It’s no wonder — here are some good reasons:
- We hate adverts. Netflix shows that for a paltry $8/month we can lose them all. Hooray!
- We hate adverts because for so many non-fiction shows, the first 2 minutes after every break is spent catching you up on everything you just watched! (This is particularly weird when watching a made-for-adverts show on a non-adverts streaming service!)
- We want to be able to fast forwards and rewind and watch a show in one gigantic chunk or at weird times of the day — all of which advertisers hate. Did I mention that we don’t like adverts?
- Shows can be designed to meet viewers tastes…they don’t have to be designed to attract advertising. Yeah — I’m pretty sure I covered the advertising thing. How often are great shows axed because the advertisers didn’t like them?
- Even cable/satellite TV — which charges me considerably more than Netflix bombards me with goddamn adverts? I already paid once for the service and now you want me to pay again in my valuable time to watch the god-awful adverts?
- Shows don’t have to be fixed to multiples of the advertising interval times and synched across channels to prevent channel-hopping during the breaks. Now, if a story requires 50 minutes to tell, it doesn’t have to be padded out to 60 minutes or butchered down to 40 minutes.
The big news here is that if people can pay for what they want, they’ll tend to get what they want. If advertisers pay to cajole people into watching their adverts — then we’ll only get what the advertisers want us to get.
Notice the trend to “gameified” TV shows — where you’re vigorously encouraged to tweet in comments or sync up with some online service that’s only there when the show is running. These things are designed to ensure that you watch the show live — and to prevent you from waiting an hour to be able to fast-forward over the adverts.
So — ditch the adverts. Can’t do that with broadcast…can’t do it with cable without a lot of hassle and extra expense. Hence NetFlix (and others like them).