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Written by Jerry Del Colliano   
Thursday, 18 November 2004

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that TiVo is about to launch a new system that interjects its own commercials, sweepstakes offers and other promotional messages when a TiVo user is fast-forwarding through a network block of commercials. Up until now, one of the main advantages of TiVo has been its ability to skip commercials. Clients signed up by the millions to use the DVR (digital video recorder) system and even agreed to pay a monthly or lifelong fee for the TiVo service.

In an attempt to woo Madison Avenue, TiVo is taking a risk that might very well backfire on them. While TiVo has ascended to stellar name brand recognition, there are many other ways to record TV. Replay TV’s DVRs don't inject commercials. Other more generic DVRs that come directly from cable companies also don’t dare overstep existing commercials. At least, they don’t for now.

XM Satellite Radio attempted to sell commercials a few years back, but quickly abandoned the idea upon complaints from users who were paying their $10 per month to avoid hearing ads on radio. Besides the excellent user interface, much of what users are paying for with the TiVo service is the ability to skip commercials they don’t want to see. If TiVo’s new model creates strong profits, everyone will jump on the bandwagon, but considering the consumer backlash about advertising on TV, it is more likely TiVo’s experiment will fail like XM’s short-lived commercial sets.

Source: Los Angeles Times

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