The New York Times is out with a piece covering a number of TiVo’s advertising initiatives. Which I was ready to let go, until I came upon this beauty:
TiVo is not the only company devising a solution to commercial-skipping.
Which reinforces my frequent refrain these days. Who are TiVo’s customers? The advertising industry? Or us television-loving ‘civilians’? Back when I got on board, TiVo was the commercial skipping solution. Their core mission was to enhance my television viewing experience, with content discovery and advertising avoidance. “TV your way.” Yet, instead of building upon that foundation (how about auto-commercial skipping, enhanced suggestions and presentation, sharing wishlists or Season Passes with friends), we’re confronted with more paid advertising. In fact, if we were to tally new features introduced over the last few years, ad delivery methods and viewer metrics might top all others.
Of course, I’m a realist. As I know, and as the Times column discusses, this is the way the industry is moving. And historically, this is how television (and radio) services have largely been subsidized in America. I’m just a bit bummed TiVo isn’t quite the TV freedom advocate and innovator they once were. Even if TiVo were to offer a higher tier of ad-free service to find profitability, I doubt I’d pay up. (And there’s no way in hell I’m sullying my home with Comcast DVRs… that also feature ads.) So I’d probably feel better if TiVo started by refreshing their stale UI to more gracefully integrate advertising instead of just tacking it on in random places (like the pause menu hack job above).