CW To Test Ad Load Tolerance

In a fairly ballsy move, CW Network said it would begin testing consumer tolerance of ad loads next month, hoping to raise the number of ads to 20 :30-second spots per hour, the same as on TV.

The joint venture between CBS Corp. and Time Warner Inc is sure to piss off the most vocal consumers of CW content, but is making a smart move in simplifying measurement and buying of media across both platforms. Not exactly a popular reason for the masses, but an excellent experiment is business model survival.

While most people rally for fewer ads online, I personally have been testing the waters about the price / premium users should pay for convenience and the appropriate contribution to the value exchange.

The price and currency is set on TV already, and the DVR has enabled people to skirt their half of the value exchange, contributing no attention or time to the ad supported, yet ad skipable, medium. Ad supported TV at this point is looking like a lost cause. Bleeding more money online seems like an even dumber move.

Shouldn’t online viewers of content have to contribute the same amount of currency to the value exchange as they do in other mediums? A reduced ad load might be more aligned with the levels of advertising that TV viewers are currently exposed to when using a DVR – but shouldn’t there be some form of “premium” that is paid by the user in exchange for the convenience of watching where, when, and on whatever device they choose?

Surely this will be an unpopular argument with every day viewers, but I’m certainly curious what industry people think about the premium being placed on the platform and convenience rather than on the content.

Weigh in. I can take it.