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Broadcasters Put New Ad-Skipping Restrictions On YouTube TV (dslreports.com) 227

YouTube launched its new "YouTube TV" service last week for select markets. One of the biggest features for the service is its DVR functionality, which would in theory allow users to record shows and fast forward through all the commercials. Unfortunately, that is not the case, notes the Wall Street Journal. Karl Bode writes via DSLReports: If a show is available on-demand, viewers won't be able to skip ads, even if they recorded the episode on DVR. Google has confirmed with the Journal that the restriction is courtesy of the licensing agreements the broadcast industry forced Google to adhere to in order to offer the service. As a result, if YouTube TV has the on-demand version of a specific program you may be interested in, then the service won't let viewers watch a recorded version that allows for ad-skipping. Instead, viewers are forced to watch the on-demand episode and all of the ads, even if consumers thought they saved the show on their DVR for ad-skippable viewing.
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Broadcasters Put New Ad-Skipping Restrictions On YouTube TV

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  • Not Quite Right (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CrankyFool ( 680025 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2017 @06:42PM (#54225313)
    Let's be clear here: Broadcasters didn't do this, YouTube (AKA Alphabet) did this. Broadcasters asked for this -- maybe even demanded this, or traded this for lower costs -- and YouTube decided that having their content, plus ads, was more important than sticking to their guns and offering their customers (the people who actually pay money for the service) an ads-free experience.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by barc0001 ( 173002 )

      No, broadcasters did this. " maybe even demanded this". Almost certainly demanded this as part of offering the content. Alphabet's choices were to offer the service with that restriction or have nothing to offer. Saying Alphabet did this and it's all their fault is like blaming the authorities for doing/not doing something when a hostage taker kills a hostage.

      • by dknj ( 441802 )

        If Alphabet offers everything else but their content, where is the content going to go. Facebook? Bing?

        Think about it then ask yourself, who has the biggest streaming platform on the internet? Nix that, what company exists which have more cash reserves than all of the broadcasters combined? That may be taken too literally, but the odds are stacked far from the broadcaster's favor based on Netflix and Amazon action.

        -dk

        • by hawguy ( 1600213 )

          Think about it then ask yourself, who has the biggest streaming platform on the internet?

          Netflix?

          https://variety.com/2015/digit... [variety.com]

          Netflix, which already eats up the fattest chunk of downstream bandwidth, is taking an even bigger bite: The No. 1 subscription-video service accounted for 36.5% of all downstream Internet bandwidth during peak periods in North America for March, according to a new report. ...

          By comparison, for the same time periods, YouTube accounted for 15.6% of downstream Internet traffic, web browsing was 6%, Facebook was 2.7%, Amazon Instant Video was 2.0% and Hulu was 1.9%.

          • Netflix is certainly winning in hours of viewing. YouTube may actually have more videos watched because most of its content is short things that last only a few minutes, while Netflix content starts at 20 minutes or so ("half hour" TV episodes) and goes up to over two hours (longer films).
        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          If Alphabet offers everything else but their content, where is the content going to go. Facebook? Bing?

          Traditional multichannel pay television, that is, cable or satellite.

      • You're kidding, right? "Google has confirmed with the Journal that the restriction is courtesy of the licensing agreements the broadcast industry forced Google to adhere to in order to offer the service." The largest portion of Google/Alphabet's income is advertising revenue - I'd be surprised if they protested the broadcasters' request in any way, shape or form.
        • Re:Not Quite Right (Score:4, Insightful)

          by rtb61 ( 674572 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2017 @08:15PM (#54225787) Homepage

          So let me get this straight, some the fuck how, advertisers think people will buy their products when they force them sit through those busker screams. Oh yes I will buy your product after you force me, actively force me to watch you shit, now honestly is that true, talk about self delusion.

          I don't know about other people but piss me off with a commercial and I likely will not only not buy your product but not buy if for a long time.

          You might as well think it is worthwhile to punch people in the face because it really attracts their attention, so punch them in the face, scream about your products and then reinforce the message by kicking them in the genitals, oh yeah, they will remember your product but will they buy it? In a choice between watching content and watching some shit advert, I simply switch to alternate content, done and finished. So much choice, so little time, so meh. Google and Alphabet as run by the big shit are just full of it (total control, total power insanity). Never forget those fuckers were dicking around with search globally to secretly try to distort democracy and lets not be fooled, doing that globally as well.

          • Re:Not Quite Right (Score:5, Insightful)

            by houghi ( 78078 ) on Thursday April 13, 2017 @07:05AM (#54227457)

            So let me get this straight, some the fuck how, advertisers think people will buy their products when they force them sit through those busker screams.

