Response From Blip.tv

  By Shamus   Jun 30, 2011   104 comments

As a follow-up to my previous rant on Blip.tv, CEO Mike Hudack left me a message. I’m reprinting it here in full:

Hey Shamus,

I’m the CEO of blip.tv and one of the founders.

I’m sorry that you had a bad experience. And I’m happy that you’re writing about it and giving us a chance to a) answer you, and b) get better. I’ll address your post point by point.

Overall, I’ll emphasize this: we’re dedicated to providing a great viewer experience while making money for show producers. We’re constantly working to balance these priorities, and no one should ever have the experience you’ve had. I’m working with our VP of Revenue Operations, SVP of Sales and EVP of Operations to address your complaints.

Also, I’m around all day. Feel free to call me at xxxxxxxxxxxx if you want to vent more. I’m leaving on vacation at 9p eastern tonight, so try to reach me before 7p or so… otherwise I may not be able to get back to you ntil I get back home :)

So, without further ado, your points…

1) “I couldn’t embed these movies like I wanted to.” – This should just work. The only reason I can think that this wouldn’t work is if you’re using WordPress.com or certain versions of WordPress that block certain embeds. We’re working with WordPress on fixing this, in the meantime there’s a workaround that someone in the comments mentioned.

2) “The same ad. All the time. Every time.” We have a system that, on our destination site, only shows one preroll ad per five minutes. We use different policies on different sites, so it’s possible that you’re viewing in a place where we don’t have that same user experience setting in place. Note that you have to watch a complete ad before your five minute counter starts — this is to prevent people from just refreshing as soon as the ad plays and not watching any ads at all. Please remember that these ads don’t just make us money. They make the show producer money, too. Our mission is to make a sustainable living for producers.

3) “Their servers are crap.” We have extensive monitoring in place to ensure that we’re consistently delivering video to people as they watch it and that there’s an absolute minimum in stalling and buffering. We also use Akamai for video delivery, the world standard in content delivery networks.

If you’re having problems with buffering please send an e-mail to support@blip.tv and include your IP address. We’ll check the connection between our servers and your computer and we can also do live tests to see how streaming is going and if it’s working.

4) “Pop-up ads pop up too often.” We don’t do pop-up ads. We do, however, serve “overlay” ads that cover the lower third of the video player for a few seconds. Clicking “Close” on them shouldn’t pause your video. The ad should just go away. If this isn’t the case please e-mail support@blip.tv and tell us what ad this happened with.

5) “Pop-up ads are too big.” They shouldn’t be. They should only cover the bottom third of the video player. And they should scale to be smaller on smaller players. A few days ago we had a problem with one of our ad providers sending through larger overlays, and we’ve disabled those campaigns. If you’re still seeing them that’s a problem.

6) “Pop-up ads punish the viewer.” I don’t think that overlay ads that really only cover the lower third punish the viewer. I think they’re actually less intrusive and annoying than thirty second prerolls. Producers who use blip have the option of turning different ad formats on and off, so if they don’t want overlays they don’t have to run overlays.

7) “Volume of ads is far louder than the content, and the volume button is wonky.” I think this is a real problem and we’re working on a solution. The problem is that all of the shows are mastered at different volume levels, and so are the ads. We’re working to come up with a sustainable solution to this.

Yours,

Mike Hudack
Co-founder & CEO, blip.tv

The best part of this isn’t that he personally posted on my blog. The best part is that he acknowledged the problems and didn’t try to “re-frame”, divert, or even refute my assertions. This is about the healthiest response Blip.tv could possibly have. It’s an exceptionally rare response for any company larger than 20 people. Especially an internet company.

So, credit where it’s due. Good on these guys. I look forward to seeing the improvements to the service.

(I posted this in “rants”, simply so it would follow the previous post in the archives.)

A Hundred!4104 comments. Quick! Add another to see if this message changes!


  1. Hugo Sanchez says:

    I’m actually pretty surprised. You’ve got more clout on the internet than you thought, huh Shamus?

    Blip.tv, I now have a measurable level of respect for you.

