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Anonymous User
Not applicable

pre-show adverts -> cancellation

I used to think NowTV was a pretty good service, until they started putting outstandingly irritating adverts onto the start of more and more programs I wanted to watch. These are the adverts for other (######) programmes that you can't skip or fast-forward on the Roku box. (I don't know if it's just Roku - you don't get them when viewing from the web.)

 

The current adverts are particularly loud, offensive, and repetative (especially when looking through several episodes to find the one you want), but forced adverts are never acceptable, least of all on a paid service.

 

I swore at my TV for the last time today. I have cancelled my NowTV subscription on account of this. Is there anyone else here who feels strongly about this? (I know it's not just me, but maybe people on this forum are more tolerant of NowTV's dirty tricks.) Is there some additional way of expressing our dislike of this feature to NowTV? If they removed the adverts, I'd gladly sign up again, so I'd be especially glad to hear about any plans to do that.

 

Thanks,

Tim.

44 Replies


@Anonymous User wrote:

Is there anyone else here who feels strongly about this?


Yes. Discussed here: http://community.nowtv.com/t5/Entertainment/Pre-episode-advert-trailer/m-p/393104

 

Pre-show advert is allegedly skippable but many say not so.

 

@Jason-C on the NOW TV team is supposed to be checking on that fact.

 

Disappointing.

Andy
Legend 5
Legend 5

@Anonymous User

 

Welcome to the forum.

 

Yep, I think most people would rather not see any adverts at all, but I can understand its in NOW TV's interests to promote their other content. To be fair I've only had two of these pre-show adverts so far.

 

There's another thread on it here

 

http://community.nowtv.com/t5/Entertainment/Pre-episode-advert-trailer/m-p/393104#M23701

 

in which staff member @Jason-C mentions the ad is supposed to be skip able, but I've not been able to skip them although when I backed out of it and started the programme again the advert didn't show the second time. If they can fix it so the ad is quickly and easily skippable then it wouldn't bother me to put up with them a few times, Amazon have started doing something similar.

 

There used to be Sky One channel promos in the middle of some shows a while back which I found much more annoying as you had to sit through them to get to the next part of the show, so if it's one or the other I'd rather  have a skippable ad at the beginning.

Anonymous User
Not applicable

Thanks for the pointer, dr_necessitor, Andy.

 

If the advert were easily skippable, that would certainly be an improvement, so thanks for everyone's efforts to find out about that. I can confirm that I currently can't skip the adverts on my Roku box.

 

But I really don't think these adverts are in anyone's interests if they p*ss off NowTV's customers, especially with such nugatory benefit. Why do they need to advertise programmes that are already paid for? With offensive adverts, quite out of keeping with the programmes being shown. To add insult to injury, I'm reminded that I had to pay for this sh*t as part of the package with the stuff I like.

 

There is also a technical problem, at least on the Roku box. The adverts seem to be inserted as a separate stream, so one gets twirling dots at the start of the advert and the programme. Even if you could skip the advert, you'd still have a double delay - and for what?

 

Thanks,

Tim.

Anonymous User
Not applicable


@Andy wrote:
[...] Amazon have started doing something similar.

 

There used to be Sky One channel promos in the middle of some shows a while back which I found much more annoying as you had to sit through them to get to the next part of the show, so if it's one or the other I'd rather  have a skippable ad at the beginning.


I just signed up to try Amazon Video, so I guess I'll find out if they do the same. If so, I doubt I'll be staying with them either.

 

I agree, a channel promo in the middle of a show is even more annoying, but if it's the one I remember, you could fast-forward through it, which made it just about acceptable. Plus it was short and soothing, rather than loud and offensive.

 

Thanks,

Tim.

Jason-C
Community Administrator

Hi @Anonymous User@Andy@dr_necessitor

 

Thanks for letting us know.

 

First, the bad news. Regarding skip button, I'm sorry to say this currently doesn't exist on the NOW TV Box. The feature as a whole was only launched last week, so we know there are improvements to be made as we roll it out.

