Captive Audience


I have been thinking a lot about this recently with time being a rare resource and still having a desire to be well entertained.. Let me start out by asking one question. Are you a captive audience? Really? If you are one that likes to be entertained by Movies or a good TV series I would have to say that I doubt that you are anything but.. This initially came to my attention recently when I saw a commercial on YouTube for a TV carrier. The main character in the ad indicated that they were paying so much to see their movies and that by switching to this specific carrier they were saving so much and were able to watch so many more movies indicating that they had watched as many as 50 movies that month alone! Now I want to give you a little real information based on what I know about local viewing carriers.. I will not mention any names but I will tell you that this commercial was from a carrier (ComC****) that does have commercials in most of their programs. Most of the commercials last any where from 1-5 min each time with an average of a commercial break every 5-10 min, that would mean that you are watching upward of 600-3000 min of commercials in a month or 20-30 min of commercials in a single movie. Not that much right? Wrong! That would mean that in that month you are watching 6300-9000 min of TV a month.. yea, that sounds like a lot but lets apply it to numbers that mean something. That would be  3.5-5 Hours of of TV a day, 24.5-35 hours a week (yes, that is a full day of TV every week or more!)

Now I am not saying that this is something that everyone does but how much do you really do in a day, week, or month?  I know for me I was “hooked” on several shows on Hul*.. and I was finding that I was sacrificing much of my “free” time trying to follow a series. With this specific carrier, shows expire and I would miss an episode and loose the story if I did not keep up with THEIR time line, and yes, they had commercials..

I  found that Youtube as well has commercials, not the ones that pop up at the bottom of the video or the ones before it will let you watch the 0:30 video, that is not what I am talking about, that is normal, but rather, on the side. Now I am sure you are saying “what is the big deal, just ignore it”.. They are making it impossible to, they are a video themselves and one that you cannot Mute, pause, click away from, NOTHING will get it to stop until it is done. EVEN if there is no relevance, un-audience friendly, or offensive material.. The only way to SHUT IT UP without watching is it to leave the page altogether! Does the producer of that video know that their audience is being chased away by the very provider they are relying on to show their material? Probably NOT! I will also say that I have seen these same type of adds on other sites as well, Youtube is not the only one.. Most of them I do ignore by simply muting the audio on my computer but, that would really defeat the purpose of watching a video with it muted so you don’t hear another add in the background would it?

Even with the great changes in Technology with DVR’s, Netflix, Hulu, Comcast, and all the others, we are paying more for what we want and often (not always) being bombarded by adds and timelines that are designed to “addict” us to keep watching on their time line not yours, stopping you from doing other things that would be more beneficial to your psychology and spirit and body!

So I ask once again, Are we a captive audience? very much so. Are there things that we can do to fight back? not really, but we can at least limit it. Be aware of how much time we are spending allowing ourselves to be held captive. There are a great many things that we can do that are more entertaining and more productive in other ways..

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