Ads on Blu Ray

Before Christmas I brought myself a present - I purchased all (at the time) four seasons of Mad Men on Blu Ray from Amazon.
I did this as I had heard great things about the show, but hadn't seen a single episode as I was not sure when it was actually on NZ television, or if it would ever be (or if it would be at a reasonable time). Also, if it was on TV that would mean I lost the freedom to watch multiple episodes in a row, or at my own timing.

Now, I am well aware I could have gone an downloaded all the episodes easily and freely, but I chose not to - as I understood it this show was something worthwhile owning, and the creators deserved to be paid for their work, so I up and purchased it.

So far this isn't really an interesting story, is it?

After ploughing through Season 1, I put the first disc of Season 2 in my PS3 and I was shocked at what I encountered.


Ads on a Blu Ray disc I had purchased!

What the hell is going on here?

When you watch TV you get ads because you are otherwise watching a free product. Ads are the punishment you face for getting something for free, but I paid for these TV shows - why should I be forced to sit through ads? (and, as far as I can tell, I was forced - I couldn't skip straight to the main menu, or work around them at all. Also, it isn't just the first time - it is every time you start the disc).

This must be some of the backwards thinking that gets people pissed off at Hollywood and makes them willing to pirate and steal content in the first place - because if you did download this, then you wouldn't have ads!

More so, why did I have to buy these discs from America in the first place? How does it make sense that I would have otherwise had to wait wait for months or years for a show to make it to our TVs, and then into our retail markets? Who came up with that idea?

Why should someone willing to pay for a product, especially a product that is available in a digital form (though I brought physical media, I could have downloaded this show - well, in theory, being in New Zealand I wouldn't have had access, the point is a digital paid version is available somewhere) be screwed around and for the most part not able to give money to people for their products?

This is something I know I am going to touch on in a later post at some point, but the whole idea of depriving a market of your product when it doesn't cost you any more to supply it (thinking digital again) doesn't make any sense at all - at least not in modern society (when people KNOW the product exists, it isn't like before the Internet when I wouldn't have seen a show, but also didn't know I wasn't seeing it). All it can possibly do is annoy potential customers, and lead to potential theft.

But back to the ads for a moment - why would they put an ad on physical media like this anyway?
I guess it goes back to when people hired videos from video stores (I am assuming no one would ever do this any more, then again I am from a country that doesn't have Netflix), and as such companies wanted to advertise other videos that people could hire and watch (so, the same reason movies have trailers before them in the theatre). But surely there should be some control in place to not have ads on copies sold directly to the end consumer?

Do they really desperately need another means to advertise to people? Don't we have enough advertising in our lives already? People actively go out and watch ads on YouTube - they are making it easy for the marketers - can't they use that as a trade off and not stick advertisements on products brought specifically for personal enjoyment? Or, just throwing it out there, products that have been brought? I know this is really a pipe dream as everything is advertising these days (think branding on clothes) and all our lives are geared to being a consumer and worshipping the almighty dollar (there is a Simpsons joke there)

But, I guess that is what the world is, and to say anything against it would make me a communist... but it feels like it has gone too far.

Either that or I just didn't like having an ad jammed down my throat when I went out of my way to buy the product in the first place.

(to be clear, I am not in any way trying to advocate or support downloading/stealing content with anything said above - all I am trying to convey is that by companies withholding content from potentially willing customers they are leaving them no option but to seek this means. They are creating the problem they do so much to fight)