TiVo Sells Ads After Recordings

We knew this was coming… In fact, Mari just covered a similar advertising service that will glue commercials onto Charter’s video-on-demand programming. TiVo’s “Program Placement” allows advertisers to buy slots for their commercials to play at the conclusion of a recorded program. This could be very lucrative for TiVo as it really creates a secondary advertising market, unlike Product Watch which has dried up. (Really, did we think opt-in advertising was going to be huge?) For example, let’s say a company can’t afford to run an ad during Lost or that a competitor has a deal with a network, through TiVo they can now purchase time to reach that demographic. As long as these ads are only inserted after programming, I can live with it.

NEW YORK, Nov 28, 2006 /PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ — TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) announced today Program Placement, its latest advertising solution that offers advertisers an opportunity through the TiVo(R) Service to insert an ad after a program has played, when there is nothing left to fast forward through. For the first time, advertisers will be able to reach their target DVR audience by purchasing advertising enhancements against specific shows. Burger King Corporation, General Motors Corp., MasterCard Worldwide, The Weather Channel and Court TV are the first companies to take advantage of Program Placement on TiVo. Leading media and advertising agencies, including GroupM’s MindShare, Norwalk, CT-based Media Storm and GSD&M, worked with TiVo to have their clients be the first to use this revolutionary advertising solution.

Update: AdWeek breaks down the specifics of the new advertising and I’m feeling less tolerant. I’m not interested in seeing the TiVo interface covered with banner ads. Guess we know what else was in this month’s software update

The graphical ad unit, which TiVo calls a “program placement,” appears at the end of a recorded program, on the screen asking viewers if they want to delete the show. TiVo said the ads are designed to be more interactive than standard TV spots, including options for long-form content, lead generation and purchases. Viewers must initiate all video, unlike so-called post-roll commercials increasingly common on Web sites.

6 thoughts on “TiVo Sells Ads After Recordings”

  1. And how long will it take until we read that TiVo will start inserting ads *before* a recording plays? (without the ability to skip over, for good measure).

    I mean, really, who’s going to watch adds *after* the show? Most people presumably don’t even watch the credits.

  2. I assume and hope TiVo knows if they were to place ads prior to a recording and make them mandatory, they’d need to offer both the hardware and service for free to retain any customers.

  3. You’ve got to think that the guys paying big bucks for Lost, 24, etc. will be po’ed that potential competitors will get cheaper rates from TiVo.

    Interesting idea, though.

  4. TiVo has done a good job so far at being unobtrusive with ads. I know some people find the TiVo Central Promos the height of offensiveness, but I find them completely acceptable. I watch, or don’t watch, them as I see fit. I’ve even signed up for the Product Watch content in some categories that I enjoy – I’m not going to buy a new car, but I like cars so I don’t mind seeing some test drives and nice promos. :-)

    I don’t see TiVo force-feeding the ads on users. If they get to that point then they’d be pretty desperate, I’d say.

  5. Dave, what makes you think that the TiVo guys don’t take a cue from the DVD guys, who have apparently discovered that they can get away with sticking mandatory FBI warnings and movie previews (=ads) in front of the actual movie.

    There clearly seems to be a progression to push more and more advertising on paying TiVo customers. And since I don’t think the post-show commercials are going to work, just like the on-demand ads, it seems forseeable that a more and more desparate (for money) TiVo will escalate this further…

  6. Oliver,

    Because the DVD is your only option to get the movie, they have a monopoly. You either except the ads or don’t buy the movie. And it started back on VHS where many films had ads for other films at the start of the tape. At least with DVD most vendors make the ads skippable and those that don’t get criticized for locking them in.

    TiVo isn’t the only DVR game in town, and they’re up against cheaper competition from satellite and cable vendors. They need to market themselves as the premium product with a better user experience. Once they throw that away, they throw away their main marketing edge. So they’re not as likely to tart-up their UI with ads as, say, Comcast is on their cable boxes.

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