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Microsoft's ad serving patent
Ads served under its system are better, says Microsoft

Microsoft last week filed a patent for DVRs that addresses an issue that advertisers have been scratching their heads over for quite some time: time-sensitive ad skipping. According to surveys, 15-percent of all DVR owners in the U.S. claimed that they used their DVR units primarily to skip ads. This of course presents a problem for advertisers, which interestingly, presents a problem for Microsoft's own patent.

The new Microsoft patent proposes that ads do not get permanently embedded into a TV program, but rather a DVR ad-based server be used instead. The server will track where ads are to be played throughout a program and insert an appropriate ad. This way, time-sensitive ads will be played or not played appropriately.

Prior to Microsoft's patent, a user may decide to record a program that he or she may miss because of a business trip. A week later, when they watch their recorded show, a time-sensitive ad such as one that promotes a two-day sale at their favorite big-box retailer may no longer be relevant. Instead of seeing an ad that's new an relevant, an old ad is played and the ad spot is wasted. Microsoft's DVR advertisement system addresses this very issue.

Using a DVR-based advertisement database, a time-sensitive database is kept of all current ads being served on network TV. When a user watches a particular program, the Microsoft ad server will lookup relevant and appropriate ads from the network that produced the program and serve ads. If a show is recorded and watched repeatedly over time, different ads will be served. This method helps advertisers target and produce ads appropriately.

Unfortunately (or fortunately), a user can still opt to skip an add, regardless of whether or not they find the ad useful or not. Researchers say that more and more users are skipping ads. In fact, 15-percent is double the amount of ad-skippers from the previous year. According to Microsoft's filing:

The playback system (whether network-based or client-based) can then signal which advertisement region boundary has been crossed, and the advertisement manager can initiate that an advertisement obtained from the advertisement data store be provided as a second data stream to the playback system which renders the advertisement for viewing. The DVR can again provide the recorded media content for viewing when requested a second time.

Earlier this year, DailyTech reported that TiVo had stepped up to the advertising plate, launching an entire division dedicated to ad research. The plan was to monitor a select group of users and see when ads were skipped, where they skipped and for how long. TiVo mentioned that it would also launch a tracking and reporting program for ads, so that agencies can produce better targeted ads.

Some analysts and many users believe that as for as ads go, Microsoft won't be introducing anti-skipping technology anytime soon simply because the company is deep in the DVR market now -- eliminating one of the primary uses of a DVR will only directly affect its sales.  Many may recall that Microsoft was actually a DVR manufacturer several years ago after it pioneered the now defunct UltimateTV.


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hmmm
By kattanna on 12/11/2006 12:11:23 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
When a user watches a particular program, the Microsoft ad server will lookup relevant and appropriate ads from the network that produced the program and serve ads


that would require one hellva good internet connection to work...and what happens when the server is busy..does the show start to time out..like webpages do sometimes when the damn banner ad doesnt want to load?

and what keeps me from not plugging it inot the net to make that "feature" work?


also..only 15% of the people with a DVR skip ads? my butt...you telling me the other 85% of people who have recorded a show..sit through the ads and not fast forward??

sounds fishy to me




RE: hmmm
By mm2587 on 12/11/2006 12:28:06 PM , Rating: 2
the article says 15% use their dvr primarily to skip ads. if I record programs on my dvr do I skip the ads? Of course. But I wouldn't say thats the primary reason I use it. My primary reason for having the dvr is so I can record programs and watch them later.


RE: hmmm
By AlexWade on 12/11/2006 1:21:24 PM , Rating: 2
Not I. The primary reason for my DVR is skip those 3 minute long ads. Quite often, I'll pause live TV, go do something else, and then watch the program I wanted, ad-free.

If there were fewer ads, I'd be more inclined to watch them. And that is what advertisers don't get: when people are tuning you out, the way to get their eyes back to lay off not put out more. I have a business, so advertising isn't a bad thing. But, I decided not to run an ad that wasn't getting me any business. The company told me that I should continue because it increases my exposure, thus when people need your service they think of you. That, to me, is what is wrong with ads.


RE: hmmm
By RogueSpear on 12/11/2006 10:23:57 PM , Rating: 2
I think the company told you that the ads should continue so that they could sell you more advertising regardless of whether or not it's beneficial to you. Though I'm not sure of the relationship between you and this company, that's what I read out of it.

