How much would you pay to watch a replay of a great play, or skip a bunch of television commercials? And should you have to?

Those are a couple of the questions raised by a newly surfaced Microsoft patent application.

It’s called “Control-based Content Pricing,” and the basic idea is dynamic pricing of video content, based on the preferences of the user at any given moment — essentially setting different prices for different functions of the TV remote.

Here’s an excerpt from the filing.

For example, if a user initiates a navigation control input to advance past (e.g., skip over) an advertisement, the cost of a requested on-demand movie may be increased. Similarly, if a user initiates a replay of a sporting event, the user may be charged for the replay control input and for each subsequent view control input. This provides an advertisement revenue model that reflects user viewing choices and selections during playback of requested on-demand media, and enables targeted advertising and media content delivery, while maintaining consumer privacy. …

Control-based content pricing allows for user-personalized pricing where price is a direct function of user viewing interaction. Further, the pricing may be expressed as a debit function, such as a debit to receive an on-demand movie, or as a credit function, such as a credit to watch an advertisement or infomercial before receiving the on-demand movie. The credit and/or debit functions of the pricing may also be based on view control inputs, such as content navigation inputs, received as user-input commands initiated with a remote control device.

 The patent application, filed in November, builds on an existing patent that was already issued to Microsoft last year.

Also interesting: One of the inventors on the Microsoft patent, Kevin Carle, now works at Google’s YouTube.

Update: A Microsoft spokesperson says via email, “Microsoft regularly applies for and receives patents as part of its business practice. Not all patents applied for or received will be incorporated into a Microsoft product.”

Related: U.S. Patent Chief: New reforms are ‘like an intricate Swiss watch.’

Here’s a diagram from the filing.

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  • Anonymous

    I think I’m gonna hurl.

  • Anonymous

    sounds good. some people really hate ads this will finally solve that problem.

    • KhanneaSuntzu

      Assuming you have money to spend on this crap.

      • Anonymous

        i assume it would be an infringement free way of receiving all shows you want. if you dont want to pay extra to skip an ad, you dont.

        what would be the difference between paying for satellite/foxtel/cable each month if this is actually priced fairly?

        dont ask me what fair would be, i am unsure of how many ads i would skip. all of them if i could i suppose.

        • Derrick Best

           And slowly but surely the ads get longer and more frequent. Yummy ripoff just gets better.

      • Anonymous

         and crap it is.

  • wyldtek

    Black Mirror episode 2

  • Elmer Fudd

    My DirecTV DVR unit already does all of these functions without any additional charges.

    • Anonymous

      you can skip ads?

      • Anonymous

         If you DVR your shows, absolutely. Watched one of my Friday shows this morning, skipping ads the whole way through, woohoo!

        • Anonymous

          you cannot skip ads. they are live, what you are talking about is forwarding through a recorded / delayed telecast.

          this is giving you the option to skip ads when they are broadcasted live. your dvr can not do that.

          • gmarie

             you can skip ads with as little as a 10 minute delay with your dvr, so it’s virtually the same as watching it live & skipping ads. And it’s free…well, except for the equipment fee of the dvr. :-)

          • Anonymous

            thats like saying my foxtel iq can skip ads.

            it cant, it records, and i can forward through my recording. how many times can i stress this people?

            i see what your saying and as a technicallity you can assume you are better off. however the quality of program received over Free to air is shite, and downloads are better, to keep that server up they need ads, to skip the ads you pay a bit more, if not free. its no fucking different to free to air tv BUT you would have the option to chose every program, and skip every ad.

  • KhanneaSuntzu

    This is a great idea. Implementing this will drive any last remaining TV viewers straight in to the arms of online downloads. Great way to destroy a superfluous industry.

  • Xlncuk

    id pay extra for add free TV, so it depends exactly how this pans out tbh

  • Xlncuk

    id pay extra for add free TV, so it depends exactly how this pans out tbh

  • Xlncuk

    id pay extra for add free TV, so it depends exactly how this pans out tbh

  • Xlncuk

    id pay extra for add free TV, so it depends exactly how this pans out tbh

  • Kenrick Encinas

    what exactly is happening with the rewinding part?

  • TuT

    Like the ending. Our patents don’t always make it into products. So in those cases if someone else actually decides to execute on this we can sue their balls off. I have never felt good that you can patent an Idea. You should have to show execution of such idea, then be able to file for patent. We all can come up with a idea dumb or not, shouldn’t be patentable. And some things imo are so basic they shouldn’t be able to, like “Cart” when ordering, yes there is a person that gets a percentage of every sale ever due to having a patent on that. Asinine.

  • Anonymous

    Worst idea I have ever heard of. Next they are going to tell us it’s 50 cents to change the channel + whatever revenue they lose from us not watching adds on said channel we changed from. Where does the nickel and dime scheme end. If I am already paying for a service, why the hell should I pay for a service FOR that service. It’s like paying Ford every time you get in and drive a car you already own, with premium prices on highway time. Ludicrous.

    • Anonymous

      i think this would be the service you would be paying for. it would be like not paying for cable, but having access to all shows always, with a pay-as-you-go type set up. if not then i agree, if you are paying a monthly charge like cable/sat etc, + charged for skipping ads or forwarding etc then its stupid, pointless, and would just be more expensive. i am unsure of any positive reasons to change. but if you only charge when you skip an ad, or order a show, and charged fairly, you would probably reconsider. i think it has the plausibility to work, but everything will hinge on the company that develops the products actual execution.

  • Murray

    Just press the mute button – it’s free. Oh, and get a life!

  • Rphunter

    Another way to get your money, one dime at a time.

  • Cjtech

    To take this a step further, can I patent a method to bill people who leave my websites when they don’t buy something from one of my affiliate programs? Could be very lucrative.

  • Jason Gerard Clauss

    The war on ownership rages on.

  • Robert

    Control-based content pricing allows for user-personalized pricing where price is a direct function of user viewing interaction.

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