 

We are investigating the repetitive nature you've described - we have rules in place to ensure no-one is shown the same content too many times, but if these have broken down or need tweaking, we'll do our best to fix them.

 

We appreciate the frustration this may have caused. We're closely monitoring the new functionality and intend to change the behaviour based on customer feedback. Your comments especially have been flagged to the teams involved.

 

The idea is to present you with something else you might like to watch, rather than harrass with things that don't interest you. What show were you watching, and what show was promoted? We can also look into changing things to make them more relevant.

 

Thanks,

Jason

@Jason-C this was first seen on an episode of "Bones" - can't recall what show was advertised (other than it was not relevant or of interest to us) due to being totally aghast!

 

On the subject of "what to watch" suggestions, we had that turned off when we had Tivo.

 

Much as I understand NOW TV's desire to drive customers to new content that they may not be aware of, we prefer to make our own decisions about what new stuff to watch.

 

We actually do our own research, using a variety of resources, to look out for and discover new upcoming content, so it's all irrelevant to us - we'll inevitably already know about it and will have decided to watch or not watch!

 

I accept that not many customers may actually do that though.

Andy
Legend 5
Legend 5

Out of interest, how many adverts are people seeing? I've only had it twice, both times the promo was for football, which surprised me as I never watch it. I would have expected it to advertise other ents shows.

@Andy It has just been one advert (trailer for an Entertainment show) when it has happened.

Anonymous User
Not applicable


@Jason-C wrote:
The idea is to present you with something else you might like to watch, rather than harrass with things that don't interest you. What show were you watching, and what show was promoted? We can also look into changing things to make them more relevant.

Thanks for your reply, Jason.

 

I'm with @dr_necessitor, I want to find what to watch myself, rather than have it shoved in my face. This is the unique benefit of a streaming service, so why are you trying to spoil it by emulating the lack of choice of broadcast TV? Even if you found the perfect programme for me, you just taint it by forcing a preview down my throat. I find new programmes by looking through listings, or by recommendation from friends who looked through listings.

 

The best way to present your customers with something they might want to watch is to do what you already do fairly well: accurate categorisation and programme description in your listings. Actually, some of your programme descriptions could be improved (a particular bugbear is that the text is often cut off when displayed on Roku), but that's a minor bug in comparison.

 

Even if we (people responding to these threads, and everyone I know) are in a minority in not finding programme adverts useful, you could show that you respect your customers' wishes by the simple expedient of adding a global setting allowing users to disable pre-show previews. This would be even better than allowing a "skip advert" button, which is slow and cumbersome (given the performance I get from your service), should be easy to implement, and would allow you to  monitor how many of your customers really find the previews useful.

 

If you do implement such a fix, please let me know, so I can sign up again 🙂

 

Thanks,

Tim.

Gdman
Mentor

I'm with Tim on this one, even if there was a skip button it's still not a good solution. Configurable account switch is the way to go. All I want is to be able to go to an episode and watch it start to finish without any interruptions or extra button presses. You wouldn't have thought it would be that difficult, Netflix, Amazon, iPlayer all manage it...

Anonymous User
Not applicable

This was the last straw for me and ive now cancelled my supscription. Ive put up with the shody modified boxes and the terrible 'unfinshed' software updates, the perminat remote control bug only present in the NowTV app and all the other bugs that are know about but never fixed (many which i have reported and been thobbed off and ignored). The recent 'continue watching' that made our boxes non-family/multi-user friendly was breaking point but this pushed me past the point.

 

Instead of adding stupid trailers to programmes to advertise what we already have (or had) why not employ a tech team that can actually produce a bug free and reliable software that is user friendly. Listen to the hundreds of suggestions on the forum by your customers and stop trying to make bad copies of the ideas other providers have and are doing.

