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?