back to article Can the last person watching desktop video please turn out the light?

A little-noticed but quite remarkable factoid emerged from the world of digital advertising last week. Ad revenue from TV plug-in boxes has surpassed revenue from videos that play in a desktop or laptop’s web browser. The news may surprise you as so many mainstream sites play video whether you asked to see it or not. The auto- …

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"It’s an encouraging figure, as it may incentivise advertisers to use their ad spending more effectively"

There's a leap of logic here which equates "seen" with "effective". For those of us for whom "seen" leads PDQ to "pisses off", "seen" should probably be equated to "counter-productive".

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Lots more fish in the sea.

To them, the fact some are smart enough to avoid at all costs the net, does not mean the nets are not bulging.

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"There's a leap of logic here which equates "seen" with "effective". For those of us for whom "seen" leads PDQ to "pisses off", "seen" should probably be equated to "counter-productive"."

Just said the same thing to an AA phone-botherer. What on earth makes them think that annoying a (potential) customer is a good way to sell anything.

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If it doesn't have - at minimum - a skip button on it, I will go out of my way to avoid your service, not use the advertised services, and block/remove whatever I can if I ever do need to use them.

It's quite simple. While you're reasonable, so am I. I'll let you stuff an advert into your free video, so long as I can skip it. If I can't skip it, then I won't bother with your video. I'll even let you have a clearly-stated "advertising funded program" (e.g. UKTV Play, 4oD, etc. but they tend to give up once you've watched a couple of sets of adverts in a 24 hour period and just play what you want without ads). But equally I'm quite at liberty to go make a sandwich while they play and come back when my program comes back on.

But when you try to shove them into places they don't belong, they need to be skippable. Like Prime video - no, I don't care about those other series you have. I really DO NOT CARE. I clicked on this series because I want to watch this series, and I pay annually for that privilege. Stop advertising at me. Luckily they have the sense to have a skip button.

But when you try to play when I scroll away (FACEBOOK!), when you auto-play when I didn't ask (lots of places), when you jump to another video at the end without my permission (BBC News!), when you force me to sit through ads to get to crap that I haven't even seen a bit of yet, you can find yourself another viewer somewhere else. In fact, doing that stuff is the perfect way for me to flee from your content entirely before I've ever looked at it.

Seriously, if I'm on a website I've never been on before, whether it's a product review or a game, whether it's a science article or an IT how-to instructional, if your video plays without me pressing explicit buttons to make it do that, or if there's noise and Chrome says it's coming from your tab, or if you jump in my face and won't get out of my way, then I literally just close the tab and never go back.

I know you want to force me to watch it. But you don't make ANYTHING vaguely inticing, interesting or worth watching. Seriously, I'm an IT guy and the adverts I get are all "how to maximise your business synergy" junk anyway. Show me an ad for something relevant (even a computer game would do), make it interesting, make me go "Oh, wow, that looks good". But you can't. Because you're just selling junk and don't really care that nobody wants to see that junk. Even the media companies have basically given up, by the looks of it.

When TV was king, we were all singing their theme tunes, using their sayings ("You know when you've been...", "Philadelphia?", "Mildness is a cigar called...", "Easily turn-off-and-on-able"). Tell me ONE online advertising campaign that you actually remember, that your mates would know, that was catchy or enticing in its own right.

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" Show me an ad for something relevant"

Pity theres no such thing as targeted advertising due to the strict privacy and freedom laws we have.

"we were all singing their theme tunes"

Cos we used to have to sit through them . Only 3 channels ,No skip buttons , no DVRs , no VHS sometimes!

If you ask me this is the golden age of avoiding ads. The TV companies havent realised we dvr/ live pause anything we want and avoid the ads. The adBlocker debate still ongoing and blockers available.

Sooner or later it will get really difficult to avoid ads, becasue at the end of the day they are our payment for the free stuff.

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Facepalm

I did once (and only ever once!) see an interesting Internet advert. But I missed most of it because of habitually ignoring adverts, and the video controls were locked down, so I couldn't rewind or start it again.

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Pirate

I definitely agree with you about the adverts before things on Amazon.

I can't argue with them on Youtube, because I don't pay them a penny, but I actually pay money to Amazon (partly) for prime video, so I surely don't want to sit there and watch bloody adverts. They seem to be forgetting how easy it would be for me to just pirate their shows, and to watch them with definitely no advertising at all.

