A deal the TV networks can’t refuse

If I thought my blog actually had any influence, I probably wouldn’t publish this.

Apple has just patented a gizmo (software, I assume) for seamlessly detecting ads in a media stream such as a radio broadcast and replacing them with media from some other source.

So imagine this scenario:

  1. Apple negotiates deal for AppleTV to work as a legitimate set-top box.
  2. Apple’s set-top box gains ability to automagically filter ads. (After all, what kind of media stream is a lot like a commercial radio broadcast? Oooh, commercial TV.)
  3. Suddenly, selling TV programming on demand through the iTunes model is a lot more attractive. (Indeed, I really don’t see how it’s not more attractive to sell TV shows via iTunes than try to monetize them through ads, etc. but CBS certainly seems welded onto this belief.)

Steve Jobs supposedly told Walter Isaacson that he had finally cracked TV. Does anyone imagine that his ideal TV viewing experience included ads?

Edit: looks like I’m not the only person who reacted to the patent this way.