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TiVo from AdZapper to Advertiser's New Best Friend 190

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the listening-to-customers-will-never-work dept.
Thomas Hawk writes "A lot of noise has been made lately regarding TiVo's transformation from an ad zapper to Madison Avenue's new darling. In their first podcast ever, TiVo explains how they hope to redefine advertising in the age of the DVR through a customer centered approach. I'm not sure you are going to see TiVo changing their slogan to "we'll leave a light on for you," anytime soon, but with DVR penetration hitting mainstream how will their new initiatives change your TV viewing experience?"
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TiVo from AdZapper to Advertiser's New Best Friend

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  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu.gmail@com> on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @11:28AM (#15351768) Journal

    I am one of the broadband-connected Tivo owners and counter to Tivo's Kent's thesis, I don't prefer to watch the long ads Tivo stocks. I long ago abandoned those as mostly uninteresting and targetless (i.e., of ten video ads, rarely would even one be close to interesting for me).

    An interesting note in the article: TiVo owners tend to fast forward about 70% of the ads when viewing pre-recorded content. That's about right in my experience, but why?

    I use the 30 second skip, and it helps get past the real annoyances in a show, which is usually the commercials. But I've found that there are some well done commercials and those are the 30% that I watch. If they're not insultingly stupid, and are cleverly written (not hard to do -- spring for the writers), I watch. Some I watch every time I see them (Caveman FedEx commercial anybody?).

    I think Tivo and others may be missing something here, people watching TV do appreciate a "breather" every once in a while, and if the commercial breaks are filled with quality pseudo entertainment, people will watch it. And vendors will get market share.

    If Tivo and others really wanted to get ahead of the curve I'd suggest targeted commercial breaks, i.e., instead of the broad spectrum network advertising during commercial breaks, overlay them with targeted and well-crafted shorts designed to catch the eye of that tivo's owner tastes. I think this is easily done, and would bet the 70% "skip" factor for commercial breaks would drop significantly. I don't mind targeted advertising, it can still be annoying but it's more likely to show me something I can use and would be interested in buying.

    On the other hand, the notion of interactivity in the TV landscape so far has consistently been beat down as intrusive and annoying to TV viewers. I have seen all of the extra features Tivo has added (mostly third party) in the last couple of years, and they're mostly fluff, add little value, and some of the harder sell "features" are downright annoying. I'd be interested to see the usage metrics for these new "interactive" improvements.

    I still think when people settle in to watch TV, they're there to watch, not participate.

    • Couldn't agree more. My wife and I fit the same pattern. We were literally one of the first 100,000 households with a Tivo. A long, long time ago. We also have a Series 2 now and NEVER watch the downloaded content save for maybe a movie trailer that we might already watch on Apple's website anyway. But we *do*, as you described, sometimes stop at commercials that interest us. And even when we're fastforwarding it's not like the commercial goes unnoticed. It's just like "Ford, Citibank, Local political ad, b
      • ...it's not like the commercial goes unnoticed. It's just like "Ford, Citibank, Local political ad, back to the show". So we know what ads are on even if they flip by in seconds. And if we happen to see one that catches our eye or we actually want to watch, we'll watch it.

        This is exactly right. I was one of the first Tivo buyers too, and quickly found out that it is not like the ads go away, you just get extremely short synopses of them. What is more, while I'm sitting watching the FF images flash by I'm
    • I agree. I've actually shown friends & family good commercials that happened to get Tivo'd during a show I'm watching.
    • by Kombat (93720) <kombat@kombat.org> on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @12:12PM (#15352085) Homepage
      My wife and I almost never watch live TV. Virtually everything we watch is pre-recorded (the exception being the odd hockey game). When we watch the shows we've recorded, we never watch the commercials. We fast foward through them all, as quickly as possible. I don't care if they're funny or amusing; they're still trying to sell me something. I just want to get back to my show.