I will happily pay for content, provided I get at least as good a product as if I pirated it, which means no adverts, no "FBI copyright warnings", and no unskippable trailers.

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Anonymous Coward

If Amazon are showing adverts on a paid service then they are no better than Sky TV where the original selling point when it first started was the lack of adverts, you know the things you are now bombarded with every 5 minutes or so on many channels. There's a reason piracy thrives - certainly many are freeloaders but I'd wager a lot simply do not want fucking adverts. Netflix is a step in the right direction but they neither have everything you want nor are particularly profitable.

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Anonymous Coward

"Seriously, if I'm on a website I've never been on before, whether it's a product review or a game, whether it's a science article or an IT how-to instructional, if your video plays without me pressing explicit buttons to make it do that, or if there's noise and Chrome says it's coming from your tab, or if you jump in my face and won't get out of my way, then I literally just close the tab and never go back."

I apply that even to websites I've frequented often in the past. If they are going to start shoving unwanted video at me, then I pretty much cross them off my reading list.

I notice some of the worst offenders are some of the techie blogs that try to update to have a hip, modern interface. Hint: tech blogs originally became popular for reading because their content was relatively simple and straightforward.

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"Pity theres no such thing as targeted advertising due to the strict privacy and freedom laws we have."

No, there's plenty of badly targeted ads. Even in-line from whatever site you're looking at: "You might be interesed in"

...whatever you've just bought and don't need another of

...something that you just decided not buy because it was overpriced crap

...something that matched one key word of your search string but failed on all four others

The reason there's no well targeted advertising is that marketing is over-populated with over-eager gabblers with no self-control and no thinking skills.

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I find this useful

Personal Blocklist (by Google). It allows you to simply remove a site from their search results.

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Payment

They are NOT our payment, we are.

The problem I have is they want either .005$ per view or something like 1$ per view.. I would pay .005 per view.. not the 1$ they demand.

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Really?

Then you either have and adblock here or dont care about stupid ads in thereg...

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Anonymous Coward

@ Prst. V.Jeltz

"Pity theres no such thing as targeted advertising " - You mean, having bought a widget, the ads I see for more widgets? You mean having looked at a wodget and decided it is crap, the ads I then see for wodgets? That bevavioral advertising? Nope. Don't see it. Adblock et al are quite effective, thanks.

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Targeting

"The reason there's no well targeted advertising is that marketing is over-populated with over-eager gabblers with no self-control and no thinking skills."

I don't want targeted ads. If I see any, this means I'm being tracked by the ad networks.

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Flame

Re: Really?

There are ads on the Reg pages? I'm shocked. Obviously, I have a well-balanced computer set-up.

For the record, I don't remember the last time I watched live TV - It's just too easy to FF 5" to skip them.

Trouble is, I am aware of just how short programmes have become. Lucky now to get 40 mins out of an hour show.

Likewise, I have quit watching DVD's because of all the unskippable stuff they really want me to watch when all I want to watch is the film I bloody paid for. So easy to rip just the film and file the original.

Actually, it's their greed that turns me off, when the ad breaks were not so frequent, and only lasted three mins, I could put up with them. But 5 mins four times an hour, with frequent sly over-runs, is quite beyond the pale.

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Did they ever stop to think it's because it's a million times easier to block adverts on a desktop/laptop than it is on some rebadged Android box?

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I have blocked via noscript most of the newspaper video providers, hello Brightcove. This is because they will start the videos automatically when I visit a page. I have had enough of the video restarting when I scroll down the page or the mute disappearing etc. I don't need that especially if I'm trying to do something in the office and supposed to be listening to a conference call etc.

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I have blocked via noscript

noscript here too

- now some sites are blocking me (instead of me blocking them) - if that's the way they want to be, I don't need them.

With flash disabled too, only a few things been slipping thru.

But... I'm sure advertisers are working hard to overcome blocking techniques.

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Re: I have blocked via noscript

I have ditched ABP+, the latest few updates had slowed my browser to a crawl; having switched it off, I found Noscript was doing pretty much the same job - and more effectively.

Unless it is a site I know needs active scripts - and I trust that site - I dont see any adverts or videos - even then, many of these videos/ads are actually fetched from a 3rd party, so even if I "trust" the main website, the video/ad still gets blocked - perhaps that is what is really going on - and not the bolloxs the story suggests.

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"block adverts on a desktop/laptop than it is on some rebadged Android box?"

Not that difficult, surely, to use some kind of host based ad blocking (e.g. AdAway)?

