back to article Australian video-streamer lets users opt out of ads for burgers, booze, and betting

Australia’s SBS will allow users of its video streaming services to opt out of ads for burgers, booze, and betting. SBS commenced operations in 1975 as the “Special Broadcasting Service”, a name that reflected its mission to reach Australia’s ethnic communities with programming in multiple languages. A television station …

  1. Winkypop Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Bets, burgers and booze

    Bogan church!

    I credit the copious betting adverts (+ reality TV) as the reason I long-ago ditched the goggle box.

    Good on SBS.

    1. Magani
      Thumb Up

      Re: Bets, burgers and booze

      Much the same reason our channel selector stays on the ABC.

  2. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    The Register feels no need to elucidate Australian drinking habits.

    And René Descartes was a drunken fart

    "I drink, therefore I am"

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: The Register feels no need to elucidate Australian drinking habits.

      Neil, eh?

      We'll call you "Bruce". It'll be less confusing.

  3. Rikki Tikki Bronze badge

    Wait, what?

    Wouldn't allowing people to opt out of a specific class of ads simply give gambling, burger and booze advertisers confidence that people still watching are receptive to their product and therefore the advertising money is being effective?

    It's good that SBS is taking at least some steps to limit these ads, but would it be more effective simply to stop displaying these sort of ads altogether?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Wait, what?

      Better still, block all ads and charge some sort of flat fee.

      Then the broadcaster would have a steady source of income to develop innovative new programs (or at least a reboot of Skippy the bush Kangaroo) and wouldn't have to chase ratings or be beholden to advertisers.

      I assume the politicians would love this since it kept the corrupting hand of big business out of the national media and the public would love it since they weren't being tracked.

      1. NXM Silver badge

        Re: Wait, what?

        FWIW I remember one of the cast saying Skippy was actually an incontinent female wallaby. You can't house-train wallabies, so the set permanently stank of wallaby piss.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Wait, what?

          No it was the actor who was later in "Neighbours" in a Wallaby suit

          Ironically all the other parts in neighbours were played by Wallabies in human makeup

    2. MrDamage Silver badge

      Re: Wait, what?

      Just wait until the gambling advertisers realise how much they are universally despised, and everyone starts shutting off their adverts. Doubly so the ones where yanks try and do am aussie accent. Fuck off Shaq.

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Wait, what?

        Waiting for it to get expanded.

        Opt out of ads for cars (climate change), fast food (health concerns), banks (I'm a anarcho-communist) etc etc

        Then you end up with only the most inoffensive ads for Shackleton's Original High Seat Chair and whatever it was JR Hartley was trying to buy

  4. The Central Scrutinizer

    I'm an avid SBS On Demand viewer. They have some fantastic TV shows on, especially the so called Nordic Noir stuff.

    We are suffering an absolute fucking plague of sports betting ads on TV here. They are impossible to avoid on any commercial TV station. A recent report stated that a million ads had been aired on TV in the last year.

    Good on SBS for at least doing something about it. Is it perfect? Of course not, but it's a start.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fine control over ads would be great

    I use free Spotify sometimes as background music.

    Have always been OK with putting up with the ads as "payment" to subsidise the service (don't use it enough to justify premium as partner has apple music sub & so I mainly use Spotify occasionally for music that is not available on apple ).

    However recently it has been full of adds for "Cex" where "c" pronounced as an "s", and the company name shouted out lots of time in the ad.

    All good juvenile fun, but as I'm working at home, with other people of various ages & sensitivities around, who may hear my music playing, I don't want "sex" shouted out loudly and often from my speakers as need to be considerate of them (also censor the music I play out of consideration for them).

    So I have blocked Spotify ads* - which means Spotify loses out on ad income, all due to one particular irritating ad being incessantly played .

    * Will remove the block in a few weeks & see what happens, in the hope of Cex ads having stopped as I would like to support Spotify via ads, not happy "freeloading" even when it was effectively forced on me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Fine control over ads would be great

      Hear hear.

      I play Pandora sometimes with my young kids in the room, with a carefully-curated channel. No ads for R-rated content, please!

    2. Benegesserict Cumbersomberbatch Silver badge

      Re: Fine control over ads would be great

      SBS= Sex Before Soccer

  6. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

    Maybe finally a use for "AI"?

    What if we could train AI to spot ads in a video stream or webpage and remove them?

    1. The Central Scrutinizer

      Re: Maybe finally a use for "AI"?

      That's the best idea I've heard for AI usage yet.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Maybe finally a use for "AI"?

        I note that FreeTube removes not only youtube adverts but also (most) in-channel sponsorship. I don't know how they do that, but I wonder if they're detected by how many viewers skip over them?

        1. Spazturtle Silver badge

          Re: Maybe finally a use for "AI"?