    • Walter says:

      What people fail to realize is that ad-sponsored content is inherently unsustainable over the long run. Google devalues everything it touches and makes money by running context ads alongside the content but marginalizing the actual value of the content down to zero.

      Advertisers are the ones subsidizing and propping up all the niche content in the internet ecosystem. As the largely macroeconomic climate worsens so too will the structural constraints that confine the diversity of content available for “free” on the internet.

      Eventually we will all go back to paying for content (probably through micro-payments) and banner/text advertising (a la Google Adsense/Adwords,etc) will be a thing of the past.

      Adblock Plus + NoScript FTW!

    • Steve C says:

      Blip.tv, I now have a measurable level of respect for you.

      As do I.

      That was an excellent and “healthy” response by Mike Hudack. I had no opinion of Blip.tv before Shamus’ rant. Then a very negative one. Today was the first time I used Blip.tv and I liked it. Good on ya Mike.

      Suggestion for Mike: Point your PR and tech staff to Shamus’ rant and this this page. It’s a great example on “How to do it right.”

  2. Jeremiah says:

    Shamus speaks and the world listens.

  3. Psithief says:

    What’s the chance that they regularly search the web for new pages with “blip.tv” and an adjective? “Blip.tv Sucks” should be a magnet.

    For the record; I too have buffering issues. A lot of the time the content delivery is just too slow, forcing me to stop the video and let the buffer fill to the end.

    • Factoid says:

      Yeah, I get that too. I will at least give them credit for allowing the buffer to ACTUALLY FILL UP, though. There are a ton of video services that no long let their buffer overflow and continue downloading. Youtube still does it, and Blip does it, but other services only fill up a 3-5 second video buffer and then stream the rest of the content as you’re watching it. You can’t hit pause and let the whole video download.

      That drives me NUTS. Especially when I’m streaming on a mobile device.

      HBO GO, I’m looking at you here.

    • Cineris says:

      You can set up Google Alerts that will automatically set up an RSS feed for you searching for key words (e.g. Blip.tv). Though seeing your site being talked about, and offering a substantive thoughtful reply to criticisms are different things.

  4. X2-Eliah says:

    Okay, I am impressed. An actual and (at least apparently) honest true reply from the company.

    Compare this to the developer response Shamus basically got from the Libre Office guys (and both rants were more or less on the same level, being from a black-box consumer position), and you can easily see the difference.

    *initiate slow clap*

  5. kikito says:

    +1 to Blip. I don’t know what else to add, so I’ll just shut up.

  6. Vegedus says:

    Huh. This is kinda big. After Shamus ranting here and on the escapist for years, slowly gaining notoriety, for what must be the first time, he actually got a response from someone relatively high up. Huh.

    Next thing we know, we’ll have the CEO of Bioware chiming in and agreeing with the story problems Shamus points out in Mass Effect 3.

    • Eric says:

      I’m pretty sure “The Doctors” are too busy swimming in their money-filled 24-carat pools to bother responding.

    • Jason says:

      That reminds me, at the beginning of ME2 they complain about the renegade path being “Sure, I’ll work with you, TIM, no problem” as being an assumption that all kinds of evil are willing to work together, when that’s clearly not the way the world works. However, renegade is not the same as evil: renegade, at its core, is about getting the job done no matter what it takes, and in ME2 Cerberus is the only group willing to do anything about the abducted colonists, so reneShep will work with them as long as necessary to stop the Collectors.

      • aldowyn says:

        That was actually a good explanation, but it also points out a fault in Bioware’s system – in having only one good conversation option and one bad, you don’t have much room for TRUE roleplaying.

      • Naota says:

        Except, for all the game tells us, the only reason nobody else is doing anything is that they have no measure of the scope of the threat, and the only reason we’re given for these people not heeding Shepard’s warnings or supporting him is that he’s working for Cerberus.

        It’s stupid that everyone besides Cerberus absolutely refuses to help you in any way or even listen to you because you’re affiliated with Cerberus, and it’s even more stupid that you have no choice available to avoid being affiliated with them.