No ads on YouTube for my original Chromecast, thanks very much to Eureka.

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Paris Hilton

Ad revenue from TV plug-in boxes has surpassed revenue from videos that play in a desktop or laptop’s web browser. The news may surprise you

No it dosent , it confuses me

I have managed to gather that you are talking about ad vids not utube / vines / stream vid etc

Am I to infer that plug in boxes have no ad-videos? or that box share is overtaking desktop share?

or that plug in boxes dont have good ad block?

does "boxes" include phones, cos thats where (god knows why) nearly everyone i know goes on the internet.

I'td just be easier for me if some gave me the gist . As Homer simpson once said

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Anonymous Coward

That's a bit odd

I have a NowTV box but actually use the NowTV app on the PC to watch stuff and it works well, no adverts at all, not even the BBC "here's what's on but this isn't an advert but here's our new shows in the usual spot commercial channels show adverts.. look our new shows, you should watch this, bu it's not an advert."

To give some comparison, my dad watches Game of thrones 9pm to 10pm. I watch it a couple of hours earlier without adds and it's 47 mins long.

I pay nothing as I'm still on yet another free trial of the service..

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Well it ain't coming from me

I think the only adverts I've ever seen on Chromecast were on YouTube and I don't watch it much due to the complete lack of interesting content. No adverts on Netflix or iPlayer and on the odd occasion we watch broadcast TV the misses mutes them all.

As for auto playing video adverts on the web, where are they? I don't see this phenomenon on any of the website I frequent, maybe its a Facebook thing. I refuse to be assimilated so I wouldn't know if it was.

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Re: Well it ain't coming from me

As for auto playing video adverts on the web, where are they?

CNET videos play by default but you can stop them doing it through a setting. Other than that I agree - auto play videos are very rare these days for me.

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Re: Well it ain't coming from me

The Newsweek site is particularly annoying for the videos that insist on playing even after you've stopped them, and then follow you around the page.

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Re: Well it ain't coming from me

"I think the only adverts I've ever seen on Chromecast were on YouTube and I don't watch it much due to the complete lack of interesting content. "

How can you have a complete lack of interest in the content on YouTube?

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WTF?

Not surprised. No. Not even slightly.

"Ad revenue from TV plug-in boxes has surpassed revenue from videos that play in a desktop or laptop’s web browser."

No Schlitz. Imagine that! Plopping your fat asterisk down on a couch, with a cold beer, in front of a big screen, makes for better TV viewing. And the twenty-buck-stick makes any old TV relevant again. Wow. I am stunned. Stunned! (That anyone would even contemplate being shocked by the obvious.)

"and tune in mostly during the popular, primetime TV hours"

And again, bowled over am I. What, were we supposed to be watching TV at work or something? While driving? Hoard some in the bathroom? Watch in the grocery store while picking up something for dinner maybe? Wake up in the middle of the night? Pretty sure it is was noted as being the prime time for a reason and that was why it was targeted with better programming. Being able to stream whatever, whenever, doesn't make the most optimal time to watch any less the most optimal time to watch. It just makes the content better.

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Re: Not surprised. No. Not even slightly.

"Pretty sure it is was noted as being the prime time for a reason and that was why it was targeted with better programming."

Targeted, certainly. Better? Matter of opinion. Thanks to MythTV we seldom tune in to watch anything at broadcast time these days.

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Meh

Re: Not surprised. No. Not even slightly.

Thanks to MythTV we seldom tune in to watch anything at broadcast time these days.

Nor does the person you are replying to ;)

What they are saying is that 'Prime Time' is just a particular time of the day when people are most likely to watch TV(*). Due to their use of time shifting technology they can now watch anything they want during that time and can therefore improve their experience of it.

(*)Or an equivalent video stream from some service-or-other.

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Re: Not surprised. No. Not even slightly.

>>a big screen, makes for better TV viewing.

>>And the twenty-buck-stick makes any old TV relevant again

I prefer a PC/Laptop output to any flat screen TV with VGA input.

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Devil

Re: Not surprised. No. Not even slightly.

Speak for yourself - I find the lack of arm- and particularly lower back-support of a typical couch (as well as the distinctly sub-par means to occasionally interact with the thing I'm viewing if it isn't a feature length thing) severely inferior to a decent office chair* and a desktop monitor (which by the way is almost guaranteed to have a larger apparent field of view from the distance I'm watching it than any TV I could possibly ever afford).

*It's not nice to beat someone who's already down, but get this: mine has a head rest. And it reclines...