          They use SponsorBlock, it's all crowdsourced and there are multiple category that you can tag sections of the video as. You can get the extension for your web browser.

        2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Maybe finally a use for "AI"?

          That's companies are going to product placement rather than ads.

          You can't skip James Bond drinking a Newcastle Brown

          I've seen demos of a system which replaced products for each market, so Bond is drinking a Japanese beer in Japan. With better GPUs and DeepFake they can personalise this to your shopping profile. Bond can wander into the bar and ask for "a nice cup of Yorkshire tea, luv" and be seen sardonically dunking his biscuit.

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: Maybe finally a use for "AI"?

            "Two sugars, please. Stirred, not shaken."

            1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

              Re: Maybe finally a use for "AI"?

              My name is Bond, tha knows. James Bond. And when I were a lad, we 'ad to sort out us own would-be master criminals... Uphill. Both ways. In t'snow.

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Maybe finally a use for "AI"?

            "You can't skip James Bond drinking a Newcastle Brown"

            True, but it's not shouting about it or interrupting the flow of the program

            Coke and friends have been doing product placement for decades as have most carmakers

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Terminator

      Re: Maybe finally a use for "AI"?

      What if we could train AI to spot ads in a video stream

      Phil O'Sophical! Remember his name!

      He is the one they will blame in the future!

      He is the one children will go to sleep cursing! The fool! The one who taught our own computers to hate us! The one who caused our AI's to turn sentient and to decide to destroy us all!

      When the Terminators come to kill you - remember that we started it.

    3. Tim99 Silver badge

      Re: Maybe finally a use for "AI"?

      It ain’t AI, but comskip makes a reasonable job of skipping ads in recorded free-to-air TV.

    4. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Maybe finally a use for "AI"?

      What if we could train AI to spot ads in a video stream or webpage and remove them?

      Or, if you were Hugh Hefner... didn't he employ people to edit out commercial breaks from the shows that were recorded before he watched them?

  7. JacobZ
    Holmes

    Targeted advertising?

    If targeted advertising does what it says on the box, why is it necessary for people to explicitly opt out of ads for burgers, booze, and betting?

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Targeted advertising?

      "And old Billy the blacksmith, the first time in his life, why he's gone home cold sober to his darling wife. He walks in the kitchen, she says you're early Bill dear, but then he breaks down and tells her the pub's got no beer." - a song by Slim Dusty written and performed in 1962.

      Maybe we'll see a new song from Australia soon to cover the changes?

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Targeted advertising?

      There's also the issue that targetted advertising actually does statistically worse than non-targetted adverts

      No, I don't need or want to be bombarded with adverts for a new fridge after I just purchased one. That's the LAST thing I'm interested in purchasing

  8. Merlinski

    Adblockers

    As an aside, on the general subject of blocking ads, I am a bit mystified. I use an Adblocker and see very very few ads, not even the gambling ones. Why arn't more people using Adblockers? And if they don't, why are they complaining that the internet is unuseable because of all the ads?

    1. A. Coatsworth Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Adblockers

      Because they don´t know any better?

      I wouldn't expect my dear dad to even *realize* adblockers are a thing, if I don't inform him. How could he find that out by himself and move as to install the appropriate add on or program?

      Like him, most people accept online ads as a fact of life, because it has been like this since the times of TV and newspapers, and because it is not obvious that one can deal with them. Plus the fact that it requires a smidge of investigation most people is not willing or able to do.

      It is not like one can see ads for adblockers, is it?

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Adblockers

        One of my customers a long time ago was a guy who branded himself as "Silent Selling" (He did the kind of signs you see as menus in chip shops, or the signwriting on ice cream vans)

        As he said - he had a lot of repeat business because his stuff worked and it worked because it DIDN'T annoy punters

        I think we'd all be happy to allow banner ads if they weren't animated/noisy/malware infested/dozens plastered all across the entire page

        Advertising contains a few people who know full well that "less is more" and a lot of twunts who believe in saturating people into submission

  9. Jedit Silver badge
    Pint

    "Special Broadcasting Service"

    Surely I can't be the only person who sees that phrase and thinks of a squad of black-garbed commandos rappelling in through your window with a TV set showing Neighbours.

    1. Rikki Tikki Bronze badge
      Pint

      Re: "Special Broadcasting Service"

      Although SBS has diversified somewhat recently, people down here used to refer to it as "Sex Before Soccer".

      @Jedit - have another upvote on me.

  10. Clunking Fist

    "Australia’s SBS will allow users of its video streaming services to opt out of ads for burgers, booze, and betting."

    I can't believe I read that to mean opt-out "in return for" burgers, booze, and betting...

    "WTF?" I thought, so clinked to read more.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like