A look into TiVo advertising and the future

A couple of items relating to TiVo’s on-box advertising popped up today. First, Integrated Media Measurement, Inc (IMMI) released a press release which touched on TiVo-based promotions:

The data, which was collected by monitoring actual media exposure and individual behavior, shows that of the IMMI panelists who watched a fall television show promo on TiVo Showcase, a way for TiVo subscribers to request ads, 42 percent went on to actually watch the show. IMMI tracked promos for shows on ABC, NBC and CBS during the six-week period leading up to the fall television premieres.

“The value of using television to promote television shows is very clear,” said Amanda Welsh, co-founder of Integrated Media Measurement Inc. “Nonetheless, the TiVo Showcase offered good penetration levels and a dramatic return on investment when compared to other ‘pull’ advertising mechanisms like the Internet.”

It certainly sounds like good news for TiVo’s ad sales department, ‘dramatic return on investment’ is always nice.

And BtoB Magazine ran an article on TiVo’s marketing platform, which also had some good things to say. The article mentions the five major ways TiVo provides advertisers access to the TiVo user – through the TiVo Central promos (the article states that TiVo Central is viewed about 4.8 times a day by each of 4.2 million users), pop-up adds over commercials in recording content (the ‘Press Thumbs Up to record’ or ‘Press Thumbs Up for more info’ pop-ups, as well as the ‘billboard’ ads during FF over commercials, etc), the add-box on the delete/keep screen at the end of playback of a recording, the Showcases menu, and Product Watch.

But I found this the most interesting:

TiVo hopes to soon have a Click to Buy button so advertisers can get sales directly from TiVo. “Marketers like leads, but they love sales even more,” Barnett said. “That button is our big push right now.”

Down the road, Barnett sees TiVo working with television producers to embed pop-ups in programs for viewers to opt in to. “That’s TiVo 2.0,” he said, “but definitely possible. Product development is working on ways to make programming actionable. The future holds that in store.”

I’ve been saying for years now that they should have a ‘Click to Buy’ feature, especially on impulse items like CDs, DVDs, etc. I could see this tied into other things – how about ‘Rent now from Unbox’ on DVD ads when the movie is available that way? ‘Add to Rhapsody play list’ for music. Really integrate the different product features.

The embedded pop-ups in programming both excites and worries me – because I can see it being used for great things, or being really, really bad. The last thing I want is product placement gone wild, which advertising pop-ups appear during a program – that would really piss me off. But I also watch a lot of shows which do things like plug their website for more videos, behind the scenes content, etc – like Mythbusters, Build It Bigger, etc. It would be very cool if I could hit Thumbs Up and those extra videos would download to my TiVo in the background via TiVoCast. Or take advantage of TiVo Desktop and have a ‘TiVo Bookmarks’ feature where the TiVo lets the central server know you’re interested in more info on ‘X’, and you TiVo Desktop sync’s with that regularly, just like the TiVo, so you can go to your PC later and just pop open those new links in your browser. TiVo could even produce an extension for Firefox, IE, etc, to integrate that right into the browser.

Convergence excites me because it can do some very cool things. But it can also be abused, so I’m hopeful, but cautiously so.

About MegaZone

MegaZone is the Editor of Gizmo Lovers and the chief contributor. He's been online since 1989 and active in several generations of 'social media' - mailing lists, USENet groups, web forums, and since 2003, blogging.    MegaZone has a presence on several social platforms: Google+ / Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / LiveJournal / Web.    You can also follow Gizmo Lovers on other sites: Blog / Google+ / Facebook / Twitter.
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