As I mentioned a mere 72 hours ago, TiVo’s been trialing additional advertising as part of a broader push to further monetize their platform. And now, andfy of the TiVo Community, has become an inadvertent beta tester of sluggish, lower res pre-roll video ads… that precede his DVR recordings. It looks (and feels) atrocious. See for yourself in the video embedded above.
When I play a recording the screen goes black with the spinning blue circle for a couple of seconds, then an advertisement plays for about 15 secs, then the recording starts. If you go back and play from the beginning you’ll see a different ad. The ones I remember seeing are for Toyota, Keurig and Amazon. It seems you can skip the ad by pressing fast forward but it’s not that seamless. […] But they look like SD low bitrate videos. Happened on every recording so far but there’s only been 5 recordings since I set it up.
Keep in mind TiVo has been a pioneer in this noxious space… they just haven’t executed as “well” as Roku and YouTube. But, before we collectively lose our minds, we’re likely missing some critical context here. As I previously suggested, in regards to TiVo+, more heavy handed advertising might be an effective way to lower the cost of entry – think reducing or dropping monthly fees, for those that choose. Also, pre-roll ads and commercial replacement are exactly the sort of the thing the cablecos wants to offer, so us retail customers may not even be the ultimate target audience.
UPDATE: Now we can lose our minds. Light Reading reached out to TiVo and it’s pretty much the worst case scenario.
“DVR advertising is going to be a permanent part of the service,” a TiVo spokesperson said in an emailed statement to Light Reading. “We expect to be fully rolled-out to all eligible retail devices within 90 days.” TiVo also confirmed that customers will be able to skip those pre-roll ads in much the same way they can skip commercials inserted in TV shows and movies recorded to the DVR.
So the ads are skippable. But, as currently implemented, it’s not going to be efficient… and may crash your box. LR inquired further with TiVo and will be updating their article to notate that Roamio, Bolt, and Vox hardware (running Hydra) will all receive the pre-roll treatment. And, given these new developments, I wonder if TiVo will reneging on their optional Hydra update promise. In any event, I’m hopeful the outcry helps them rethink this misguided strategy. You can’t sell ad impressions for customers you don’t have.
Yes, alienating the few retail customers and advocates that remain is a very, very bad move. It's doubly galling as we already generate more revenue per box than their MSO partners. If they drop the monthly fee, sure I get it. But without any concessions, f that. https://t.co/SeSwCzXaWB
— Dave Zatz (@davezatz) September 21, 2019
(Thanks for sharing the video andyf!)