November 28, 2005 6:42 AM PST

Ads soon searchable with TiVo

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TiVo on Monday announced plans to provide its subscribers with searchable ads for selected categories as part of a joint effort with several media and advertising agencies.

TiVo plans to offer advertising search this spring, via the user profiles its subscribers create on their TiVo set-top boxes. But it has yet to be seen whether this latest advertising technology appeals to users who hit TiVo's 30-second hidden skip feature to jet past ads.

"TiVo intends to capture the best of the Internet advertising model and create a unique advertising product for the television medium that will provide measurable results," Davina Kent, TiVo's vice president of national advertising sales, said in a statement.

The new feature is designed to allow users to receive advertisements based on their interests, after creating their user profile on the TiVo set-top box. The technology is aimed at giving advertisers a more targeted and interested pool of potential buyers while attempting to steer users away from skipping all ads that flicker across their television tube.

TiVo is working with Interpublic Group of Companies, OMD, Starcom MediaVest Group, The Richards Group and Comcast Spotlight to determine relevant product categories and advertising pricing. Some of the categories, for example, may include automotive, travel and packaged consumer goods.

The searchable ads build on past efforts TiVo has undertaken to appeal to advertisers. Last year, the company announced its Video-to-Video feature, which would allow users to hit a remote control button to watch a 3-minute video featuring products and services that may appeal to them. Users would be able to watch these miniaturized clips while fast-forwarding the regular ads.

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Is this really usefull?
Is this really usefull? In my opinion this is a bad idea, I am not going to use it. If I want to search for ads I'll use Google

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://work-out.blogspot.com" target="_newWindow">http://work-out.blogspot.com</a>
Posted by SqlserverCode (165 comments )
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How I would find it usefull
To find an Ad, then find the music that is playing in the background. That is what I would find usefull about it. So until they add the info about what song is playing, and maybe a link to iTunes or Napster (both so people have a choice, and this setting can be setup ahead of time when setting up the Tivo by that particular person). Then you can download the song and sync it to potable device or send it to a computer, or make the purchase though the Tivo, but download it later with the Computer. That is what I would find usefull about it.
Posted by (43 comments )
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Useful vs. Usefull
It would be really useful if people could either learn to spell simple words like "useful", or just run everything they write through something with a spell and grammar checker, like the one that's probably built into your word processor/office suite. Just a lament from your friendly neighborhood spelling Nazi/mullah/mother.

Anyway, I'm a friend of the guy at TiVo that wrote their private logging system, which is what Nielen's new DVR reports will be based on (from ~20,000 volunteer TiVo customers sliced and diced by demographic criteria). Permissive advertising is one of the things we've been trying to beat into the brains of TV advertisers, who may or may not have brains (the jury is still out on this one, but if Michael Jackson, O.J., and Robert Blake are innocent, who knows? :) I've joked that I would record and watch "The Porsche Channel" 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just so I could watch those beauties doing their thing on race tracks and winding mountain roads (in Bavaria and anywhere else on the planet), and listen to Patrick Stewart (aka Captain Piccard) intoning the virtues of turbocharged flat-six, opposed cylinder, rear-mounted engines, and all-wheel drive with torque control, in proper Elizabethan pronunciation and 5.1 Dolby surround sound. No matter how many feminine hygiene product ads you blast at me through the tube for boobs (especially "Nip/Tuck" :) I absolutely refuse to buy those products (and even radical sex-change surgery wouldn't make me a customer, although I wouldn't mind some breast enlargement ads, in either case ;)

In a perfect world (well, one where ads are unavoidable), ads would only be presented when you're shopping. This is not something I'm typically doing after 8 PM, although psychologists and anthropologists will tell you that we're always shopping, consciously or subconsciously, as a vestige of our hunter-gatherer ancestors' behavior. The next-best thing would be to only receive ads that are of prime interest to us (i.e., we're looking for a way to part with some moolah in order to exchange it for goods and/or services), and not be pelted with stuff that will either never be of interest, or not be of interest until sometime in the indefinite future (no sense for an advertiser to spend the money before it's effective, right?). This would coincide with the advertisers' perfect world, where they are always reaching their prospective customers only during the evaluation and decision-making process, and not ticking us off when we don't want to be bothered. I'm still waiting for perfect companies to make this their Holy Grail, but so far, the pre-Neanderthals (since even Neanderthals would know better) who run the advertising business can't see past the 30-second spot and average of 22 minutes of TV ads per hour (ad agencies, corporate ad buyers, and TV network ad execs are all equally guilty and stupid about this). Ad substitution is now feasible via the technology that every cable, satellite, and DVR developer has already built, so that I would never, ever, have to sit through another ad aimed at a 13 - 17 year old female teeny-bopper (or even have to waste the brainwidth fast-forwarding through it).