        This paints a hilarious picture where every major organization in the galaxy is completely irrational (just like Ashley/Kaidan) and incapable of looking past rumours of Shepard working for CERBERUS to actually talk to him. Likewise, since that’s the only rationale they give, you’re constantly railing against the game’s forced choice. “If they let me choose to not be part of Cerberus, all of these people would be on my side. Why is that not a choice?!

        You know what else is ridiculous? The fact that everyone knows you’re with Cerberus right from the start. Either TIM tells them directly (betraying you and strong-arming you into working for him, which you can’t even call him out for doing let alone resign over) or their space-terrorist detectors go off the instant Shepard enters the building. Why could you not leave and tell them TIM was lying? Why do they trust his word over Shepard’s? It’s a plothole singularity!

    • Andrew says:

      This actually isn’t the first time a somewhat-important person directly involved in what Shamus was blogging about responded in the comments. Nor is it the first CEO. It might be the biggest company so far, however.

  7. Eric says:

    Got to say, I wasn’t expecting this. My experience with Blip.tv hasn’t been as poor as yours in the past, as I mentioned earlier, but it’s extremely uncharacteristic for a CEO to take the time out to respond to a blogger of all people (even a rather well-followed blogger), and do so in a way that isn’t condescending or offensive.

    Blip.tv, you’ve earned a couple of cool points in my book. Even if the experience you provide isn’t quite up to the standards of some other sites, this sort of gesture shows you genuinely care and want to improve, more so than all the press releases in the world.

    Also, you know, Shamus, if Blip is reimbursing people for video content, well… hey, just saying, Spoiler Warning could become another revenue source for you and “the crew”, though of course considering how you feel about the site you may not want to entertain that thought.

  8. Hitch says:

    They supposedly only show the same preroll ad once every five minutes, but when I watch a series of videos on blip.tv each one seems to be at least five minutes long, so the preroll ad timer runs out and I get the same ad over and over.

    To be fair, I get the same thing on the the other service as well.

    • Simon says:

      Hey I just got an idea! I don’t know if this works but what if as soon as the first ad is finished, you open the rest of the episodes in new tabs and pause them?

      • Dante says:

        In a perfect world….that would be a great idea. But for some people, that could cause their computer to explode.

        Not literally mind……but their computer might grind to a halt due to the ram and paging file being filed up to the brim with data.

  9. burningdragoon says:

    This has some very high levels of awesome in it.

  10. Count_Zero says:

    I’m going to take credit for posting the work-around, as I think I’m the one who posted the work-around.

  11. NonEuclideanCat says:

    Bravo, Mr. Hudack. Bravo.

    applause.gif

  12. aldowyn says:

    That was pretty cool. The only problems I saw with the response weren’t their fault – they were of the “that shouldn’t be happening” variety, but he responded as best he could and helped where possible.

    And a CEO answered you. That’s just epic :)

  13. poiumty says:

    I might just turn off adblock for blip.tv.

    Might.

    • mixmastermind says:

      Well let’s not get hasty here.

      • Mike Hudack says:

        It’d be nice if you turned off ad block. For two reasons.

        First, we’ve gotten rid of those obnoxious overlays that take up more than a third of the screen (they shouldn’t have been there in the first place).

        Second, the ads are how the producers of the shows you watch make money — we split the ad dollars with them 50/50. The money from those ads help the producers make more shows and quit their sucky day jobs to make videos for you. Every time you watch a blip video without the ad you’re taking a dollar from a poor unfortunate struggling producer’s pocket :)

        And if the ads get too annoying — say, if they’re two big — just complain and we’ll listen and fix it!

        Yours,

        Mike
        CEO, blip.tv

        • mixmastermind says:

          I was actually joking. I don’t use adblock.

          Oddly, I was about to submit a bug: your player seems to more or less randomly remove the ability to skip to an unbuffered part of the video. It’s pretty uncommon, but I’ve had it happen a few times recently.