            Not only do they think that. They know it works. Sure, you won't and I won't, but then the chance of us buying anything from them compared to the people would would not before and will now is highly in favor of ads.

            I used to work for a marketing company. Marketing people are not interested in who will not buy their product. They are interested who will buy their product. And if the profit is higher than the cost of the ads, it is good.

            Say they have 1% of the people are a customer. They advertise aggressively to everybody. They will lose 50% of their customer base. They gain 1% of the others. That means they are now around 1.5% An increase of 0.5% of their customer base. That means the ads where successful.

            Other way to look at it: if it wasn't successful, they would not do it.

            They do not care about you not buying the product. They do not care about 99% of the people not buying the product. You are not their target audience. And if that means you are not watching tv, cable, movies or do not read newspapers or whatever, they are ok with that.

            You are unimportant to them. Don't forget that. You are not a customer and you never will be, so why would they care?

          • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

            You might as well think it is worthwhile to punch people in the face because it really attracts their attention

            That's what they do! Adverts are often significantly louder than the programming, and much more obnoxious. It's not unlike being slapped in the face with a wet fish, with the sudden onslaught of sound and bright flashing images.

    • I don't care who anybody blames, the user did it to themselves when they gave up control of their devices.

      And if they still have any control left, they can always build an external DVR for their DVR; after the primary DVR records the content from the original source, the secondary DVR requests playback and converts to unrestricted local format. It is even legal, because no copies are shared! Well, as long as you build it yourself...

    • Re:Not Quite Right (Score:5, Interesting)

      by FirephoxRising ( 2033058 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2017 @07:43PM (#54225595)
      Well, I don't care who did it, I'll continue my policy of not using services that I pay for and have ads. Either it's free-with-ads or it's pay-with-no-ads. I'm voting with my wallet and yes I would pay more for no ads ever (for those who will say ads make it cheaper).
      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Netflix kind of screwed the whole industry. It's cheap, and it's ad free, and it has high end original content that competes with premium cable/satellite channels. It proved that high prices are not necessary or justified, and now people are used to paying such low amounts for all-you-can-watch on-demand services, they won't go back.

  • And this is why... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by mellon ( 7048 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2017 @06:48PM (#54225351) Homepage

    ..broadcast TV is dying.

    • by Noishkel ( 3464121 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2017 @07:53PM (#54225663)

      And this is also why piracy will continue.

      Honestly, skipping commercials was one of the reasons why anyone gives a damn about YouTube TV. And now Alphabet just shot it's self in the junk to appease the ad men that everyone already hates. Good job.

      • And now Alphabet just shot it's self in the junk to appease the ad men that everyone already hates.

        Google, er, Alphabet IS the ad men, remember?

    • by havana9 ( 101033 )

      ..broadcast TV is dying.

      The fact is, when a programme is filled with too much advertising, even if it's free, people could decide to change channel or stop watching TV.
      In Italy, in the sixties and seventies the adverts were rare (like only four in the evening) and were very refined, like "When the night goes away [youtube.com]" that look more an advert from the Tourist Ofiice rather than from an instant coffee maker and the director was Ermanno Olmi. Kids actually wanted to watch the adverts.
      Nowadays There are some channels where you are

  • Status Quo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aaron B Lingwood ( 1288412 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2017 @06:49PM (#54225355)

    Here comes the new media...

    ...just like the old media.

    • Complete with the extra $$$ to subsidize ESPN again. When are they going to get a freaking clue? Not everyone wants ESPN. Make the bloody network an add-on like HBO and give me a fair rate. Better still, make all the freaking networks (channels even) a la carte. Sell packages of points where each network/channel costs a certain number of points and let me pick what to fill it with.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 12, 2017 @06:53PM (#54225373)

    I am willing to pay money to watch TV without ads...or if I don't want to pay I am willing to watch TV for free with ads. I will not pay money for TV and watch ads...

    • by rudy_wayne ( 414635 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2017 @07:08PM (#54225429)

      I am willing to pay money to watch TV without ads....

      You're already paying for television and yet you have a metric shit ton of commercials forced on you. Until people start cancelling their television en masse, nothing will change.

      • by Fwipp ( 1473271 )

        Not everyone pays for TV. Some people do without, some people watch broadcast television.

        • by houghi ( 78078 )

          In the past TV was something I could watch and talk about with friends of what we watched the day before or the previous week. With all content available all the time, it became less likely that I could talk with friends over what they and I watched, so the social part was gone.

