Loud And Proud: Streaming TV Services' Quiet Efforts To Make Ad Dollars

Are you concerned that your advertising-supported streaming service is bombarding you with loud TV commercials?

Some congressional representatives are. They might continue to listen closely.

TV commercial products are amping up higher volume levels coming out of programming into commercial breaks -- an issue that has been around for a long time. 

A rule passed nearly a decade and a half ago, called the 2010 Calm Act, ensures that this doesn't happen for over-the-air TV networks. This came by way of the Federal Communications Commission. 

But streaming? Well -- that is a different world, and not under the FCC purview -- at least at the moment. 

So two Congressional representatives -- Representative Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) and Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) -- want to update that directive.



Some of this can become too granular, with some critics arguing about the “average” loudness of commercials, not just the initial seconds of a TV spot.

For the streaming industry world, this all means that it is a different animal -- perhaps consumers view it differently than cable or satellite. But to viewers? Increasingly, it's all “TV.” 

While viewers have been enamored with the possibilities of choosing their own individual services -- kind of an "a la carte" mode of buying TV channels they couldn't get for their cable and satellite packages -- it appears they still want content to look and behave like "television."

For many viewers, that increasingly means including advertising messages to bring down their monthly cost.

But that also brings consumers back to the usual interruptions that they are behaviorally accustomed to. 

What about the next step in streaming TV consumption, then?

Will consumers still buy into those services when some of those platforms -- perhaps ever so slowly -- work to monetize these businesses better by adding more messaging to their experience?

In other words -- increased TV commercial glut. This is something of an ongoing issue for legacy TV services such as cable and satellite.

We think this is all about the speed of that ad glut and perceived subscription-price hikes -- especially now as the market slows down, matures and there is more pressure on platforms to make a profit. 

Cancellation -- the dropping of services -- will remain an issue going forward for streaming business.

Changes in how they handle advertising and other issues will be closely watched. 

We will listen closely. No need to raise the volume.

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