      We notice an amusing side-effect of this whenever we go out to the movies (once every 3 months or so), because we don't recognize any of the posters for upcoming movies! Virtually all the previews we see in the theater are brand new to us. The only reason we know about new movies at all is by media buzz ('Da Vinci Code,' 'Brokeback Mountain', or word of mouth from friends ("Did you know they're making another X-Men sequel?"). It's kind of funny, and the first time we noticed it, it really reminded us of how dramatically our viewing habits have changed thanks to the PVR.
      • Also, I have found that I don't know about new shows either. I only heard about 'Lost' by word of mouth and decided to rent the DVD to catch up on it before adding it to my record list. Of course, I had to use Bittorrent to catch up on the second season, but it is easy enough to copy to the MythTV box and watch it from the Myth Video player.

        Between MythTV and AdBlock Plus in Firefox, my life is nearly ad free and I think I like it. If I feel like seeing a movie in the theater, there are plenty of sites wher
        • by tylernt (581794) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @01:41PM (#15352861)
          "If I need to buy something, I will do my own research. I resent having information force fed to me.. even if it is information that I will eventually want."

          My sentiments exactly. Unfortunately, it seems we are in the minority. Like spammers, advertisers get monetary rewards for intrusive advertising because there are just enough suckers out there to make it profitable. The rest of us suffer for it.
      • I've noticed a similar thing--one that's actually kind of annoying.

        If you are watching a show at 9:00 or 9:30, you will see a lot of ads for the 10:00 news. We don't record the news, but occasionally they will have a pretty good teaser and we'll stop and watch it. Bummer is, we are ALWAYS watching after the fact so we can't switch over and start recording the news because it's typically finished before we notice.

        What I might be interested in is "Sets" of adds. Upcoming specials on the network channels, u
    • You should see HDTV commercials. I know it sounds stupid, but I really don't mind watching them that much. HDTV showing all the pointless nature scenes in drug commercials are suddenly not so bad.
      • You should see HDTV commercials. I know it sounds stupid, but I really don't mind watching them that much. HDTV showing all the pointless nature scenes in drug commercials are suddenly not so bad.

        Spoken like a true HDTV newbie.

        I was like that once. When I first got HD, I would watch anything - as long as it was in hi-def. Even the most moronic sitcoms were great to watch if they were in hi-def.

        But that effect wore off after about 9 months. Eventually it wears off for everybody, it will for you too.
    • If Tivo and others really wanted to get ahead of the curve I'd suggest targeted commercial breaks, i.e., instead of the broad spectrum network advertising during commercial breaks, overlay them with targeted and well-crafted shorts designed to catch the eye of that tivo's owner tastes.

      Given the many content industry executives' opinions regarding "not watching advertising == theft", how do you think they would react to basically being told that instead of the marginal "blipverts" you get when watching, now

    • Tivo and others may be missing something here, people watching TV do appreciate a "breather" every once in a while, and if the commercial breaks are filled with quality pseudo entertainment, people will watch it. And vendors will get market share. ... Some I watch every time I see them (Caveman FedEx commercial anybody?).

      I couldn't agree more. I will usually sit through Geico commericals. The Fed Ex one just got me rolling on the floor when I first saw it. Then there is the

      Truth is... People don't mind com
      • I couldn't agree more. I will usually sit through Geico commericals. The Fed Ex one just got me rolling on the floor when I first saw it. Then there is the


        Hehehe, yeah, that fnord commercial is the funniest, too bad most people never see it.
    • I think Tivo and others may be missing something here, people watching TV do appreciate a "breather" every once in a while

      Huh? "Breather"? Maybe if you're watching The Godfather trilogy, or something on that scale, you might want a bathroom break every couple of hours. But are you so out of shape (mentally and/or physically) you can't make it through a 22-minute (skipping commercials) sit com without a "breather"?

      I was a late-comer to "Lost" and caught up by downloading most of the first season. It w

    • If they're not insultingly stupid, and are cleverly written (not hard to do -- spring for the writers), I watch. Some I watch every time I see them (Caveman FedEx commercial anybody?).

      We stop for every Geico commercial - even scroll back to the beginning. My wife gets a kick out of its accent.