        • GiantRaven says:

          You split the money 50/50? That’s pretty awesome. I almost wish I was internet famous so I could capitalise on that…

        • Amarsir says:

          Mike,

          You may have seen Shamus’ posts about YouTube, so you know the competition isn’t all shiny either. I personally found Brightcove so bad it actually motivated me to install adblocker (which I try to disable for blip.tv.) I think if I was in the position of monetizing video and couldn’t build in-house, I’d probably go with you guys. So there’s that.

          I suspect among the many difficulties is balancing your PR between producers and viewers. Producers are the most important, but if you give them the power to make bad ad choices and they do (e.g. choosing an overlay ad that blocks an essential chyron), the viewers will blame the service. And maybe that’s your role to be scapegoat, but it’s also a little unfortunate.

        • Frankly I find an ad that covers up a full third of the video to be unacceptable regardless, but I’m willing to hold off ad-block if it can be confirmed that the video producers determine whether overlays are included AND what size of overlays they determine are used.

          • madflavius says:

            As a video producer, I can confirm that yes, there is currently a choice of whether or not overlays are included. A video producer can choose to opt in or out of a preroll, overlay, and postroll ad, for a total of three for each video. There is not a choice about the size, but in my experience, I’ve not yet seen an overlay that even approaches 1/3rd of the screen; most are 1/4 or less.

  14. Sucal says:

    Its funny but I hate overlay adds more then youtube style wait five minute adds. Most likely because I can at least turn down the sound on the latter, while on wikia I need to be incredibly careful where I put my mouse lest I suddenly receive thrilling tails of Evony.

    • aldowyn says:

      heh. Did you say “tails” instead of “tales” on purpose?

      and I actually haven’t seen many Evony ads lately. More ads for stuff that’s actually cool. *cough* World of Tanks *cough*

  15. MichaelG says:

    I followed the review links (first time I’ve used blip.tv) and had no buffering issues (Comcast, Sacramento, Ca.) I did get the same ad twice and the overlay ads.

    Video/audio quality was fine. No complaints.

  16. Turgid Bolk says:

    He didn’t address my only problem with the service, the volume button. Don’t make me click once to bring up the controls, click a different place to mute it, and click yet another place to unmute. I realize they don’t want me to mute their ads, but that’s not in their control. If you don’t make it convenient (or possible) for me to mute, I’ll just do it with my hardware, and become annoyed in the process. Aside from muting, simply adjusting the volume is more difficult than it should be.

    Other than that, great service, and apparently a very responsive CEO.

    • Mike Hudack says:

      No doubt that we should make the volume control better.

      • In order to do so sir, you need to accomplish two things that are currently available in most other video players already:

        – Ability to mute in one click.

        – Volume bar appears on rollover of volume icon or is simply not hidden at all.

        The lack of a mute button to begin with absolutely baffles me. This was an option available before blip existed. What could possibly have possessed you to not include such obvious functionality?

        • porschecm2 says:

          I’ve never used Blip.tv before Shamus started posting about it (or even really heard of it). I’ve now been inspired to check it out, and hopefully I’ll find some cool content I enjoy.
          I immediately noticed the weirdness of the volume control though. Why in the world doesn’t clicking the volume icon mute/unmute the sound, like nearly every other video player I’ve ever used? Also, I can’t seem to grab the volume slider–only click in the bar to move it. Annoying, but not enough to turn me off of the site as a whole.

  17. Peter H. Coffin says:

    Perhaps I’m a cranky bastard, but “1) contact tech support 2) you’re wrong 3) contact tech support 4) contact tech support 5) you’re wrong 6) you’re wrong and 7) we’re working on it (even though this is problem solved a decade ago)” doesn’t seem all that praiseworthy. It’s addressing the PR problem, if anything, rather than the actual issues.

    • Mike Hudack says:

      We don’t really have a viewer support team, which is a problem… our support team is really for producers.

      But if you did contact producer support and were told “you’re wrong” please send me the e-mail at mike@blip.tv. I’ll get to the bottom of it.

      Also, you’re right, responding to the post does help with PR. But it also helps us understand what’s wrong about our product and how to fix it. Which is valuable for us and everyone else. So, yeah, guilty: I want people to like our company and one way to do that is to be responsive to people’s complaints.

