Occasionally an idea comes along that is so brilliant, so without flaws, that you wonder why exactly it hasn't already been put into place. This is one of those ideas. I'm not claiming it as my own, but I have decided to become its biggest campaigner. Let's begin.
I love to watch television. Whether its all-new or re-run, sitcom or drama, reality or scripted, educational or escapist, I love it. Like most people, I don't care for commercials. They spoil the flow of the show and they are largely a waste of my time. I also don't like paying for TV. I have tried surviving on broadcast only, with little success. I need the variety, and basic cable is a must. When I can afford it, I go for digital or better.
Cable companies want to make money. They have gone to a lot of effort to lay the lines and purchase rights to the programming. They are motivated by their desire to feed their families, drive fancy cars, and vacation in the Bahamas.
Businesses want to advertise their products. With the average pay-out per minute of commercial time climbing into the realm of scientific notation, their desire to get the word out is obvious. The more people who see the product, the more people buy it.
Now here's the plan.
What if you're TV worked just like your Google homepage? As you watch, channel surf, and mindlessly flip, it monitors your click-stream. Then it uses that viewing history to decide what products you might be interested in buying. It builds a list of those commercials most suited to you and puts them in a folder. Each month, you have the option of watching as many or as few of those spots as you choose. Every one you watch decreases your monthly cable bill by a certain amount. If you watch enough, your bill is zero. The businesses whose product you saw advertised make up the difference on your bill. Everybody wins. You get free TV with tons of variety, and you watch the commercials on your terms. The cable company gets to make tons of cash. Businesses get to advertise their products to their target audiences for a fraction of what they are paying now to blanket the market.
This is my dream. Please, share it with me.