I agree exactly with what you stated though. My wife and I generally record everything we watch. You can blow through 3 hours of programming in about an hour and forty five minutes. Some programming in particular is literally 50% or more advertising. All of the UFC shows on Spike is a perfect example.


RE: hmmm
By borowki on 12/11/2006 6:30:19 PM , Rating: 1
It's called IPTV.


Grammatical errors is present
By v3rt1g0 on 12/11/2006 2:01:00 PM , Rating: 2
Ads served under its system are better, says Microsoft

(Title is wrong for irony)




RE: Grammatical errors is present
By Aikouka on 12/11/2006 4:03:52 PM , Rating: 2
To my knowledge, they is right. Just remove "served under its system" and you'll see ;). Or rewrite it, "When ads are served under their system, they are better."

I think the system is interesting if someone enjoys ads for what they're worth. I don't mind ads all too much, but I can't get my local channels in HD anyway, so I'd rather download them to ensure better quality when viewing them on my TV. Also, I'd need a DVR to perform the insane amount of pausing that I do while watching downloaded TV XD.



RE: Grammatical errors is present
By v3rt1g0 on 12/11/2006 5:37:05 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for agreeing with me by accident?

You rewrote it with are , as I did. I guess you missed that the grammar mistake was that they used is , instead of are , in the title?

:B


...
By yacoub on 12/11/2006 11:13:43 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
Unfortunately, a user can still opt to skip an add, regardless of whether or not they find the ad useful or not.


More like Fortunately .




TORRENT = The Ultimate DVR
By therealnickdanger on 12/11/2006 4:41:51 PM , Rating: 3
Yeah, I'll just skip the commercials and all the other nonsense and just download TV shows, thank you.




clear as day
By Wwhat on 12/12/2006 6:28:25 AM , Rating: 3
"a user can still opt to skip an add, regardless of whether or not they find the ad useful or not."
Yes they can skip... until everybody has such a system then a automatically downloaded 'security update' will disable skipping I'm sure, this is as obvious as the nose on your face.





Great... not!
By ajira99 on 12/11/2006 12:00:20 PM , Rating: 2
I guess that I had better get started on building my MythTV box! Maybe you'll be able to take a clue from the Vista crackers and set up a proxy server of your own that disables anti-skipping technologies. ;)




DVR = No Ads
By NaughtyGeek on 12/11/2006 12:34:38 PM , Rating: 2
OK, I for one record programs specifically to skip ads. Yes, it's convenient if I don't have time to watch something, but watching 20 to 25 minutes worth of ads for a 1 hr. program is ridiculous. Advertisers should embrace this as perhaps Microsoft will find a way to deliver ads for something I want to know about instead of Tampons.




Double billing
By Trisped on 12/11/2006 4:59:22 PM , Rating: 2
So the system allows those who record something to watch new commercials everytime they watch it. The problem is that some shows would only be paid for their first watched adds, so the networks would make quite a bit of money off shows that are watched over and over again.

Just one kink to work out I guess.




what are you doing?
By bohhad on 12/12/2006 12:25:47 AM , Rating: 2
im skipping thru this annoying tv show to get to the ads




By rtrski on 12/12/2006 9:18:23 AM , Rating: 2
All this effort to make sure we 'get' to watch the ads we 'need' to see...and none to correct the horrendous volume mis-match between Dolby-digital encoded HD primetime shows and their non-equivalently encoded ads, so that watching a show at a comfortable surround volume for dialog results in ear-splitting agony when the commercials switch on???

Fix that, and I'd be much more content to tolerate ads (still wouldn't watch unless they were good, but would at least tolerate them). The broadcaster's inability (unwillingness? lack of giving a s**t?) to fix this basic volume imbalance is what pushed me to DVR and commercial skipping in the first place.




Cable
By GoatMonkey on 12/12/2006 3:52:38 PM , Rating: 2
What happened to the old days when having cable or satellite tv meant that you wouldn't get ads on your cable channels. Now we're just paying for the privilege of just getting reception of all of the ad filled channels.




ads in general
By thebrown13 on 12/11/2006 3:41:15 PM , Rating: 1
If they produced entertaining ads, I'd watch em. I don't mind ads at all, but when they're offensive to my ears (Menards I'm looking at you) or otherwise generally annoying, I won't watch them.

I love the foreign car commercial ones that have cool music. Fix the ads, fix the model(put the ads in the program, duh), everyone is happy.




“We do believe we have a moral responsibility to keep porn off the iPhone.” -- Steve Jobs

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