Annoying commercials may no longer hinder your ability to enjoy watching television. Apple was just granted a patent that allows users to skip TV commercials. Instead of hearing ads about the newest cars for sale, restaurants, and banks, you could play your favorite song or music video during the breaks from your programming. Dish Network’s Auto Hop also allows people to skip television advertisements, but it simply doesn’t do it in the same way that Apple’s new idea does.
When the device notices a signal for a commercial is coming, it wills witch your sounds to a song of your choice. The background screen will either be a picture of the album the song is on, or a music video can be played during the intermission. The long terms impacts of this new patent are difficult to predict, but the big network television companies won’t be thrilled about these newest developments.
The addition of ad-skipping devices to home televisions could cause networks to lose billions of dollars in revenue generated from ads. They have to run the ads to buy the rights to the programs they need to be the leading networks on television. Fox, CNN, and NBC have attempted to sue Dish Network for the Auto Hop. Whether they win or not, these new technologies for skipping ads are sure to create fiery legal battles and political turmoil as they gain more popularity.
Apple is in the process of creating a new type of television service, and the patents like the ones designed to skip commercials could be involved in the greater scheme. However, if Apple angers the networks by allowing people to skip their ads, they may never be able to put their brand of TV on the map. They will need sponsors, investors, and money from ads. This is certainly something to keep an eye on.