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From November 25th, UK VOD company SeeSaw is rolling out a new advertising system that will allow people to choose which adverts they want to watch prior to the programmes they are watching. Alternatively, SeeSaw clients can also turn off ads with a "Nonstop" feature that will allow viewers to switch off advertising during programmes, for a mere £2.99 a month. However there will be an introductory offer on Nonstop of 99p a month, until the end of the year.
This is on the heels of Google's Youtube announcing it has designed a new ad unit which will give viewers the option of of which ads they want to watch, or more importantly, not watch. Google has coined the new system TrueView, and now users will have the option to watch three different ads or simple to skip the ads altogether in which case the advertiser is not charged. YouTube is giving consumers the ultimate control over the commercial aspect of their viewing, which is similar to Hulu's choose-your-own ad feature, except Hulu does not allow for complete skipping of ads.
At this stage, Nonstop only applies to certain content – programming from BBC Worldwide and independent producers.
In a partnership with tech company Branient, The Ad Selector system allows targeted advertising by user choice and SeeSaw said it expected the feature to be rolled out across programming from the service's other content suppliers, including Five, Disney, MTV Channel 4, and NBC Universal soon.
Ben Williams, Head of Advertising for SeeSaw told Tech Radar:
"We're excited to launch the Ad Selector format - a win-win for the advertiser and the user. The Ad Selector is simple and effective, essentially giving the user the choice to pick the advert they wish to see. This puts the user in control of the advertising experience and therefore increases their engagement and purchase intent. Our vision is to create a unique environment for advertisers to reach their audience through innovative methods, and today's announcement is the first step towards this with more initiatives in the pipeline."
This is SeeSaw's first subscription-based consumer offering, and it plans to introduce premium content packages at a later date.
Matt Rennie, SeeSaw's commercial director added to Marketing Magazine stating:
"On-demand viewing is by definition about flexibility, and NonStop is another way to bring choice to our viewers."