Wednesday, November 17

Next-Gen Advertising - This morning the LATimes blew the lid off TiVo's new schemes to invite advertisers into its non-linear form of television watching. Among the markerter-friendly changes:

  • "Billboards" - Small logos, popping up over TV commercials as you fast-forward through them.
  • "Opts in" - Where your contact information will be downloaded to an advertiser — exclusively and by permission only — so even more direct marketing can take place.
  • "Couch commerce" - a system that enables viewers to purchase products and participate in surveys using their remote controls.

TiVo says its users willingly submit themselves to such scrutiny in exchange for the commercial-skipping and time-shifting conveniences of the service. But that may change. Until now, TiVo's advertising technology "has been relatively subtle and not widely seen." Come spring, "it will be hard for users to miss." The money-losing company clearly needs a new revenue stream to keep afloat. But does the new ad campaign mark a profound change in ideology that won't sit well with devotees? Stay tuned.