A TV showing Saturday Night Live playing on Peacock.
Streaming TV is great! Streaming ads are a mess.
Image: Peacock

Parks & Recreation has been my go to show for a while. It's what I watch when I'm doing laundry, trying to catch up on email, or playing a video game. The show's seven seasons are all on Peacock and so is The Office. I watch a lot of peacock.

I suddenly realized I knew when an ad came on while I was watching another episode of Parks and Recreation. I knew everything that was said about it. CroppMetcalfe is the one with five stars according to the jingle. I've been thinking about that jingle for weeks and it may never go away.

CroppMetcalfe is just as good at air conditioning and plumbing as it is at jingle composition. I think it's due to streaming services. If you watch any service, you will see the same ad, over and over, repeated in every ad break until you promise yourself you won't buy what they're selling. They are the worst offenders. There are hundreds of ads for the same product on TikTok. Before the last couple of days, I refuse to play a board game called "Doomlings" because it looked fun at first, but now I don't want to play it. It's a principle.

It's probably stuck in my head for a long time. Don't tell me I didn't warn you.

The streaming world is going to get a lot of advertising. Linear-TV streamers embraced advertising from the start. The ad-supported business model has been embraced by giants like Disney and Netflix. Most people can't afford to pay for all the services that exist, and ads let users get to more services and more content without breaking the bank. It was done right. It is absolutely crazy- making.

Advertising is coming for the streaming world in a big way, and it could be a good thing

There are a lot of questions about user data, viewer tracking, and decisions about who is allowed to know what you watch. I want to know if we can make the ads less interesting to watch. If I were to binge the entire season of The Resort on Peacock, I would be looking at about four ad breaks a show. Sixty four ads. There is no way I will get to the end of the series if I see the same two ads over and over again.

It is a perfectly rational reason for this to happen. It's all about targeting ads. CroppMetcalfe is an example that I just took. I am a new homeowner, in the company's area of service, with a 20-year-old heating and air conditioning unit that needs to be replaced soon. CroppMetcalfe has a good chance of knowing that. The company's target market is me. Peacock promised the company a certain number of ad impressions, even though there aren't that many people in my situation. There are a million people who fit the bill. I will get a lot of that five-star jingle if there are 500 of us.

There is a reason for everyone to fix this. Customers have been complaining about repetitive ads for years, and evidence shows that people who see the same ad over and over are less likely to buy something. 69 percent of respondents in a Morning Consult survey said the ads on streaming services were repetitive.

It is a difficult problem to solve. Even for a single show on a single platform, ads can come from a number of different sources. All accounts say the streaming-ad universe is a mess.

It doesn't have to be this. The idea of having one long ad at the beginning of the show is being embraced by some networks. That's something I love. The pause-screen ads are a great way to let me know how to save money on my car insurance. The internet should make ads more interesting, but by and large they are the same 30-second spots I see every day.

The internet should make ads innovative and interesting again, and instead it’s just drilling the same 30-second spot into my head

There are more platforms competing for the same dollars as the number of streaming services continues to grow. The ad will be seen in all those places. Money is moving quickly to platforms from the TV ad business. The ads that come out of money are going to make all those platforms unwatchable.

NBCUniversal, the parent company of NBCUniversal, is an investor in the parent company.