          I then started to watch things that really interested me enough to look at without wanting to discuss it with others. So e.g. no more Big Brother, the TV show, but rather the movie.

          I then started to look at how often In actually wat

      • ABC and the CW are now shoving popup ads during the actual TV shows, popup for a car maker and a car insurance. the SYFY channel has a ticker adverting its web site content during shows. cartoon network has a countdown timer for the next show. And they have been working at it for months now using popups for their upcoming TV show day,time. What amazes me is not one peep online about it except for me Ive not seen one complaint about the new ads on networks.
        • Adult Swim is the best network.
          I don't know if it's truly a different "network" from Cartoon Network. But they don't have stupid annoying shit plastered everywhere, and they burn about half of their ad time with entertaining "bumps", pleasing logo hunts, and other meta content.
          I only like some of their content, but I really like the network itself.

      • You're already paying for television and yet you have a metric shit ton of commercials forced on you. Until people start cancelling their television en masse, nothing will change.

        I'm not paying for television, you insensitive clod! In fact, I have literally never had cable in my name. I've lived in a house with it and paid my tiny share of it a couple of times, but that's it. I live in the sticks and my choices are satellite or satellite because cable doesn't come here (It's on both ends of my road, but not in the middle) and you can't pick up any broadcasts here. You barely could before DTV, now you can't. I'm not willing to give DirectTV basically any money at all (fucking spammer

    • I am willing to pay money to watch TV without ads...or if I don't want to pay I am willing to watch TV for free with ads. I will not pay money for TV and watch ads...

      Good. Pay for TY Red. No ads. Oops, what will you do with your outrage now?

  • by jediborg ( 4808835 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2017 @06:54PM (#54225375)
    Really early in its existence wasn't youtube the most popular video sharing site for two years in a row ONLY BECAUSE it was the only video sharing site that didn't force you to watch an ad before the video you where trying to play?

    oh how the mighty have fallen.
    • Youtube was popular at the start (pre-Google) because they had TONS of pirated content easily and openly available. That's the only reason the you part of youtube ever had the chance to take off due to viewer eyeballs. Then Google financed it's losses for many many years...

  • Nope (Score:3, Informative)

    by digitig ( 1056110 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2017 @06:56PM (#54225383)

    viewers are not "forced to watch" the ads. They might be forced to play them if they watch the program, but we old-timers remember that the ads are a great time to go get a beer or take a comfort break - you don't have to watch them.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 12, 2017 @07:07PM (#54225423)

    Commercials killed TV, advertisers need a new host to survive, now infecting YouTube. Look up the definition of parasitoid.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    so google wants me to pay $35 a month to watch tv. add to that the internet cost. and i still am paying to watch ads?

    at this rate, why not just keep cable tv?

    • For me, it's because the cable company (DirecTV in my case) wants to charge me for each TV that I have hooked up. In my house, that's an extra $30. Plus their rental fee for a DVR. This brings the TV portion of my bill to $80/mo. They do have some online streaming capability, but it stinks. YT TV costs $35 no matter how many TVs I want the capability on, and the service works the same weather I'm on my Chromecast at home, or my tablet away, with the exception of my local broadcast stations. With that all sa
  • by bfwebster ( 90513 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2017 @07:22PM (#54225501) Homepage

    I had pretty much abandoned Hulu over its mandatory ads -- and then they offered an ad-free version for a few dollars (per month) more. Jumped on that right quick. And of course, no ads in Netflix. Or Amazon video.

    Bad, bad move. ..bruce..

    • To be fair, Amazon does make you sit through previews of their own shows, most of which suck.

      Netflix really takes the fucking cake now though. They will just switch to some shit you don't want to see and play three episodes of it now. For those of us with a monthly cap (I am on a WISP and my cap is 90GB) this represents theft of computing resources in order to artificially inflate their viewership numbers.

  • by markdavis ( 642305 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2017 @07:28PM (#54225529)

    >"If a show is available on-demand, viewers won't be able to skip ads, even if they recorded the episode on DVR."

    And this is why streaming usually fails, because it puts the user out of control. It doesn't matter the who or why- broadcasters, content providers, streaming service, if they are going to FORCE the customer to view ANYTHING- be it ads, previews, trailers, "infomercials", public service announcements, then we have moved backwards. Streaming gives them that power, and it is often irresistible- something they don't have over DVR's.

    Technology has released me from being forced to watch commercials for 20 years and I am not about to start now (VCR then TiVo then added Netflix streaming). I am amazed that people will PAY for services that force them to watch what they don't want. Even if the content is "free", there is a large segment of the market who is like me, and if that contains forced anything, we reject it.

