Ad-supported video is headed to the new generation of set-top boxes that bring online video to TV sets.
Sony, TiVo, Microsoft and Google are the big technology companies trying offer rich video experiences to the living room over the Web. And, of course, they want to make money off of it. So they are experiementing with the idea of offering ads on their services, seeking to capture some of the billions of ad dollars that flow to television.
Among the possibilities, Sony is looking at ads that would appear in advance of programming on its Web-enabled TVs, Blu-ray players and PlayStation 3, while Google is looking at including ads in search listings used by consumers looking for what to watch.
From The Wall Street Journal:
TiVo Chief Executive Tom Rogers says that since cable operators use differing set-top-box technology, the cable industry doesn't have the ability to sell targeted ads on a mass scale, leaving an opening for tech companies. Cable and TV networks haven't moved fast enough to promote new formats, he says. "The old models, with the amount of commercial avoidance, just aren't going to hold up."