TiVo To Offer Targeted Commericals

TiVo LogoTiVo is collaborating with several advertising firms to create searchable, downloadable commercials. The technology will be similar to the existing TiVo Wishlists in that you specify keywords or categories of products and services you’re interested in. When TiVo matches your criteria, the ad is recorded or downloaded via broadband and added to a folder in the Now Playing list. This feature is expected to launch Spring 2006.

As long as the ads remain voluntary and unobtrusive, I’m all in favor of TiVo generating additional revenue. Though, as Om Malik 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?

TiVo says: TiVo Inc., the creator and a leader in advertising solutions and television services for digital video recorders (DVRs), today announced that it plans to offer the first television-based advertising search solution in Spring 2006. Leveraging TiVo’s television search capabilities that enhance the TV viewing experience, the new product will deliver relevant, targeted advertising to subscribers that want to view particular advertising categories.

The heightened viewer experience that the new offering is intended to provide will deliver non-intrusive, relevant, interactive advertising, on a opt-in basis. TiVo subscribers, if they choose to use the search capability, will retain control over their viewing experience through the creation of a viewer contributed profile via the set-top box that will enable them to receive advertisements based on their interests.

“The new TiVo application will provide both a needed platform for consumers to seek out relevant, searchable commercial content and an environment for advertisers to engage highly desirable and motivated consumers,” said Tracey Scheppach, Vice President, Video Innovations Director at Starcom, a division of Starcom MediaVest Group. “It’s the first of its kind in the industry, and a platform that is clearly needed in this challenging advertising marketplace.”

2 thoughts on “TiVo To Offer Targeted Commericals”

  1. I agreee with you – in fact, I welcome targeted ads. I don’t mind ads for things I might actually be interested in, but with the way things are today advertisers use a shotgun approach in the hopes of reaching someone interested in their product. So the majority of ads I see I have no interest in, which turns me off to *all* ads.

    I don’t see much opportunity for an ‘anti-ad’ DVR as a commercial product. Even ignoring the lawsuit issue that sank ReplaTV, it isn’t a feature to market a product on. Other DVRs have fast-forward and some, like TiVo, have 30-second skip. ReplayTV still has ‘Show|Nav’, which is a semi-automatic commercial skip – press a button to jump the ad break – but it hasn’t really helped them.

    If you’re too aggressively anti-ad, you’d have a hard time partnering with providers for additional features.

  2. Exactly, I see most of the anti-ad products coming from the freeware community. Any company trying to make a profit would usually want to steer clear of angering the powers-that-be.

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