Yesterday I upgraded my Tata Sky package to Annual Mega Pack (with the would-be-ladywife wanting all Kannada and Telugu channels, and all movie channles; and with me wanting all sports channels this was most economical). And got service to this channel called MGM which was earlier part of an add-on package I wasn’t sure I wanted (along with TCM, Lumiere and Warner Brothers).
So last evening I celebrated the upgradation of my Tata Sky package by watching this random (isn’t close to the same league as the dollars trilogy or once upon a time in the west) western called Hang ’em High. Decent movie, but what made it immensely watchable is that there were no ads.
Yes, you read that right. MGM doesn’t show any ads in the middle of movies. Not one. And given the Tata Sky pricing, I guess it charges a reasonable subscription fee to fund itself! The sad part is that they don’t advertise this enough and so probably they aren’t able to collect as much subscription fees as they could. Nevertheless, this is a beautiful model and I just hope they sustain (my assumption is that if they didn’t show ads during a Sunday evening movie, they won’t show ads at all).
Given the surfeit of advertising that plagues most of our movie channels, I knew something like this was going to happen sometime. A channel that subsists on user subscription rather than spoiling the viewing experience by flooding the movie with ads. And what has made this possible is direct to home television, where your choice of channels isn’t dictated by your neighbour’s. And one in which it is easy for the channel to monitor the number of subscribers without the distributor (in this case , Tata SKY) fudging the numbers.
We need to be thankful to DTH for enabling such beautiful concepts like no-ad-movies, and thank MGM for taking a bold step and starting a no ad channel. Now, can sports channels create “plus versions” of themselves where they’ll show uninterrupted sport rather than cutting the first and last ball of each over and showing the rest of the over in a smaller screen? I’m sure there are enough people who will be willing to pay a premium for it.
And I wish a similar model comes up for radio (Worldspace RIP but you didn’t offer radio in car). Again, too many ads.