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Streaming services are showing the same ad over and over and it’s driving me crazy

Over the past few months, Parks & Recreation My go-to background show. I don’t want to listen while I’m doing laundry, trying to catch up on email, or playing a video game. All seven seasons of the show have been based on Peacock, which is useful, because it is Office – My other background show. All this to say, I watch Peacock a lot.

At one time today, while watching the other half Parks & Rec Episode, there was an announcement that I suddenly realized that I knew. And I didn’t know it, I knew it Every single word In that. The jingle, in particular, is “Crapmetcalf is five-starred!” It ends with the song. That jingle has been stuck in my head for weeks and it may never go away.

I don’t blame Cropmetcalf, I’m sure it’s as good at air conditioning and plumbing as it is at jingle composition. I blame the streaming services. No matter what service you look at, I guarantee you’ll see: the same ad, repeated over and over at every ad break, until you promise yourself you’ll never buy what good deal they’re selling. In my experience, Hulu and Peacock are the worst offenders. But I recently noticed this on TikTok: there are dozens, even hundreds of ads for the same product. For me it’s true classic t-shirts, and before the last couple of days it’s led firmly to a board game called Doomlings, which was fun at first and now I refuse to play. This is a matter of principle.

This song is probably stuck in my head forever. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Big announcements are coming to the world of streaming. Many streamers, especially those with linear-TV heritage, have embraced advertising from the start. Recently, giants including Netflix and Disney have embraced the ad-supported business model, and both plan to scale new levels soon. In general, ad-supported streaming sounds like a great idea: Most people can’t afford to pay for all the services out there, and ads let users get more services and more content without breaking the bank. Done right, everyone wins. Done poorly, it’s absolutely crazy making.

Already, ad-based streaming is mired in complex questions about user data, viewer tracking, and decisions about who is allowed to know what you’re watching and when. But I have a simple request: Can we make ads viewable? If I’m going to binge a full season The resort On Peacock, I see four ad breaks per show, two ads each, over eight episodes. That’s 64 ads. If I watch the same two ads 32 times each, there’s no way I’ll make it to the end of the series.

There is certainly a rational reason why this happens. It’s all about ad targeting. Let’s take my own recent example, CroppMetcalfe. I am a new home owner in the company’s service area and we know that a 20 year old HVAC unit will need to be replaced soon. There’s a good chance Crapmetcalf knows that too! I am definitely the company’s target market. But there aren’t many people in my exact situation, and Peacock certainly promised the company a certain number of ad impressions. If there are a million people who fit the bill, no problem. But if there are 500 of us and a million impressions to serve, I’m going to get an awful lot of that five-star jingle.

Everyone involved has a reason to fix this. There is evidence to show that people who see the same ad over and over are actually converted less It is possible to buy the advertised item and consumers have been complaining about the repeated ads for years. In a Morning Consult survey from last year, 69 percent of respondents said ads on streaming services were “very repetitive” or “somewhat repetitive.”

Unfortunately, this is also a surprisingly difficult problem to solve. Even for a single show on a single platform, ads can come from many different sources: the network, the set-top box you’re watching, even your TV manufacturer. By all accounts the streaming-ad universe is a total mess.

But it doesn’t have to be this way! Some networks are embracing the idea of ​​showing you a long ad at the beginning of an episode, and then nothing else as you watch. That is love. I also enjoy the pause-screen ads, which are a neat and unobtrusive way to tell me how to save money on my car insurance. Internet advertising needs to be innovative and interesting again, but by and large it’s still drilling the same 30-second spot into my head.

The number of streaming services continues to grow, more platforms compete for the same dollars, and there’s no underlying technology to ensure you’re not seeing the same ad on TikTok, Netflix, YouTube, and Disney Plus. That means you are sure ready See advertisement in all places. The TV ad business is huge, and that money is rapidly moving to platforms. Without any change in the way money circulates, advertising from it will make all platforms unwatchable.

Advertisement: Comcast, which owns NBC Universal, is also an investor in Vox Media, the parent company of The Verge.

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