The latest threat to the TV ad was reported in Marketing this week. TV Suite by VideoReDo is a piece of software that can strip commercials from television and movie content. For $75 TV Suite allows you to "cut to the good parts of TV". Sounds scary, right? Personal Video Recorders (PVRs) like Sky+ are bad enough, allowing you to record TV and then fast forward through the ads. With TV Suite there won't be any ads at all.
But hang on a minute. Read a bit more closely and things for the venerable TV spot are not quite as bad as they seem. "All" you have to do is download video onto a computer then burn it onto a DVD using the software. Not sure how many people are going to bothered to do that.
The same article also has some interesting data on PVRs themselves. I was surprised to learn that according to Channel 4, 85% of viewing in houses that have these devices is still live. Only a paltry 15% of people who have PVRs can actually skip the ads.
A key reason for so many people still watching TV live is the good job the TV companies have done at creating "event-based" television. Huge successes like X-Factor/Idol and Dancing with Stars/Celebrity Come Dancing have got people back in front of the box. Watching these programmes live and voting by text of phone is part of the fun.
So, the good old TV ad is still alive and kicking, despite all the reports of its demise. At least for now.