From Skip Ads, to Pop-Up Ads to now keyword specific ads…. TiVo is slowly becoming the new advertising platform, which is to say, new bottle old wine. Still if capitalism can thrive in China, then why not ads on TiVo. The Wall Street Journal reports (free […]

From Skip Ads, to Pop-Up Ads to now keyword specific ads…. TiVo is slowly becoming the new advertising platform, which is to say, new bottle old wine. Still if capitalism can thrive in China, then why not ads on TiVo.

The Wall Street Journal reports (free link) that the DVR maker is working with three big media-buyers Interpublic Media, OMD and Starcom Media Vest Group and others like Comcast Spotlight ad-sales division on a new way to deliver ads to consumers, who are looking for a specific product. In other words its Adwords for Television. Type in BMW and commercials will appear in a special folder right next to saved television programs.

From an advertiser perspective, this is not such a bad option – you have a much higher chance of getting your ad viewed. It is yet another nail in the coffin of the network television, that already looks like an aging rockstar with too many piercings already. However, if you are a paying customer of TiVo, you should have a problem with that. Unlike Google, TiVo charges a subscription service, and the main reason people are happy to pay is “time shifting television” and skipping through ads. And Google doesn’t make you buy a device. Make the service free and then TiVo and its customers are on equal footing.

I wonder if there is now an opening for a renegade DVR maker who can replicate the same TiVo like experience but gives consumer the ability to skip ads… unlike TiVo. Don’t count on Microsoft. LG recently announced a standalone DVR based on Microsoft Windows Media Center but that too comes with a hefty $99 a year subscription service. (Or the $249.00 lifetime option.)

Update: Zatz Not Funny has dug up a TiVo patent application which explains how TiVo is working on the ads, and what could be coming in the future. More here as well. Michael Parekh rains on TiVo’s Parade, for a good reason

Do you see a keyboard anywhere where users can type in, “BMW”, or say, “Chevrolet”? And it’s a frustrating process, waiting for Tivo’s puny processor keep up with all the keystroke presses on the remote.

  1. [...] As long as the ads remain voluntary and unobtrusive, I’m all in favor of TiVo generating additional revenue. Though, as Om suggests, TiVo’s continued push into advertising presents a business opportunity for another DVR maker to market itself as the anti-ad platform. Is there is a manufacturer brave enough to bring back ReplayTV’s commercial skip? WSJ says: People who watch traditional television are forced to view commercials in random fashion, regardless of what they may be interested in buying, says Tom Rogers, TiVo’s president and chief executive. “We’re flipping the dynamic,” he says, allowing TiVo subscribers to search for ads that match their interests. “If you are in the market for a product, and you have no idea when commercials related to that kind of product are going to appear, it doesn’t help you very much,” he adds. “The Google model is something we’re reviewing,” says Davina Kent, TiVo’s vice president for national advertising sales. [...]

  2. I suppose one can run Snapstream’s BeyondTV on LG’s DVR. This way you pay the first year subscription to Snapstream, then you have a product without yearly fee.

  3. It was Replay that made (makes?) a DVR that skips ads…it’s hard to get the MSO’s to use your DVR if your getting pushback from the content providers. Otherwise your sales will be relatively limited, just like Tivo’s. Except Tivo got into the market relatively early and had a partnership with a satellite provider.


  4. I agree, but then you have to deal with all the geekery and all that stuff. i meant more as a standalone consumer electronics device.

  5. i agree with you frank – MSO’s are going to cram down on anyone who wants to partner with them. but what i talking about going oldschool – plain vanilla DVR that skips ads, and is standalone and simple.

  6. Yes, I can totally see myself typing in “Chevrolet” on the non-QWERTY, Tivo remote.

    …talk about a non-feature.

  7. Can TiVo change its stripes?

    Personal video recorder company TiVo Inc. said Monday that it plans to roll out a new feature that will allow users to choose certain commercials, based on keywords, and then have them inserted into TV shows that they have recorded with their TiVo (Da…

  8. Who Needs Broadcast TV?

    I don’t have a PVR, that’s a Personal Video Recorder to you at the back. What I do have is a nice VHS recorder, that hasn’t really been plugged in properly since I moved house, and only seems to be able to play videos. Though interestingly I thi…

  9. Isn’t the TiVo solution just an attempt by a “consumer interface” operator to hook a hardware solution onto a market currently being developed by the leading on-line ad-companies? They tell me that they are transfering technology, developed for on-line ads, into the (ip)tv world, where consumer profiles based on tracked media behaviour will determine the ads you’re being served.
    Self-typing your explicit profile will be good as a super-target factor (as search ads on the web) but the implicit behavioral profile may already help in targeting ads quite a bit (as banner ads on the web). John Battelle had a long Friday piece on stroller ads a while ago.
    It will be interesting to see where the value grows in the end: at the consumer end (in the interface) or on the producer end (in the profile connection service). My bet would be on the producer end, as that is where the budget resides.

  10. Searching for Ads on Tivo. What will be the value to Viewers?

    Via Wall Street Journal news that TiVo Inc. is partnering with several big ad firms (Interpublic Media, Omnicom Group Inc.’s OM, Richards Group and Comcast Spotlight) to launch, next spring, a system that lets TiVo users to set up a profile of p…


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