Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Video-to-video advertising

That's the term for TiVo's new advertising effort according to this article on News.com.

From the article:

"Known as Video-to-Video, the idea is to let viewers click a button on their remote control to immediately watch a 3-minute video describing products and services that might appeal to them. The marketing clips are promoted through small icons that appear on the TV screen as viewers fast-forward past regular ads."

"TiVo also gives advertisers a number of options to reach viewers who are inclined to fast-forward past ads, including offering screen space on its programming guide page and hard drive space for pre-recorded ads that offer sweepstakes and other incentives to entice viewers to watch them."

TiVo initially was a big seller because it let consumers opt-out of watching advertising. Now TiVo is changing the dynamic and letting consumers choose to opt-in to advertising for products they are interested in. This, of course, is a massive change in the normal advertising model of putting content out and hoping people will watch. And TiVo has the technology to track consumer behavior exactly, bringing a powerful toolkit to its opt-in advertisers. However, TiVo is going to have to quickly learn how to get consumers to really want to view these advertisements and the key part is that these ads take up room on the TiVo hard drive. Personally, if you give me the TiVo hardware, I would be willing to give up a percentage of my drive for these advertisements. But, if I pay top dollar for my TiVo box and then pay my monthly subscription fee, I don't really want you (TiVo) taking up the storage space on my equipment with ads I may not want to see.

Also coming soon to TiVo, according to the article, are upsell icons that appear during a show. For example, if the new Ford F150 appeared in a show, and icon would appear that would allow the consumer to click it and see a 3-minute video about the product while their show continued to record in the background. However, the downside to this program is that network TV may not agree to put in the "trigger codes" that prompt the TiVo units to display the icons.

It will be interesting to see how this process evolves.

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