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Tuesday, August 01, 2006

TiVo, Friend to the Advertiser

While TV networks and advertisers are kvetching about the ability of DVRs to skip commercials, they should look at silver lining. TiVo is tracking how commercials are watched or not, and offers details about viewing patterns.

The data is likely to be more telling and accurate than what services such as Nielsen can provide. Advertisers should learn from the data about which commercials are of interest to certain demographics, and create better marketing pitches to keep user attention.

While undoubtedly their product pitch is diluted by the fast-forward button, relying on the metric of how many people watched a program gives no indication of how many people saw an ad or paid attention to it. Bathroom breaks, distracting conversations, or dashes to the kitchen for munchies cut into the viewing of commercials, so advertisers should be happy to get more accurate numbers to bid against.

DVRs are now part of life, and have changed the way people view TV so the market has no choice but to adjust. also writes about reliability problems with DVRs, which reinforces the argument that storing programming on networks makes much more sense. Network DVRs could also fully exploit the interactive ad features, negate the ability to skip ads, as well as provide even more data about viewing habits.

By John Gartner at 12:39 PM | Comments (0)

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