    • Shamus says:

      By “contact tech support” he means “talk to tech support so they know the problem exists and can fix it”.

      I have spoken with him personally. I believe the man is in earnest.

    • Andrew B says:

      In addition to the point Shamus made, I think you might be being overly harsh on 5) and 6). Answer five suggested a legitimate reason for why Shamus’ experience could have been unusual, whilst answer six was, I thought, a fair “different strokes, different folks” type response. I am inclined to agree that an “overlay” (pop up still sounds better to me) ad is less annoying than a 30 second preroll. I don’t have to listen to pop ups and I can close them if I chose to do so.

      Also, much respect for the customer service/PR/general engagement on show here. Now I know how to get a response to my complaints! (Not with blip, just in general.) All I need to do is establish a popular, long running blog, fill it with content on a regular basis and then wait 6 years. Sorted!

  18. Patrick the Nauseating says:

    I can’t believe it. Really. In this day an age to get this type of personal response from a legitimate company is unheard of. You can’t get thi type of customer service and response from McDonalds let alone an autonomous internet hosting company.
    And even more impressive is his admission of error and need for improvement. He didn’t try to use smoke and mirrors or technical jargon to jedi mind trick you into thinking that there are any problems. He didn’t pull a Sony and try to convince you that they built it that way on purpose “to make using Blip.tv more challenging for its users.”.
    In any event good for Blip.tv

    You’re still a tool and a dork. Bake me a meatloaf and cookies nerd-boy!

  19. Jenx says:

    While blip.tv gained a few points with me (And, after all, pleasing ME should be on everyone’s mind all the time, of course)I am still pissed off by one thing that seems to happen way too often for my tastes – the ad finishes playing, the video is about to start…and I get an error telling me the video hasn’t loaded. When I refresh, I gotta watch the entire fucking ad again and hope the video shows up the second time.

    I’m all for giving producers money and for making money out of hosting videos, but this is infuriating to no end. Every time this happens I wish I could physically strangle that damn website.

    • Mike Hudack says:

      Hey Jenx, that should never happen. If it’s happening with any kind of regularity then something is very wrong and we would clearly need to fix it.

      Please e-mail me (mike@blip.tv) and damian@blip.tv specific examples of this — with links and the time you accessed the video — if this happens. I’m going on vacation so I won’t be checking e-mail very often, but Damian will check it out.

      • Aulayan says:

        For me, I’ll keep track of when it happens from now on and e-mail them (I’d E-mail these examples but I don’t have time of days). I just know I was having a huge problem back on Sunday and Monday with various TGWTG/Channel Awesome producers videos doing that. If it was embedded, it never worked. If it was on blip, it’d work after one refresh.

      • Jenx says:

        This happened a while back, so I’m afraid I don’t remember the exact video. It was used on thatguywiththeglasses.com that’s for sure. If this ever does happen again I’ll make sure to e-mail you with the details.

  20. NeilD says:

    I love to see positive customer support experiences. They seem to be rapidly becoming a thing of myth. Kudos to Mr. Hudack.

    I would genuinely love to see an explanation of why the ads never seem to suffer from buffering issues (not just with Blip but pretty much every video delivery service I’ve ever seen). I’m sure there’s a straightforward explanation, probably having to do with them coming from a different server location or something, but I am curious.

    • Mike Hudack says:

      Very simple explanation for this. The ads are encoded at a pretty low bitrate to work on every single computer and Internet connection known to man. The videos are encoded at higher bitrates (which, by the way, are more expensive to deliver) to offer the highest picture quality possible to the most people.

      This is done because generally the advertiser cares much more that someone sees the ad than they care about the quality of the picture. Producers (and viewers) generally care much more about the video quality of their shows than advertisers care about the quality of their ads.

      For *some* people *some* of the time (generally either people on slow DSL connections, which is a very small minority of our viewers or people who are using cable modems while a lot of other people in their neighborhood are using cable modems at the same time) these higher quality settings cause the video to buffer.

