Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT
) has filed for a patent - control-based
content pricing - that could allow content owners charge viewers for
skipping advertisements or watching a replay.
"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," the software company said. Likewise, if a viewer initiates a
replay of a sporting event, the user may be charged for the replay
control input and for each subsequent view control input.
According to the Microsoft filing, this system offers a flexible
advertisement revenue model that reflects user viewing choices and
selections during playback of requested media. In addition, this enables
targeted advertising and media content delivery, while maintaining
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The new patent allows for user-personalized pricing where price is a
direct function of user viewing interaction. In addition, 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.
Likewise, these functions may be based on view control inputs, such
as content navigation inputs, received as user-input commands initiated
with a remote control device.
The patent may apply to other
non-video services, such as a stock ticker data feed that is distributed
as media content via a client device.
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Microsoft regularly files patents as part of its business practice,
though not all patents applied for or received will be incorporated into
a Microsoft product, according to a Geekwire report that quoted a
Microsoft spokesperson as saying.
The patent application reportedly was filed in November 2011,
building on an existing patent that Microsoft was granted last year.