      Otherwise I watch a new ad usually once, if I happen to see a split-second of it when skipping and it looks interesting. (Note: Person standing on white soundstage talking is not interesting, even if they are holding
      • "We stop for every Geico commercial - even scroll back to the beginning. My wife gets a kick out of its accent."

        I think he sounds a lot like Charlie Watts of the Rolling Stones...he doesn't move his lips much either..

    • Since Tivo can tell what we are watching, why not use that fact to feedback additional information to the broadcasters of which commercials we ARE watching? Seems to me that there would be some real value. If Google can make money on click throughs, it makes sense that Tivo ought to be able to do SOMETHING with what they know of our viewing habits.
      Can't wait for the paranoiacs to come out of the bushes on this one....not my intent, but expected.
      I actually Tivo the superbowl so I can watch the commerci
    • ... like the ones in Boards' Screening Room [boardsmag.com] and ViralX [viralx.com]. A lot of them are good to watch.
    • Nevermind that.

      Let us thumbs up or thumbs down commercials.

      This way, Tivo Corp could clue in Madison Avenue when they are really, really, REALLY annoying the customer.
    • I agree with what you say. I currently have Comcast's Motorolla DVR, yet whenever I see a commerical with good-looking people dancing around, I watch them. My favorites are the Old Navy and Coke Zero commericials. They work, too. Last night I spent $75 at Old Navy and I just drank a Coke Zero.

      What I think would work is if Tivo kept advertising management simple:

      • The commerical skip button should skip to the exact frame at the end of the commerical.
      • Advertisers should know that all comsumers will see th
    • instead of the broad spectrum network advertising during commercial breaks, overlay them with targeted and well-crafted shorts designed to catch the eye of that tivo's owner tastes.

      Instead of ads for tampons, SUV's, and herpes medication, I might be inclined to sit through commercial breaks if they went something like this:

      "Hey there Mr. Pion from 21 Jump Street, would you like your lawn mowed tomorrow for only $39.99? Call Honest Bob's lawn care now!"

      Hell yeah I'd like my lawn mowed for $39.99!

      Or h

  • ReplayTV (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Sentryp (930976)
    This is why I own a Replay DVR...
    • Re:ReplayTV (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lumpy (12016)
      I also am a replay owner but not because of that. It surpassed the TiVO in capabilities over 4 years ago and was the only choice for a large home with 3 tuner capability but able to wathc any of that conten on any player. TiVo could not do it (all Replays network to become one recorder with X recording tuners and all the sotrage added together. Tivo still does not have this capability, and it wow's all tivo owners I know that for only $99.00 and $6.00 a month I can add another playback location AND anothe
  • by TubeSteak (669689) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @11:34AM (#15351812) Journal
    Lets get it out in the open: Tivo's original business model is/was shiat.

    They're migrating to advertising $$$ to prop things up.

    You'd think Tivo wouldn't be so desperate since they got that big deal with Comcast(?).

    It's a shame where Tivo has headed.
    • They're migrating to advertising $$$ to prop things up.

      Absolutely correct, could never be said except on boardz, & whoever market parent Troll is either a 'tard ot tivo stockholder.
  • buttons.. (Score:2, Funny)

    by goldaryn (834427)
    From TFA (on the subject of ffwding through ads):

    the average TiVo household makes "something like" 357 clicks per day. With 4.4 million households, this works out to be over a half a billion clicks every single year. No wonder my fast forward button wore off on my remote

    So what happened to my pause button?.. uh... nevermind.
  • DVR's are hitting mainstream penetration because of cable companies renting them out for around $10 per month, including the service.

    So it doesn't really matter what Tivo does, until my cable company, or Scientific Atlanta / Cisco Systems, implements the same features.

    Cable companies control the DVR space now. Tivo is just a nitch player that happened to have started it all.

    • My impression is that the DVR's you get from cable companies are crap and they offer less freedom when it comes to skipping ads and whatnot. TiVo can still survive as a niche player as long as they don't just end up selling out to broadcasters like cable companies do.

