Did you find yourself inconveniently plopped in the library studying for an exam during last night’s season premiere of Glee? DVR malfunction? No worries, Fox has you covered. With our schedules growing busier and busier all the time, network TV has to find a way for their programming to reach us. And they have found the solution. By having episodes for free on their website, networks, such as Fox, are able to get their programming to you at your convenience. This means that you are able to sit and watch the program you missed without any distractions, at the time you want, with no commercials… right? Unfortunately, convenience comes with its price.
When watching your favorite shows online, commercials are forced upon you at least 2 to 3 times per hour. This is quite different from the early days of online video where one 20 second ad would play during the course of an hour program. Now, your show is interrupted several times with no means of changing the channel or fast-forwarding. This may be seen as an inconvenience by the viewer, but this is a marketing dream. Not only can you show ads which must be viewed in order to continue on with your program, but it also provides the viewer with clickable links to find out more information about the product or service. It goes beyond anything a TV commercial can do. Having commercials online, as well as on TV, doubles the network’s advertising dollar. With the ease that episodes can be placed online, this can definitely be seen as quite a bargain. As always, convenience comes with a price. In this case, frequent commercial interruption is the price we pay for being able to watch our episode of Glee on our computers while we do our laundry today.
– Lauren Phelps, Jessica Kingman, Alaethea Hensley