      Ultimately we want to move to something called adaptive bit rate streaming, a technology that will optimize the quality of the video for the user’s current connection speed. This is difficult and expensive to do, though, and we haven’t done it yet. It’s on our list, though.

      So there’s no nefarious plot to make ads play all the time and videos buffer. It’s just that people have different priorities around those two things.

      Yours,

      Mike
      CEO, blip.tv

      • NeilD says:

        Ah, that makes perfect sense. I expected it was something like that and was curious about the behind-the-scenes workings.

        Thanks very much for the informative response!

      • Specter says:

        ComedyCentral does adaptive streaming and from my experience it’s not that much of an improvement over slow buffering, at least for me. I watch a lot of shows online, simply for the reason they don’t broadcast in germany, so if one is slow to load, I just watch another one in a different tab while the first one loads.

        with adaptive streaming this doesn’t really work, yet it still stutters and hangs, but doesn’t buffer when paused. so I have to watch a video that stutters, hangs AND has a crappy picture, while I could just do something else for 10 minutes, go back to the tab and watch it as intended.

        maybe an option to switch between buffering and adaptive would be nice, if possible ;)

      • This scares me for the following reasons:

        – It won’t work. –
        The way that you explained this technology in the post indicates that something that is not the user will determine the quality of the show being broadcast. Now I’ve played enough PC games to know that the ‘optimized’ settings my games determine for me rarely – if EVER – are accurate to my PCs actual capabilities. But this is never an issue because I can CHANGE those settings. With that in mind:

        – It won’t offer choice. –
        I am not a tech person, but I AM presumptive! With no awareness beyond the barest of bones regarding how streaming technology works, I’ll assume that it’s POSSIBLE that to allow both steaming options may double the capacity of your company’s resources. Meaning if you do switch, you may eliminate the current streaming method. If you do, then I will be displeased, but I’ll also be understanding AS LONG AS I CAN ALTER THE SETTINGS. I need to be able to CHOOSE the quality of the stream regardless of whatever determines it prior and this choice needs to be EASILY ACCESSIBLE.

        Or of course you could end up allowing for both ways to stream, which still requires – REQUIRES SIR – that I have the choice to switch and that this choice is easy for me to make. My experience with flash based video and the fact that all blip.tv vids I view are embedded leads me to worry that such choices will not be easy to make.

        • psivamp says:

          Netflix instant streaming does this right now. It’s not great, but it is functional.

        • aldowyn says:

          I’m thinking they should still be able to keep the old way if they use the new way without being cost-prohibitive. Kind of just a feeling… It mostly depends on what kind of technology it is. If it’s new hardware, that probably won’t work. If it’s some kind of software, they probably could. Maybe.

  21. Patrick the Nauseating says:

    Shamus…. see if you can get him to come over and reconfigure your network server settings and swap out some hardware as penance. Maybe guilt him into doing some laborious grunt work to appease the masses of viewers that you control with but a single post.

    But… by ‘your network settings’ I really mean ‘my surround sound system’.

    And by ‘swap out some hardware’ I mean get all my consoles systems and gadgets on my wireless network. ‘Cause I have no F’n idea how that shat works.

    Do you know if this Hudack guy does lawns?

  22. FryGuy says:

    If any of you use Chrome, would you mind helping me figure out how to adblock blip’s commercials? I’m not great at these sort of things, but they annoy me endlessly.

    • krellen says:

      Aww, you’re going to make the nice CEO cry.

      • Mike Hudack says:

        Seriously. I’m crying right now.

        • FryGuy says:

          No offense, but I don’t watch broadcast TV for the same reason. If I wanted to sit through commercials, I would. I support the producers of things I enjoy by buying their dvds, etc.

          If you wanted to go like Pandora and offer a service where for a tiny fee per month I wouldn’t have to sit through any of it, maybe giving a bit to whomever I watch, I would strongly consider handing you some of my cash too, but until that point, I do not feel obliged to sit through the same commercial every time for every different thing I view for day after day.

          • Dante says:

            Then, as mentioned before, you’re depriving both blip and the video producer of money. It’s a minor but necessary annoyance so others can eat, have shelter, etc.