      -matthew
  • Seriously, who thought that a company the size of TiVo could take on the entire broadcast entertainment industry? Eventually they had to play ball. They only needed to keep the "ad zapping" functionality long enough to get their foot in the door with consumers. Now they have a Brand and can start to screw customers and still manage to turn a profit because they're backed by the Big Boys.

    -matthew
  • Bah, screw Tivo. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pecosdave (536896) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @11:38AM (#15351842) Homepage Journal
    I use MythTV. I does everything I would want a Tivo for, records every instance of a program, lets me pause live TV, time shifting in general. On top of that it has a deadicated weather module, video game management, music player/management, netflix management, and a photoalbum. I'm sure I've missed a few things. I'm plaaning on building a dedicated MythTV backend and setting up several front ends throughout the house all sharing the same central content. Screw Tivo, I like this better.
    • HDTV will be locked down so hard that building your own DVR will be difficult at best. Thanks to DMCA, attempt to bypass any of the DRM could potentially land your ass in jail. In summary, once analog TV comes to an end, we're all pretty screwed.
      • History has proven, with the BetaMax case as a point of reference and the strike down of the broadcast flag, that any attempt to lock the people down will be countered with the people finding a way to unlock themselves legally. Be it with a landmark court case or an alternative way of doing things. I'm not to worried about it. On that note, I do plan to get an HDTV tuner before the next broadcast flag requirement.

        (BTW - Redundant mod? check the timestamps, I was the first one to bring it up on this post
      • No consumer will EVER serve jail time for modding a DVR. Ever. Politicians are smart enough to know what would happen to this law (and their reelection prospects) if people were jailed for recording a show. "Pirate" DVR factories will be raided, and people may be fined, but will most definitely not serve jail time even if the law allows for it.
      • That sounds nice in theory but in practice there are millions of TV's out there that will be locked out of the market due to this. No amount of prodding will cause these people to upgrade their TVs. The cable companies will be in a postion of providing HDTV data in a format that ANY one can use it or locking themselves out of large chunks of the market.

        It's one thing when you're talking about $200 media players and quite another when you are talking about $2000 TVs.
  • Choice... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kr3m3Puff (413047) * <(me) (at) (kitsonkelly.com)> on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @11:41AM (#15351861) Homepage Journal
    All I ask for is choice. Advertising in the US has subsidized or made free our entertainment. If Tivo goes the same direction, where their service is free or greatly reduced, I am all for it. But if I want to pay a premium price to avoid advertising, I should have that option as well.

    Both satellite and cable have had it screwed up for a long time, advertisements and I am paying for the cable. At least stations like HBO and Showtime are still ad free, but the thing that TiVo should enable is a choice.
    • Advertising in the US has subsidized or made free our entertainment. If Tivo goes the same direction, where their service is free or greatly reduced, I am all for it. But if I want to pay a premium price to avoid advertising, I should have that option as well.

      Advertising hasn't subsidized most of cable TV to the point of cheap or freeness. Maybe network TV, sure, but cable TV? No way. When you pay 100 a month for basic channels and services, there's no way that you should have to see the staggering am

      • "When you pay 100 a month for basic channels and services, there's no way that you should have to see the staggering amount of advertising on basic cable..."

        Damn dude, where do you live? I've never heard of basic cable being THAT much. Most I've ever paid for basic cable is about $40/mo. If you get the really limited basic, it is in the teens of dollars.

        If you just splice into your cable broadband line, and don't subscribe to cable tv...and just take the tv off the spliced line...you pay $0 e

  • by wcrowe (94389) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @11:42AM (#15351867)
    It's simple. The only reason I watch any TV now is because I have a TiVO as well as the cable company's DVR. If I'm forced to watch ads, I think the DVR's, as well as my cable connection, will go the way of my dot-matrix printers. There's nothing worth sitting through those six-minute soul-sucking commercial breaks for.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    How often are the "answers" on a show like Jeopardy actually some specific consumer product - like every other answer now? The content of the show is advertising. Programming, once merely a conveyance for advertising, has *become* the advertising.

