What if there was an ad/ad-free version of Season Passes on Apple TV?

Posted on October 22, 2012

Just a thought. More people are ditching cable subscriptions for the web. I use an Apple TV for Netflix, renting movies, and subscribing to seasons of my favorite TV shows. So far, I think the first two tasks are easy, affordable, and budget-friendly. TV shows could use some work and I think Apple knows it.

Problem 1: Season Passes are expensive

I’m talking really expensive. I’m not saying they aren’t worth the price, but seeing some Season Passes priced at $43.99 for a single season of a single show is extremely deterring. I’m the sort of person who wants the full collection. If a show has five season and each is priced at $43.99 that’s nearly $220.00 (plus tax) for a show in entirety. It’s hard to justify the cost for shows I like and not necessarily love.

Problem 2: Lowering the cost is taking money from the artists who made the show

Lowering the cost of a Season Pass doesn’t solve anything in and of itself. Maybe cutting the price in half will double sales, but that’s quite a gamble considering how many hands go into making great TV shows. However, let’s say sales double or triple from such a change. That’s a chance for advertisers to (potentially) lower the cost of shows even further. Which brings me to…

Have ad/ad-free versions of Season Passes

Hear me out. There are many shows I want to purchase that I don’t ever want ads on. I have the full series of Lost and it is more than just a TV show. It’s a work of art.

On the flip side, I love Community, but I wouldn’t mind a set of ads in between the show. Advertisers will pay a premium to show their ads during shows and, therefore, can eat the cost of the Season Pass. So why not have an ad and an ad-free version of Season Passes? Having options is a great thing.

Ads done the right way

Targeted ads, in my opinion, can be a very good thing. Why get an ad for something you’d never consider buying? It doesn’t help you and it doesn’t help the advertiser.

I think consumers (and even advertisers) want to change statements like “I’m not sure if you need it, but buy this BMW.” to “Hey, I know you like mellow folk music and you should check out the new Bon Iver album.” Wouldn’t seeing ads for things you’d consider buying be more like recommendations instead of intrusions?

Ads directed to you would help create a more affordable product and allow advertisers to recommend things you actually care about.

And I never thought I’d ever try to help advertisers.