Disney+ to introduce an ad-supported subscription later this year

John Gruber:

The thing that gets me, and will never stop getting me, is that when we first started using computers to watch TV, with TiVo and other DVRs in the late 1990s and early 2000s, we were able to use them to skip, or at least fast-forward, commercials. The computerization of TV, in that early era, worked for us, the viewers.

Today, with streaming, the computerization of viewing leaves us with un-skippable, un-fast-forwardable commercials. I find that endlessly depressing. I'd rather not subscribe to a streaming service at all than subscribe to a tier with un-skippable ads.

He hits the nail on the head here, without thinking to hard it feels like we just have to live with ads as we did before technology gave us some power in being able to skip them.

It's actually worse now, because if you leave during the ad playing process returning will just show you more ads, rather than picking up where you left off. I've even had situations where the streaming services (UKTV and ITV Hub) have shown 7-9 30 second ads. How is this any better than watching regular TV?

Then there's the fact that Disney (and other services) are hitting us twice with a service like this. Not only are they taking money from our wallets, they're also invading our privacy so that they can serve us 'relevant' ads. Disney are not the first with this approach and are unlikely to be the last.

Twitter Blue does not remove ads either (not available in the UK anyway) and YouTube are doing all they can to serve as many ads as possible. Even though they're skippable, they interrupt shows more than they should. Maybe that's a publisher's choice to maximise revenue, but it's an awful experience for the view as YouTube videos are rarely edited like a regular show where there are clear pauses for a break.

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