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Are 30 Second Ads Hurting uStream, Livestream, Justin.tv?

Posted by J Powers at 7:43 PM on August 11, 2010

Ad Dollars

It’s the cost of doing business – advertising pays the bills. However, when you have a live show where someone clicks on – and is ready to move on when they don’t get instant gratification, 30 second ad might make them move on before they even see the show. Is 30 too long and what is the magic number?

But Hulu Does it…

Hulu, of course, has really cornered the market on stream TV. And most people will wait through the ads. Each ad is 30 seconds.

Some of them are longer and give you the option to watch the longer commercial to avoid the commercials at the breaks.  Some of them are only 10-15 second ads, too.

There are 7 commercial spots in a 1-hour TV show on Hulu. It’s network content from NBC, ABC, FOX (and soon CBS on HULU Plus). It’s not live content, so nobody misses a thing (Same thing with YouTube – pre-recorded, so an ad can easily go in without losing content time).

We might even expect and accept network TV ads simply because it is coming from a major network.

Why it doesn’t work on uStream, Justin.tv

Whereas Hulu contains studio productions that can take a pause 7 times a show, uStream and Justin.tv contains live content. Every extra second an ad takes, you lose what is being done or said.

For a person trying to start great content on this system, a 30 second commercial in the foreground could cause loss of viewership. The person, in turn, could just nix the idea and move on simply because it’s harder to get an audience.

Refresh

If the content freezes or if the system crashes, then when you head back to the site, you have to endure another 30 second ad. Would that make people feel the need to come back to the site?

How should they make money?

I’m not talking about taking away the ads – just remember that people will not only leave a show, but also leave a website because they are not entertained.

10-15 seconds ads sound palatable. Add the pop-up ad every now and then – You’ve got a winning combination. Maybe when the show is off-line, content is played with breaks – 15 seconds every 5-10 minutes of content.

Browser Blocker add-ons?

Yes – if you install an add-on blocker in your browser, you could avert those ads. Personally I wouldn’t do that. It is a free service, after all. They need to make money to keep it free.

Pay a Premium?

What if the content producer paid to do their show? Would that in turn be good or bad for companies like uStream?

If the consumer was asked to pay, you might get a few that do it for a while. Most would want to go somewhere else for their content. You can only ask and see what happens.

While sites like uStream, Livestream and Justin.tv need to make money, long ads in front of the videos might not be the answer. Re-thinking the ad sounds like a better idea. break up off-line content -Play an add every 5-10 minutes in a pre-recorded show. Pop-up video ads that are not too invasive. That is what is needed in a live “See it now” environment.

One Comment

  1. From glen at 9:32 pm on September 5, 2010

    The popup adds on justintv are constant not just 30 seconds long. i have written complaints no resopnce and will stop following and using justin tv.