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Happy

Re: Not surprised. No. Not even slightly.

I totally agree. I spend a fair bit of time at my desk computer so I have a custom desk, large monitor and very comfortable office chair. Watching TV of any variety is so much better - even the sound is better.

I also have access to ad avoiding tools by using the computer, so what's not to like?

Our cat has now taken up residence in the living room armchair, by the look of her she now has the aching back that a couple of hours screen time gave me.

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Not a surprise

"Ad revenue from TV plug-in boxes has surpassed revenue from videos that play in a desktop or laptop’s web browser. The news may surprise you"

Why would it surprise anyone? PC web browsers have ad-blockers, streaming dongles generally don't. It's not surprising that advert revenue is higher in places that people actually see adverts.

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I don't really regard a channels "look what is coming up" type announcements as adverts and don't mind those, and have previously discovered a new TV programme that I would otherwise have missed. As for the standard, 3rd party, ads I TVR everything on commercial TV and FF past any ad breaks, run a Adblocker and make a mental note of any product whose ads have annoyed me and make sure I never purchase said products as much as I can.

Regarding the ad companies I think it is so sweet that they really believe that they are providing a valuable service to us!

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I don't really regard a channels "look what is coming up" type announcements as adverts

Each to his own, I suppose, but I don't seem to be the only one here that does.

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Same here - I fail to see a difference between interrupting the thing I'm actually trying to watch every ten to fifteen minutes with "oh look tat I don't care to buy " (either an energy drink, a new car or a can of "washable" paint - neither of which I have any use for) and "oh look retards I don't care to watch" (as it invariably turns out to be ads for eleven different reality shows or sitcoms - which is almost the same thing: retards goofing off in an attempt at a dull slice-of-life reenactment. Yes, I'm great fun at parties too!).

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This...

Disable HTML5 autoplay addin

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/disable-html5-autoplay/efdhoaajjjgckpbkoglidkeendpkolai

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Pint

Hate autoplay videos?

Two simple steps

1) Use Firefox

2) Set 'media.autoplay.enabled' to 'false' in about:config

Never be plagued by autoplay videos again (though you can still watch any you wish to, by manually clicking play).

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Re: Hate autoplay videos?

That does NOT always work, as assholes sites can use JS to get around that.

You must also set media.autoplay.allowscripted to false as well.

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As usual, everybody loves to predict the death of the desktop

As usual people seem to love predicting the death of the desktop for headlines.

What is more correct is that more devices are able to stream videos as the hardware to do so has become cheaper and smaller, so now people watch on whatever they like, their Desktop PC, their laptop, an Amazon FireTV stick on their TV, their phone etc, or for many households, all of the above at the same time.

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Worst offenders are some that try to update to have a hip, modern interface.

Like Google news? See ya later alligator.

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Advertisers want to pay for ads on OTT boxes

Because you can't skip the ads, like everyone with a DVR does these days for traditional TV. You can't block the ads, like everyone with half a brain does with adblockers on desktop/laptop/smartphone.

Color me unsurprised that advertisers prefer buying ads on the side of the billboard that faces the road, instead of the other side that faces a vacant warehouse.

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I live in the UK where we have a licence fee to pay for a bunch of substandard content, overpaid child molesting employees and which was used to fund a private BBC company that sells content around the world that licence fee payers aren't allowed to watch and which lines private investors pockets at UK taxpayers expense

So I stopped watching any form of transmitted TV about 15 years ago and haven't looked back, I watch streamed shows which means I can watch a show when it suits me without having to set a timer to record it and I can pause shows and watch them over several days if I am busy or leave them till a season ends and binge watch

Much more flexible, much more freedom and no reason to pay the "TV Tax" we have in the UK too

Awesome

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BBC paedos

The BBC are employing a dodgy doctor to do sex experiments on a class of small children for 6 weeks. More piracy means less funding for the Beeb to kiddy fiddle.

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Pretty sure

That you still have to pay the licence fee/TV tax if you are able to watch streamed content.

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Yes, well

People would PAY for a "turn off video until requested' function.

Me, I junked my television in 1997 and refuse to watch movies -- films for you chaps. The occasional video? I pick 'em -- and fast forward to see if I WANT to see them in real time.

Transcripts are a blessing.

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Ad fatigue

Ad vendors use complex algorithms to ascertain the maximum "pod" length that can be run before a viewer will simply go elsewhere.

We only have ourselves to blame.

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