    Also, more and more often I see an item in Dave's Top Ten List that references some consumer product, usually one which is currently being promoted. No such thing as bad publicity!
  • A lot of noise has been made lately regarding TiVo's transformation from an ad zapper to Madison Avenue's new darling.

    The day Madison Avenue considers TiVo as anything but a mortal enemy, I will switch to using a Myth box.

    Currently, TiVo has a slight edge, at least for those of us fortunate enough to have free lifetime basic service (Yeah, suuuuuure I'll upgrade... Just as soon as they offer that free for life). But if they make it progressively more difficult to avoid ads, I'll just avoid TiVo.



    In
  • my experience (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gEvil (beta) (945888) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @11:47AM (#15351895)
    I have a DirecTiVo, so I haven't seen any of the newer features they've been unrolling. However, I do get the daily advertisement listed towards the bottom of the main TiVo menu page. I've watched a few of these. In fact, thanks to one of them, I won a Logitech Harmony 880 remote! If they keep the ability to view the ads optional, then I'm fine with it (much like Google ads). However, if they shove them down my throat and make them unavoidable, then I'll think about taking my business elsewhere.
  • http://www.mythtv.org/ [mythtv.org]

    http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/index.php/User_Manual:I ndex [mythtv.org]

    From MythTV Background:

    Background

    I got tired of the rather low quality cable box that AT&T Broadband provides with their digital cable service. It's slow to change channels, ridden with ads, and the program guide is a joke. So, I figured it'd be fun to try and build a replacement. Yes, I could have just bought a TiVo, but I wanted to have more than just a PVR -- I want a webbrowser built in, a mail client, maybe some games. Bas
  • Yeah to SageTV, or MythTV. Frankly Tivo is turning into Max Headroom TV. Rather than giving you control, they give the control and information to the Ad companies.
    I'm predicting that the next Tivo headline involves giving all info to the NSA.
    • I'm predicting that the next Tivo headline involves giving all info to the NSA.

      I wouldn't bet against you on that. I'd use MythTV (or nothing at all) over Tivo just on the privacy issue alone.

      There may already be a list of suspects - er, people - who are known to access sources of information other than Fox News...

  • by i am kman (972584) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @12:12PM (#15352076)
    Ok, we're TiVo addicts (through DirecTV) and I'd LOVE to use it more actively.

    We (kids + parents) almost NEVER watch live TV anymore and, in fact, usually deliberately wait until the show has started for 15-20 minutes so we can fast-forward through ALL of the commercials. For us, the 30% watching commercials is really a lot closer to 5% (max).

    That said, my kids watch music videos and we'd definitely order CDs or have the songs automatically emailed to us if that was an option. That would probably double (or triple) our music purchases.

    For things like the FedEx caveman commercial, why not let TiVo email us a link to the video on the FedEx website - that's great for me and great for FedEx - AND I'd probably forward it to me friends. Wow!

    I often see commercials that I'd like more info on, but I forget about them 30 seconds later. If that was linked into an email where I could get more info on my own time, then GREAT!! I'd LOVE it. Particularly if it took 2 seconds to request so it didn't interupt my show. (And as long as TiVo managed my email and sent me the links - I wouldn't want to get massive spamming).

    That said, users shouldn't worry - TiVo knows it's primary success comes from users who want to skip commercials so I seriously doubt they'll do anything that jepordizes or alienates those users.
    • For things like the FedEx caveman commercial, why not let TiVo email us a link to the video on the FedEx website - that's great for me and great for FedEx - AND I'd probably forward it to me friends. Wow!

