The NY Times writes about how TiVo is getting into the audience research business. It’s inevitable really and the fact that they have a VP of Audience Research doesn’t suprise me. The usage behavior that they can dig through can reveal all sorts of trends that would be of interest to any market researcher.

For example, one study for a consumer packaged goods company, which Mr. Juenger declined to identify, found that commercials featuring animal characters, when shown on animal-related programs, were skipped less often than usual.

They already make available a running tally of the most recorded shows and have the technology to look at the most replayed ads of the Super Bowl. As more and more TiVo devices connect to internet broadband connections to take advantage of the free extra services, the ability of TiVo to pull in usage data from multiple sources of media will present a challenge to more traditional, TV-centric services.