 

For info the last 7 programmes out of 11 had a trailer - no skip button. the remote is locked during the trailers except the back button which if pressed exits the trialer and programme but you still cant skip it.. each time you restart the programme the trailer (not always the same one either) will play again. On two occasions the box crashed after the trailer played while it was switching over to load the programme, then when finally navigaed all the way back through the menu to the progamme again - guess what another trailer!

 

ukbobboy
Legend

Dear Forum Members

 

You know, wasn't this "leveraging information and allowing Partners to send it to their customers" a facility that Roku were developing for the new Combo Box?

 

I believe this tid-bit of info was mentioned in an almost indecipherable press release issued sometime last year (as far as I can remember) by Roku.

 

 

UK (skeptical) Bob

 

 


@ukbobboy wrote:

Dear Forum Members

 

You know, wasn't this "leveraging information and allowing Partners to send it to their customers" a facility that Roku were developing for the new Combo Box?

 

I believe this tid-bit of info was mentioned in an almost indecipherable press release issued sometime last year (as far as I can remember) by Roku.

 

 

UK (skeptical) Bob

 

 


It's not just happening on the new Combo box though 😞

ukbobboy
Legend

@dr_necessitor

 

Hi DR

 

You said, "It's not just happening on the new Combo box though".  Yes, I got that impression from the other posts in this thread.

 

You know, it's not surprising that this "leveraging facility" has migrated to other Roku based systems, it is a money making facility specially developed for Roku's partners to deliver advertisements directly to their customers.

 

                                         

 

 

UK Bob

@ukbobboy There are no such pre-show adverts delivered when watching content from Netflix on a Roku or on a YouView PVR. Likewise when watching content from Amazon Video on a Roku. So most likely it's specifically a partnership between Roku & NOW TV to deliver "this joyful privilege" to NOW TV customers 😉

ukbobboy
Legend

@dr_necessitor

 

Hi again DR

 

I agree with everything you've said, except for the following,"So most likely it's specifically a partnership between Roku & NOW TV", I think you've missed out on the other partnerships Roku has with streaming TV companies in other countries from around the world, such as Germany Italy, TV companies across the US and others like India and Brazil.

 

Roku is busy setting up and creating partnerships around the world, i.e. wherever they can use their technology to increase market share.

 

 

UK Bob

 

PS. Roku can get into market sectors and geographical area that traditional and satellite TV systems cannot reach and I believe that Roku is definitely not resting on it's laurels.

 

 

UK Bob

@ukbobboy

 

My comments are of course intended to be specific to the current discussion regarding this particular issue as it affects NOW TV. But thanks for raising awareness of the other partnerships Roku has with streaming TV companies in other countries from around the world, however I'm not particularly concerned about those right now!

DarylM
Legend 5
Legend 5


@ukbobboy wrote:

 

You know, wasn't this "leveraging information and allowing Partners to send it to their customers" a facility that Roku were developing for the new Combo Box?

  


 

I believe that refers to content distributors being able to display content directly on the front page of Roku-style devices.  e.g. The BBC can put a link to The Great British Bake Off on the front page of the Now TV box, so people can go directly to it without having to navigate through the iPlayer first.

 

Do the trailers only appear on Now TV and Roku boxes?  Or do they appear on other devices as well?



If this has solved your issue please mark this as an accepted solution.

Those little green stars by my name mean that I'm a Community Contributor - not Now TV staff. I just try to help out if I can.


@DarylM wrote:

Do the trailers only appear on Now TV and Roku boxes?  Or do they appear on other devices as well?


 

@DarylM Only got one non-Roku/non-NOW TV device on the account here (which is mostly used for account monitoring purposes, rarely used for watching) and haven't (yet) had a chance to look and see if this happens on there (but I wouldn't be surprised to find that it does!)

ukbobboy
Legend

@DarylM

 

You know D

 

It's all in the way you look at those particular words, I lean towards seeing them as saying "we have a new innovative way of creating new revenue streams for us and our partners", while you have a more benevolent interpretation.

 

I believe, in this particular case, we are both right, i.e. there is no mutually exclusive "right" answer, because both scenarios work.

 

 

UK Bob