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TiVo’s Adwords for TiVo

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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.

6 Responses to “TiVo’s Adwords for TiVo”

  1. Gert Steens

    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.

  2. 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.

  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.