            • FryGuy says:

              I can just watch their videos less and less until they’re getting nothing from me anyway. I’ll still give the provider some money when they put together their dvds, but blip gets nothing from me in either case, unless they provide a better option.

        • aldowyn says:

          I laughed out loud, seriously. It’s nice to see a business person act like an actual person :D

    • random_physicist says:

      Not cool at all.

  23. Thomas says:

    I have to admit. That was really awesome. How did he know?

    • Reet says:

      He must be psychic.
      Also, I am impressed. Mike Hudack, you have impressed me. Even if you did this just for the PR and you don’t care about any of this (which I very much doubt) it is still impressive. Nicely done.

  24. Noble Bear says:

    Mike –

    Many of Shamus’ criticisms mirror my own, that you addressed them directly and were cool about it, floored me.

    Blip has become the the go to refuge to escape you tube’s bullshit; the idea that you guys are working hard at being more awesome for ppl makes me happy.

    One complaint: I’d like some variety in the ads. Please. I am so serious that it’s unreal. I’m developing a lot of antipathy for ppl in the commercials and I don’t even know them. Like that little 5yr old bitch in the Cheerios commercial? Yeah, I’d love to dropkick her into the nearest gorge and ask her if “that’s for babies”.

    Anyway, thank you for being awesome.

    Edit: I know you already addressed this complaint in your response to Shamus, but when its only one of three different ads that I’m seeing, it grinds, especially when the content provider is only making 5-10 minute videos. anyway, I’ll shut up about it now.

    Thanks for your time. :)

    • Mike Hudack says:

      Thank you. We are working on getting better ad rotation in place. You may start noticing a difference as soon as next week. Could take a bit longer. But we are working on it.

      • krellen says:

        Please promise me you will never run that ad from Exxon-Mobil starring Erik Oswald. I’ve seen that thing so many times, I hate both the man and the company by now.

    • aldowyn says:

      actually… that’s a serious problem on the escapist. They don’t always have ads like that, but when they do – even if it’s for, say Starcraft II – I start going nuts.

    • Shamus says:

      I JUST saw the Cheerios ad for the first time today. I LOVED it. That is an adorable little kid. I should track how many exposures it will take before I want to drop-kick her myself. Kind of a “how many licks” test.

      • mixmastermind says:

        FOOOOOR BAAAAAAAAABIES!

      • madflavius says:

        As I’m working, I often have on a video from TGWTG or SF Debris to provide some background noise, and so I have also seen the Cheerios ad at least thirty or forty times. And for me, I have not yet reached a point of detestation. However, this could be partially because 1) I am soon to have children myself, and 2) I have a habit of talking back to advertisements or webshows that negates their negative effect. For instance, there’s an ad I’ve been seeing more often now that has a smartphone of some sort, and I sing along with the music. Heh.

        But I will say, Shamus, when the Cheerios girl says “fooor baaabies,” with her blanket over her head, it still makes me grin even after forty times. It’s just so darn cute.

  25. rofltehcat says:

    Thumbs up for Blip!

  26. Mathias says:

    I myself find Blip’s ads tolerable, mostly because I can mute them and alt-tab while I wait for the 30 second or so ad to finish its run. Hopefully this is not a bad thing to do.

  27. Bryan says:

    I’ve never seen the same commercial twice in a row on blip.tv, but I have seen the same 3 commercials rotate over and over again which, like others, makes me want to kill the commercials. How about adding some variety to your commercial lineup? It would be nice if I didn’t see the same commercial more than twice in a 60-minute period, no matter how many or few videos I watch.

    As for the volume, consider having someone screen the commercials before showing them and give them a volume rating. Adjust the volume going over the wire proportionally to the rating and I think the volume issues will improve. I tend to use earphones when I watch streamed videos, and the increase in commercial volume tends to give me migranes.

    • aldowyn says:

      Not seeing the same commercial in a 60 minute period? That’s considerably better than live TV. Shucks, I’ve seen the same commercial twice in 3 commercials >.>

      • Bryan says:

        That’s why I rarely watch live TV. It’s getting to the point where live TV shows the same commercial twice in a row and six times during a show.

