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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

TiVo Watching You Is Okay

TiVo is anonymously collecting data about which ads and programs are watched or skipped through as part of a plan to sell data to advertisers. I have no problem with this policy as long as the data is stripped of personal information and as long as users know that their viewing habits are being randomly sampled.

Do I care if my DVR knows that I always skip commercials? The only way I might is if they start raising my rates compared to other consumers because of my habits. DVRs are a threat to advertisers, so TiVo is correct for developing services that can enable them to create more relevant and interesting ads. Heck, I would sign up in a minute if I could have some control over the types of ads that are shown during my programs.

In the future we may see targeted ads during recorded content, and possibly during live broadcasts. TiVo could see your demographic -- married, over 35 and with kids, and pass up the ads for dating services and substitute ads for family vacations or vehicles. Just as in the online world, increasing relevancy will give advertisers a better return on their investment and make viewers happy. A little concession in privacy for those who opt in is worth it.

By John Gartner at 10:03 AM | Comments (1)

(1) Thoughts on TiVo Watching You Is Okay

I'd like to see TiVo let me opt into a personalized program and give them direct access to how I'm interacting with programs. I wouldn't want this without my permission, but I'd love to be able to rate ads anywhere between three thumbs down to three thumbs up and know that marketers could then use my feedback to make better ads.

Everytime, TiVo mentions their aggregate advertising program, the conspiracy theorists go nuts, but by enabling consumers to opt into personalized ads, TiVo could not only make sure that the ads that I do see are more entertaining for my personality, but they could use my feedback to directly influence ads.

Comments by Davis Freeberg : Tuesday, February 06, 2007 at 01:59 PM

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