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TiVo's captivated research audience

By - September 21, 2006

TiVo launches a new research service, called the IRI TiVo Consumer Insights Suite(TM), to help marketers enter the mind of the ad-free viewing audience. TiVo boxes will become a passive data sponge for user viewing habits–opt-in Nelson Ratings-style–offering advertisers unprecedented insight into this group of serious TV viewers who are also at once an uncaptive audience. In particular, TiVo is marketing the research pool to-be to advertisers as a “link [between] consumer DVR viewing patterns [and] purchase decisions.”

The goal? “making it possible for brand purchase results to be traced and compared to the actual viewership of commercials.” But how many homes with a digital video recorder will willingly enable auto-monitoring equipment to feed information directly back to the advertisers who they’ve bought the TiVo precisely in order to escape?

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5 thoughts on “TiVo's captivated research audience

  1. Jon Abad says:

    I think that you’re overreaching in your assumption that TiVo users are trying to escape advertisers. I for one, want to control when I watch TV and skip annoying commercials.

    My TiVo already knows what shows I watch, which I don’t, what commercials I skip and, I imagine more importantly to advertisers, which I don’t. I think that an opt-in method for my viewing tastes to be communicated back to the people that makes the shows is a good idea. The key is that one is clearly informed about the level of information that is being given out when one opts-in to such a program.

  2. Jeremy says:

    I absolutely would if the TIVO (or related DVR) was free.

    The goal of the smart marketer is to create messages that are important to the customer. I personally believe that they miss more times than they hit. This is a very smart idea. In fact, I have to plead ingorance here. I was convinced that this data had been shared all along.

  3. Fred says:

    They said it first, but ditto on both comments above. I just want to skip ads, and for the very few ads I watch I could care if the TiVo reports it to advertisers.

  4. I am looking forward to commercials that take into account Tivo Fast-Forwarding. I want a commercial that gets its message across while I’m fast forwarding. I want advertising for certain things, like upcoming movies, and really don’t mind sharing that knowledge either.

  5. Mark Sutton says:

    Why is this any different from your everyday supermarket discount card? Offer up a simple consumer benefit to “opt-in” and you will achieve partipation. I think we’ve come to the point where most consumers are content to share most purchase history information if it means a few coupons, just like they are happy to let Gmail “read” their emails and serve up ads in return for an effective, free email solution.

    Obviously, there are greater issues at play (security, etc), but it seems to me that tracking behavior to serve up more targeted messaging benefits both advertiser and consumer. I mean, I don’t know many guys who are pining for that next Tampax ad, but a funny beer commercial? That will likely get watched . . .