"I have a dream - that someday, little boys, and little girls, will be able to sit in front of their interactive media devices and only see and hear that which they really need and want. Although I may not live to walk the streets paved with gold there, I can see that Promised Land in the Future, and it is bright and beckoning to us all. I have a dream." (with apologies to Dr. King's legacy).

All the Best,
Joe Blow
Posted by Joe Blow (175 comments )
Link Flag
VCRs
I just always find it so funny that we didnt have these issues with
VCRs and tape - basically the same premise - record a show with
commercials and the fly past the ads with the FF button!

Thank god TIVO has a month-to-month policy to give us users a
chance to quit the service if they REALLY screw it up.
Posted by digitalworlds (3 comments )
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I Always Find it Funny ...
that there are people who still don't understand that a DVR is _NOT_ a VCR, whether it's a personal observation of theirs, or they believe what some other numbskull tells them. I always find it funny that they don't remember that you can't record more than 6 - 8 hours on a tape (and good luck using 8-hour tapes more than a dozen times before they get eaten by the VCR), whereas even the earliest DVRs could do 14 hours, and today's cheapest DVRs can record at least 40 hours. I always find it funny that these people don't realize that they can record an entire season's worth of a show by just pressing a few buttons on their remote control, which was never the case with VCRs, even with VCR Plus codes. I always find it funny that these people don't know that they can have recordings made using Wishlist keywords and/or categories, which VCRs could never do. I always find it funny that these people don't recall that, on a DVR, they can check out the TV schedule up to two weeks in advance and select things to record right from the on-screen guide, which was never a VCR feature. I always find it funny that these people don't have any idea that they can search for all of the broadcasts of any given show, and select to record any or all of them at the push of a button, which VCRs could never do, either. There are a lot of things that I always find funny like these examples.

I always find it funny that such people think that they should always get everything for free, especially new technology that collectively costs hundreds of billions of dollars to produce, and yet, if you asked them to work for free, they'd look at you like you just dropped out of Warp Factor 10 from the Andromeda galaxy. I always find it funny that these people think nothing of paying bongo bucks for a single cup of fancy foo-foo flavored coffee, but balk at paying twice that amount a month for

Thank God (or other organizing Force(s) in this or other potential Universes) that I'm not one of those people, or it wouldn't be funny, it would be pathetic. The year is 2005 - get with the program(ming), Elmer Ludd(ite)!

All the Best,
Joe Blow
Posted by Joe Blow (175 comments )
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Will these ads reduce my subscription?
Since Tivo is charging me a subscription fee for TiVo Plus and charging the advertisers for the ads, based on my profile, why not reduce my subscription for participating? Share the revenue.
Posted by RobertFHarwood (181 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not for me..
... I don't want to encounter targeted ads, I don't want people
goig through my email or browsing to try to figure out what ads
to show me, I don't like Amazon's marketing tactics (Prices are
to high, anyhow), and I have no interest in searching ads.

TiVo will NOT get my profile, nor will DirecTV who will take over
the TiVo control function shortly. I appreciate my privacy, and
it's going to stay in place. Enough leaks out as it is, but I try to
make sure the info isn;t consistent.

So, no way, TiVo. You see this as a money maker, I see it as an
undesirable interference.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Custom Tivo Ads
If this means I can plug in my personal profile and then watch a sporting event, like golf, and only receive ads that appeal to me and block the ads that don't--like denture creams, Viagra and other "old guy" products--then sign me up.
Posted by wzellerIII (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Share the revenue
Since Tivo is charging me a subscription fee for TiVo Plus and charging the advertisers for the ads, based on my profile, why not reduce my subscription for participating? Share the revenue please. Starchoice ( <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.highspeedsat.com/starchoice-tv.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.highspeedsat.com/starchoice-tv.htm</a> ) in Canada is doing it much better.
Posted by finlandforum (10 comments )
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