      I really don't understand why companies don't post their ads to their website. There have been plenty of times when I wanted to refer people to a clever commercial or when I've heard about a commercial that I haven't seen. If I could easily find commercials online, I'd be far more likely to refer to/watch t
    • So, what are you doing in the 15 minutes that you wait til the program starts? Something incredibly important, I imagine. ;)

        Me, I just mute the damn commercials and watch TV normally. What's the big fucking deal?
  • Ad quality (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Iphtashu Fitz (263795) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @12:17PM (#15352133)
    I don't mind watching certian ads as long as they're of decent quality. On the other hand, there's one ad in particular that I refuse to watch. It's an ad for a local discount furniture store (I'm in the Boston area). All the ads feature the two owners and end with their stores jingle. It's the only ad that I will purposely go out of my way to either mute or change channels when it comes on, even if the remote is on the other side of the room. I simply can't stand their voices, their ads, or their jingle. And they run their ads every morning during all the local news casts, so I see/hear them virtually every single day. They've done a very good job of ensuring that I will never visit their stores, simply because their ads annoy me so much.

    The point I'm trying to make is that if ads are made interesting and entertaining I'll be much more likely to watch them. If they get on my nerves then I'll be sure to skip them by whatever means necessary. If advertisers keep this in mind then they'll do a better job of getting eyeballs in front of their ads. Of course, entertainment value depends a great deal on relevence, so better targeting of ads, like what TiVo hopes to do, is big.
  • RTFA much? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Chicken04GTO (957041)
    All you weepers and gnashers of teeth slamming TIVO didn't even read the article, which is normal for slashdot I suppose.
    I cant remember the last time I watched a commerical. *everything* I watch is recorded, so I can skip ads. If I am channel surfing, and find something I want to watch thats not on one of the movie channels, I record it, and watch it later, so I can skip commercials.

    As long as my Tivo allows me to skip commericals, I will use it. When the day comes when I have to watch commercials,
  • I'm gone. I've been a DirecTV/Tivo customer since the boxes came out. Never bothered to hack the box (I may have to now), I was happy with the basic service. I always liked to say 'Tivo makes Television Bearable'. If they start taking away my ability to zap past commercials, there really will be no reason for Tivo anymore. Now it's no better than a VCR with a broken fast forward button.

    It's bad enough I have to pay to watch TV these days, I shouldn't be forced to listen to adverts as well. It's just like dr
    • I really wish this one detail was in the summary: Tivo is not talking about forcing you to watch commercials. They are talking about targeted opt-in advertising FROM THE TIVO MENU. So you have to specifically go there to watch them, they will not just pop in during your TV stream.

      From the article:

      '"The consumer is in charge and we need to respect that," said Kent. "Our consumer satisfaction rate is very high and if you respect that and remember that they're the ones who decide, not the networks, not the adv
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @12:26PM (#15352203)
    I still use a VCR...as far as I can tell, it still zips past the ads.
  • by caudron (466327) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @12:35PM (#15352266) Homepage
    TiVo is still a company that matters becuase they innovated. They were (one of?) the first companies to really get timeshifting right. They made it work well and made it cheap enough that people could afford it. They did this when there were no real competitors out there. Yes, I know ReplayTV was there, but at first Replay had some real problems that made TiVo look good by comparison...those problems were short-lived, but they gave TiVo the head start it needed to be the marketshare winner.

    What TiVo needs to do is innovate some more. Bring us something that consumers want but can't get elswhere. Do something like Kaleidescape [kaleidescape.com] (but WAY cheaper!), add good TV time/place shifting, stream videos from Netflix, just BE the the entertainment hub in every way possible. Hell, partner with Nintendo to get some Wii hardware under the hood and integrated. Do...something! Because just adding more drive space and HDTV is not going to keep the lead.

    Start with decoupling the server from the client. They've started that with the sharing idea, but go all the way. There is NO reason that I should need a recorder in every room. I only need one recorder (as long as it has multiple tuners), but I need many players. And if the players are cheaper and smaller, then you have a new product to market.

    Most of this isn't hard. MythTV does much of it already, but Myth just doesn't yet do all this in a consumer friendly off-the-shelf hardware package. TiVo can bring this to reality. They have the street cred with retailers to get a revolutionary new device on Best Buy's shelves.