    • SomeUnregPunk says:

      somedays I see the same ad numerous times and somedays i don’t. I really am confused on how the ad system works. Is it time based or something more random?

  28. Nidokoenig says:

    My main gripe about Blip is having to allow Facebook scripts to watch videos. This is mainly because I had a virus scare a while back that got me to install NoScript, and I’m still cagey about allowing scripts when I don’t know what they’re doing and/or don’t want what they do. It’s obviously there to grab data for advertising purposes or whatever, but it just doesn’t sit right.

    Oh, that and having to sit through UPS ads every time. I’m sure UPS do have some kind of UK presence, but as I’m not a business it rather annoys me to have to sit through it. That and those awful Direct Line ads I’m already sick of from the telly. Ads generally annoy me, anyway, because all I want to know are the simple details of the product/service on offer, wasting my time with a silly skit and, more often than not, telling me nothing about what they’re actually selling is why I mute ads.

    • aldowyn says:

      When reading your post I was like “Oh? He’s British. interesting”.

      Then I got to “telly” and I was like “Yep, he’s British.”

      Sorry, just thought that was funny :D

  29. Dante says:

    Now before you guys start giving me a hard time, realize that I hate those ads too. And I do have the same problem with seeing the same ad over and over. This is especially bad for me since I follow the work of many of the producers on thatguywiththeglasses.com, and all those producers videos are hosted on blip. I’m so fucking tired of seeing that woman hawking T-Mobile.

  30. Maldeus says:

    Wait, this is real? This is an actual thing that happened? I spent the whole post waiting for a punchline. I don’t know whether to be pleased or disappointed, so I think I’ll try to manage both.

  31. UbarElite says:

    Wow. Part of me wants to check the other posts in the rant section and see how many have received similar responses from those involved (I believe something similar happened with the tree business the other day?). Good on ya, Mike. It is nice to see a well formed response and know that you listen to such grievances. I hope you go far in this business.

  32. Mincecraft says:

    Mike, I’m really glad you took the time to actually answer peoples questions, It’s rare you get people today who actually seem to care about their audience.

    My only real problem with blip is that if in the event that the stream cuts out (for a variety of reasons not caused by blip.tv itself) it will cease to buffer any further until you refresh.

  33. porschecm2 says:

    I am flabbergasted at the amount of blunt goodwill a bit of simple no-spin interaction from the company has had on the readers of this blog. The comments on the initial posting about Blip.tv ran mostly neutral or slightly sour. Now they seem to running fairly positively–even though everyone acknowledges there are still issues with the service, the tone has shifted. I really wish more companies would take note of this.
    Of course, we can’t expect most companies’ CEOs to be as personally responsive as Mr. Hudack has been (or even expect Mr. Hudack to continue personally monitoring this site/thread) because, afterall, CEOs have a great many other things demanding their time, and rightly so. But the PR divisions could learn a thing or two here about being honest and not blathering on with doublespeak about how awesome their site is, instead of just getting to the root of the issue.
    So, props to Blip.tv, and I hope the issues with the service discussed here are sorted out soon.

  34. Nathan Sanzone says:

    Wow. I haven’t had any personal experience with blip.tv (that I recall), but if I ever do, even if my experience is as bad as your original rant might lead me to expect, I’m sure to at least think 1000 times better of blip.tv then I otherwise might have (due to the response you received, obviously).

  35. nomail says:

    I use ad blocker on blip mainly cause of the POP UP you have while the movie is playing EVERY FIVE MINS. If it was just a 30 second video before the video I’d be find but when this little box keeps popping up that i have to close or else it wont go away.

  36. Jeff says:

    Three years later, and blip.tv still makes an absolute abomination of a video player. It’s so inconsistent! I can’t even skip about the video reliably. Sometimes it works the second or third try, most of the time no matter which point I attempted to skip to, it jumps to about 11 seconds into the video every time. Honestly, the only amount of consistency you’ll get is a consistently bad experience. It’s really just a matter of how bad it will be.

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