    Forced ads are a dinosaur that needs to become and stay extinct.

    • >"If a show is available on-demand, viewers won't be able to skip ads, even if they recorded the episode on DVR."

      And this is why streaming usually fails, because it puts the user out of control. It doesn't matter the who or why- broadcasters, content providers, streaming service, if they are going to FORCE the customer to view ANYTHING- be it ads, previews, trailers, "infomercials", public service announcements, then we have moved backwards. Streaming gives them that power, and it is often irresistible- something they don't have over DVR's.

      Technology has released me from being forced to watch commercials for 20 years and I am not about to start now (VCR then TiVo then added Netflix streaming). I am amazed that people will PAY for services that force them to watch what they don't want. Even if the content is "free", there is a large segment of the market who is like me, and if that contains forced anything, we reject it.

      Forced ads are a dinosaur that needs to become and stay extinct.

      This is why I will not watch a DVD, whether I rent it or buy it. I rip it and stream it to my device and, if necessary, delete it when I am done. When you pop the DVD/Blu-ray into the drive they try to force you to watch trailers and other adverts, FBI warnings, and other BS that I have no interest in being forced to see.

  • If a show is available on-demand, viewers won't be able to skip ads, even if they recorded the episode on DVR

    Stuff like this is what drives people to use bittorrent - why pay for content if you have to sit through the ads anyway?

    Obligatory TheOatmeal:

    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/g... [theoatmeal.com]

  • If we DVR the DVR, then we can skip ads. Of course they'll probably find some way to prevent the DVRR from skipping ads. We'll respond with a DVRRR, pronounced "diver". What's it diving for? Turtles, all the way down.

  • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Wednesday April 12, 2017 @08:07PM (#54225753) Homepage

    This is why I torrent my TV shows.

      I would pay for ad free, but the networks are ran by gigantic assholes and refuse to let me. So I have only one choice. Torrent the TV shows and get them 100% ad free.

  • I just cancelled my trial of Vue for the same reason. I basically got it for sports (I know, right?), and had to jump through hoops of "starting the playback from the DVR list and not the TV list", had to be very careful to not catch up to the present (which disables DVR functions), and then when the game ran over its "official" time slot (as every game does, ever) it dropped me into whatever after game program, and I couldn't rewind to see the 30 minutes I'd missed. Pass. I'd love to save the $50/mo from m

  • I'll just mute the sound, look away, and gaze out the window for 30 seconds or so if I'm ever unfortunate enough to be subjected to one of their ads.

    But frankly, with Adblock I never see the ads anyway, so I doubt it'll be a problem.

    • But frankly, with Adblock I never see the ads anyway, so I doubt it'll be a problem.

      Sooner or later they will start serving the ads through the same host as the videos and inserting them smoothly into the stream, and then adblock won't do anything any more.

      Right now what I do is I use a downloader to download youtube videos (just normal youtube) and then I can skip interstitial ads by simply dragging the slider. I do have to download them, but I watch most youtube at 360p because who cares so that's not a big deal.

  • Sorry. If this is a service I pay for in any way, shape or form, I refuse to be burdened by ads.
    If I'm paying for said service and you're forcing ads on me as well, I simply do not need the service and will do without.

    Fuck this sick "ads on everything" culture.

  • Any interest I might have had in the service had come and gone in the span of the summary. I've no time or interest in watching ads for things I neither want to buy and on principal I'll try not to buy products that are obnoxiously advertised. Everything Google touches tends to start off so well and slowly but surely degrades into crap. Youtube will be with us for a while but it's not going to get better, ever.

    Netflix had it right with their service and despite the price creep it's still good bang for yo
  • That I have with advertising is that it misses the mark entirely. I don't want to see feminine hygiene ads, car ads, etc. Don't care.

    And it goes for brick and mortar types too, BJ's Club - I scan the card every time I shop there but the emails I get are for people who live in suburbia. I live in a city and have no use for most of what they try to hawk. But you'd think, they know my purchasing history right? How hard could it be to target ads based on that?
  • I tried YouTube TV on the free trial when they started offering it in Los Angeles area recently, and promptly canceled it.

    • The ads. An ad when the show starts, and ads throughout the show. I can get a superior experience with a torrent. I don't mind paying, but won't pay just to watch ads.
    • They sell it as a feature that you can allow multiple family members to use their accounts to watch as well. What they don't tell you (Until you've signed up) is that you can't do that if your google account is using a cu
  • I always mute through commercials...use that time to go to the bathroom, check my computer, grab a snack etc. When I come back, if the show has already started, I just back it up to end of the last computer.

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