    Hell, just partner with MythTV and offer GOOD prepackaged Myth boxes for all I care, but do something besides offering my yet larger HDDs in lieu of real innovation. 60 hours of TV is plenty. Give me a reason to sit down and watch it.

    Tom Caudron
    http://tom.digitalelite.com/ [digitalelite.com]
  • by artifex2004 (766107) on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @12:48PM (#15352381) Journal
    I've still got my ReplayTV 50xx, which at least tries to auto-skip commercials, and doesn't tie up my bandwidth downloading special advertising.

    I'll care when I move to HDTV. But I mostly only watch PBS and news, anyway. If I have to, I'll use my USB2-based HDTV dongle to record those, so I'm more concerned with whether DVICO comes out with OSX drivers :)
  • by greg_barton (5551) * <greg_barton AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday May 17, 2006 @12:59PM (#15352502) Homepage Journal
    Tivo's "Product Watch" thingie is deja vu all over again for me. I was lead techie in a company called MPression Entertainment, now defunct. Our business plan was to provide video on demand to hotels using set top boxes and movies stored locally at the hotel. The catch was that it was to be funded by advertising, some of which would be on demand to the hotel guest. The pitch was that the hotel guest could request a video ad, adn they'd get credits for free movies and other rewards. Sadly the company went belly up when the CEO was shipped off to federal prison. You can't win 'em all. :P

    Anyway, the "reward" bit is one thing sorely missing from Tivo's new venture. What value, beyond possible entertainment, does the customer get from viewing the videos? They can get video entertainment elsewhere (on their own Tivo box, for goodness sake) so why give benefit to Tivo and the advertisers by watching them? It makes no sense...
  • From TFA: TiVo explains how they hope to redefine advertising in the age of the DVR through a customer centered approach

    And by 'customer', they mean 'advertiser'.

  • 0. Purchase shares in company.
    1. Grovel web for podcasts about company.
    2. Have blog partner summarize podcast.
    3. Post link to /.
    4. Profit!
  • Its like Tivo, but without any danger of crap. I can watch it at my leisure, its always ad free, and its readily available.
  • They've already got your money in the required subscription fees to operate your TiVo at all. Now they go to the broadcasters and collect another big pot of money for forcing you to watch specified commercials. Then there's patent trolling for a third income stream, and to prevent more desirable competition. Quite a business model TiVo has there.
  • how will their new initiatives change your TV viewing experience?

    Well, it'll get Tivo taken off the list of pontentials, certainly. The trouble with directed advertising so far has consistently been that it doesn't work. Just as the telemarketer will push you to consider something you clearly don't want, because some people can be pressured into buying things they don't want, advertisers want, certainly to be directed at solid potential customers, sure - but they want to spray all over everybody else too,
  • "how will their new initiatives change your TV viewing experience?"

    I hate to sound elitist, but for smart consumers, it changes nothing. Smart consumers have either built their own MythTV boxes, or use ReplayTV units, neither of which are affected by whatever the hell TiVo does. Both MythTV and ReplayTV boxen skip commercials without additional advertising (sometimes automatically), share shows with other units (sometimes over the internet), etc., etc...

    If you lack curiousity to research other solutions,
  • I happen to like this TiVo feature. I strongly prefer to click on long-form advertising rather than having to constantly fast-forward through 30 second nonsense.

    Seems like this can be a win-win for viewers and advertisers.

    Viewers Win

    - You still don't have to watch anything you don't want to
    - Longer ads usually mean better, more creative content since they have more than 15-20 seconds to beat you over the head with the message
    - You can watch full-length movie previews (I happen to really like doing this)
    - If
  • If TiVo is so customer centered, why don't they improve their interface to make it easier to use? It is really hard to type "Invasion" using the Ouija-board method of text entry. Keyboard, anyone? Faster searches? How about getting rid of that literal 5 minute delay after rearranging your To-Do list? That's just a bad sorting algorithm or something. The user interface has never every changed that I've noticed, and I have been using it for years. The same sucky things that make you roll your eyes are

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