Is There No Escape?
Nowhere to Hide: Ads Arrive on TiVo
By Jimmy Guterman
When personal video recorders were first introduced in 1999, pundits
predicted that the devices would spell the demise of television
advertising. The recorders -- essentially cable boxes with hard drives,
sold by TiVo and ReplayTV -- offered consumers the ability to digitally
record perfect copies of their favorite TV shows and to skip
commercials. The latter function caused much weeping and gnashing of
teeth in Hollywood and on Madison Avenue, which fretted that the
30-second TV commercial was on its way to extinction.
But it hasn't turned out that way -- at least not yet. While 80 percent
of TiVo users fast-forward through commercials, TiVo has found a way to
serve ads to its 400,000 subscribers all the same. This week TiVo
announced a deal to develop branded "advertainment" with Best Buy. The
ads will appear on TiVo's main programming screen as a small box. Users
who click on the box are invited to view exclusive music videos by
Sheryl Crow and win free CDs. The catch? You have to watch a 30-second
Best Buy ad before you get to the goods.
TiVo Gets Retail Push From Best Buy
New Ad Campaign Aimed at TiVo Owners