"The purpose of advertising in 30 seconds after booting up is to improve the user experience. If there is no advertisement, the screen will be black."
This is the reply received by the Shanghai Consumer Protection Commission after communicating with Shanghai Telecom on the issue of "IPTV cannot be turned off when the advertisement is turned on".
For this reason, the Consumer Protection Committee expressed depression and fell into contemplation. And when I saw this, I only thought of what Mr. Zhuge said in the film and television series, "I have never seen such a brazen person!"
And I have a profound experience of Teacher Li Chengru's "like a thorny back, like sitting on needles and felts, like a knuckle in the throat".
▲ Picture from: Shanghai Consumer Protection Committee
In the face of inquiries, Shanghai Telecom IPTV even said that "because the customer has signed an agreement, the customer is obligated to watch the advertisement" and "it is impossible to add the one-click turn-off function". What can I do? The attitude that can still be smashed.
This reply from the telecom IPTV operation center not only did not solve the problem, but also stood on the opposite side of many consumers, and the impact was really bad.
▲Response letter from the Smart Home Operation Center of China Telecom Shanghai to the Shanghai Consumer Insurance Commission. Picture from: Shanghai Consumer Insurance Commission
Later, perhaps after seeing the overwhelming condemnation from the outside world, China Telecom Shanghai responded again, "A special working group has been established overnight to study the one-click shutdown of IPTV advertising and implement it as soon as possible."
This matter has come to an end, and the problem that users must watch 30-second advertisements when turning on telecom IPTV can be regarded as a solution.
It is illegal to not skip the boot ads
Looking back, now all kinds of TV boxes and smart TVs are not new to watch ads. Shanghai Telecom’s IPTV start-up advertisement has received such widespread attention (or condemnation), in the final analysis, the crux of the matter lies in the attitude of "boasting" and knowing the law and breaking the law.
Article 44 of the "Advertising Law of the People's Republic of China", "The use of the Internet to engage in advertising activities shall be governed by the provisions of this law. The use of the Internet to publish and send advertisements shall not affect the normal use of the Internet by users. Publish on Internet pages in the form of pop-ups, etc. Advertisements should be clearly marked with a closing sign to ensure one-click closing.”
In other words, according to the law, there must be a "one-click shutdown" function for advertisements, not "I can't do it."
In addition, the first version of Shanghai Telecom's IPTV response was too "tough". Even if it directly expresses "for the sake of the meal" and "will be rectified", it will not ferment to such a degree.
From analog signals to digital signals, and then to the current intelligence, the equipment is constantly being upgraded, and the means of advertising are also more abundant.
Once, the advertisement was only at the beginning and the end. In the past, the advertisement was inserted in the middle. Later, it became a TV series inserted in the advertisement.
Now, after the equipment is intelligent, we think we can turn around and call the shots. However, the devil's height is one foot high, and the advertising patterns are multiplied and it is impossible to guard against.
Smart TV boot advertising chaos
It was not only the Shanghai Consumer Protection Commission that discovered this problem. In 2019, the Jiangsu Consumer Protection Commission took a special action against the infringement of consumer rights by smart TV boot ads and issued a rectification notice.
The problem that these smart TV manufacturers are making is similar to that of Shanghai Telecom's IPTV recently, in that they cannot skip the boot ads. It's just that the manufacturers who were named did not "give away their heads," but instead rectified them.
In July 2020, six companies including Xiaomi, Skyworth, Haier, Hisense, Sharp, and Changhong all released rectification instructions for start-up advertisements. On the whole, basically, the prompt of "exit the advertisement" appears after a few seconds after the startup advertisement is played.
In addition, subsequent new products will be pre-installed with a software version that can jump out of ads. In our latest experience, the boot advertisement of Mi TV 6 Extreme Edition can be skipped after 1 second.
▲ No boot ads have actually become a major feature.
As for whether this skippable ad experience is limited to the "high-end" version or for all products, it is temporarily impossible to verify. The Paper has conducted an investigation, and the boot ads of many brands of smart TVs still cannot be skipped.
Consult the official after-sales service. The reasons can be summarized. One is to use advertisements to enrich the boring time of booting up. Second, some old models need to contact the after-sales service to provide the Mac address for cancellation. Third, to maintain the source of the film through advertisements.
In addition to Article 44 of the Advertising Law, in September last year, the China Electronic Video Industry Association also issued a "Smart TV Boot Advertising Service Specification" for smart TVs and smart boxes.
Among them, it is clearly stated that one is to inform consumers that there is an advertisement when starting up, and the other is that the starting up advertisement should not exceed 30 seconds, and there must be a shutdown prompt.
Therefore, there are laws and regulations to follow with regard to the launch of advertising, but it has not been fully implemented, or it has been exploited.
In order to deal with these psoriasis-like advertisements, three methods are also circulating on the Internet. One is to upgrade to the latest system as much as possible, the other is to seek after-sales from the manufacturer and provide information such as the Mac address to close it in the background, and the third is in the router. Set blocking rules.
The difficulty of the three schemes increases in turn, and it does not rule out that the mechanism of subsequent startup advertising push is more complicated. It seems that this is also a kind of paper study?
All for Lilai, but please choose the right track
If the scope is further expanded, the chaos of booting and opening screen advertisements will exist on many devices. But their existence can be summarized into one point, which is "profit."
In terms of IPTV boxes, it has a large volume. According to data from the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, as of 2020, the number of IPTV users nationwide has reached 315 million, and Shanghai Telecom's IPTV users have also exceeded 4 million.
In other words, the benefits of serving 4 million real users with 30-second non-skippable advertisements can be imagined.
In the case of smart TVs, the price is constantly exploring and the size is constantly increasing. Even if the cost of panels and hardware continues to rise, it still cannot prevent the emergence of large-screen low-priced TVs.
To put it bluntly, the cost price (or loss) is used to increase the number of users, and then some services (including advertising) will be used to make profits.
Whether it is a smart TV for the living room or a smart phone for the individual, it is undoubtedly a content distribution platform, and the content to be distributed is determined by the manufacturer, and the boot advertisement is the most intuitive and effective means of profiting.
On the other hand, in order to attract users, some smart TV manufacturers will also buy some exclusive film sources, and this part of the expenditure is from the revenue from advertising. The two complement each other, but also contradict each other. It is to provide exclusive resources. Improve the experience, while frequent, lengthy and boring advertisements can be regarded as reducing the experience.
With the promulgation of advertising laws and regulations, a balance has been broken, with fewer (shorter) advertising pushes, in exchange for a single source of films, and users cannot be effectively tied up.
Therefore, many manufacturers' products still choose to take the risk and cannot skip, or the skip option appears after 25 seconds to make a side ball.
At this stage, relevant laws and regulations are actually in place. Even if they are strictly implemented, manufacturers can also place corresponding advertisements according to the skip time.
▲ The fear of being dominated by magical advertisements is vivid.
With the shortening of time, the advertisements we receive will be "pulse-like" bombing advertisements for the benefit of manufacturers, which are simple and effective, but the experience is negative, which will undoubtedly become negative for TV brands and advertising brands. Publicity.
In fact, the best service for smart TVs and box products is still content, but it is a long track that requires continuous investment and is of great benefit to brand building. Smart TV manufacturers can consider expanding their own track, rather than constantly scrolling with consumers on boot ads.
And, manufacturers can also customize according to TV positioning, rather than one size fits all. Take a brand that has always wanted to hit the high-end, high-end products can actually avoid boot ads and system built-in ads to gain user loyalty from other built-in services.
As for IPTV, it is better to provide corresponding services honestly and legally, and next time you respond to the outside world, please think twice.
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