Davis Freeburg has a long post about Tivo’s new Product Watch service which allows people to subscribe to advertisments. I’ve signed up for the service and will post more about it once I’ve had a chance to try it out.
Advertising, ironically enough for an ad zapper, is probably more important to TiVo than just about anything for them right now. While TiVo makes far more money from a standalone subscriber, the explosion of TiVo users in the years ahead are more likely to come from the major cable deals that they are striking with folks like Comcast (and many more surely to come shortly). In these deals TiVo makes much less money per subscriber but is entitled to valuable advertising revenue from a far greater audience.
We’re seeing an honesty in the dialog between advertisers and their audience that I hope will unleash a new wave of innovation in marketing. Tivo teaches us that people resist interruptive advertising. This tends to be the case with most advertising (that’s why we have pop-up blockers on the web) unless it is highly relevant or entertaining.
If you want to reach a specific audience for your products, why not just ask them to identify themselves? If I understand it correctly, Tivo’s Product Watch is giving advertisers room to stretch out their creative and offering 2 – 6 minute segments. In return, users are directing their interest and are explicit about what products they are interested in. Tivo’s already got the “thumbs up/thumbs down” rating buttons on their remote and this feedback can be used by the system to serve up suggested advertising just as they do with their existing programming suggestion engine.
Just as we all went to the web to view clips of the best Super Bowl commercials along with commentary and discussion, Tivo’s Product Watch has the potential to be the place to go to view the most informative or creative advertising on television. Instead of being something you skip, this showcase may actually be a reason to sign up to Tivo.