch however is live streaming. That requires a TV provider subscription and activation on the app.
  13. macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    Well if Apple becomes more of a content provider with more channels, don't get used to it. None of this stuff gets made for free, so it's got to be paid for somehow. Don't expect some WatchESPN app as part of a subscription package to come at you for $4 or $5/month, which is what I think the ESPN channels cost per month to cable companies. That's the cost WITH all the ads ESPN runs. If you want it without commercials, 1) I'm guessing it would be upward of $20/year, 2) It's not going to help you with most live content.

    If all video content moves toward on-demand channels delivered over the Internet, I think a good experiment would be to charge one price for no commercials, one price for whatever you want to deem as limited commercials, and then another for whatever you want to deem normal commercials. Aside from live events, this could work with the right infrastructure.

    But what you're still going to find out is most people will pay the much cheaper prices for commercials. I work for a newspaper, and just because you pay 75 cents or whatever for a copy comes NOWHERE NEAR paying the bills. Magazines and cable channels are the exact same. They put X number of commercials and ads in because that's how they think money is best made.

    The vast majority of people aren't going to pay for these products sans all commercials. The Atlanta newspaper has kind of a neat experiment with its pay vs. free websites. The free website has the gluttony of ads that make you want to puke. The pay one I think has three ads on a page and none of the HEY LOOK AT ME LOOK AT ME expanding ads that most people hate with a passion. So if that works, maybe Apple can develop it for video channels.
  14. macrumors regular

    Aug 28, 2013
    WatchEspn and the new Disney Channels along with countless apps on both iOS and Android all require you to authenticate a paid cable/sat account. They are extensions of your paid subscription, they will not work for cord cutters.

    These apps without commercials are a way for these channels to solidify their marketshare in an emerging market. Paying a couple dollars a month for the channels you want to stream is the future of these channels. Their only goal at this point is to get as many viewers as possible so they can profit in the future. The will profit in the billions just by solidifying their market over the coming streaming infrastructure. There is nothing miraculous about it, simple business.
  15. macrumors 603

    Jun 19, 2009
    i think commercials are played via some other system and localized to where ever you live, that's why you don't see them when you stream. i bet in 1-3 years they will have commercials in the stream as well.

    i would rather have ads than the content locked to a cable TV bill. even with MLB TV i would rather have ads than stare at that dumb graphic when there is a break.
  16. macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    I believe it's because the commercials are sold to advertisers based on being seen by X eyeballs on TV systems. So the advertisers aren't paying for commercials on a streaming service, which means the broadcaster isn't going to just throw these ads on a different system for free. Hence the countless in-house ESPN ads when you watch ESPN streaming.

    Different ads via streaming makes a ton of sense because you can target them to location and time. If someone watches a replay of the Super Bowl today, what sense would a movie ad for "The Hunger Games" coming to theaters in March make? The business probably just isn't there yet.

    I would also rather have ads than the stock ESPN logo just staring at me. But make them different. I have a podcast I listen to that places ads in it, but they are the same 3 or 4. They get old. Quickly.
  17. macrumors 65816

    Jan 1, 2008
    When I first saw the logo/pictures instead of ads on MLB and ESPN, I wanted to celebrate. I loathe ads on television, and mute them without fail. I can't imagine wanting to see them for any reason. I'd rather watch grass grow.

  18. macrumors 68000

    Aug 11, 2009

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