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.
Yes, TiVo is adding advertising to the system, in much the same way as TiVo Central Promos and the icons that pop up during some TV ads. As with those, this is not force fed advertising – users can choose to watch the promo or not. And it is at the end of the program, so it doesn’t interfere with watching. To highlight key points:
Program Placement advertising, inserted at the end of a recorded program for the viewer who chooses to watch it, can be matched to multiple programs, television series and genres.
I know there are some people who find all advertising offensive and would prefer a utopia of ad-free, free content that they can watch or trade to their hearts content. While that’s a nice concept, here in reality the bills need to be paid and content isn’t free.
I think TiVo has done a great job of keeping advertising unobtrusive for the user, while offering advertisers a new way to reach consumers with unique content. I’d much rather watch a few minute clip of a product I’m interested in being demonstrated than a generic 30-second spot. And if you give me the option of watching promos for things I have an interest in – like movies, DVDs, gadgets, etc – I’ll probably watch them. Heck, I enjoy the CNet TiVoCast content and that’s pretty much a long form ad for the gadgets they review. And it is certainly preferable to ads for things I have no use for. I’m a 35-year old single geek who owns his own home and drives a muscle car – I have no use for feminine hygiene products, children’s goods, AARP, or a minivan, and I don’t drink cheap American so-called ‘beer’. Which is why I love 30-second skip – I just don’t watch ads during my shows. But give me the option to watch a gadget review, or show me the latest in home improvement goods, computing, cars, etc, and I’ll very likely watch your ad. Heck, how about promos like “If you liked the show you just watched, how about these shows?” And let me watch trailers for other programs. I can see a number of uses for this.