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New TV Network To Take On TiVo and Other DVRs Print E-mail
Thursday, 20 May 2004
Millions of Americans now have digital video recorders (otherwise known as DVRs or PVRs) thanks to TiVo, ReplayTV and cable and satellite providers who offer PRVs in their satellite receiver boxes. Users who have PVRs are now calling the physical act of recording shows with their hard drive recorder “TiVo-ing” even if the service and hardware unit they are using is not actually a TiVo. This is remnisciant of how photocopying has become “Xeroxing” to many consumers and many people who blow their noses think they are using a Kleenex, when they are in fact most likely using a facial tissue. As much as consumers with PVRs rave about being able to “TiVo” their favorite shows and skip the commerials, TV executives and ad agencies are less excited. Free television content is created so that networks can sell ads. Now that model is being challenged by the progress of technology but a new TV network thinks they have the answer. Ripe Entertainment is introducing a free “on-demand” cable network, called RipeTV, which will have advertising embedded into its shows. It has seven different types of advertising that will not be able to be fast-forwarded through when recorded on a PVR. RipeTV’s CEO, Ryan Magnussen, calls it “TiVo-proof.”

New ads include a 3-D animated advertiser logo or graphic to open and close the show, an animated logo occupying the lower third of the screen, a “video skin” or graphic frame with the advertisers brand framed around the show, video billboards in the lower third, strategically placed spots and long-form commercials. The ads are more like magazine advertisements, in a video magazine setting.

Consumers might not like a “TiVo proof” TV network unless the content is truly fantastic. Much like Internet surfers can block pop under ads, TiVo users feel it is their right to skip commercials.

The first RipeTV network to be launched in the fourth quarter of 2004, will target men ages 18 to 34. Content on the network will include: video magazines, reality shows, extreme sports and entertainment reviews. New episodes for each show will debut online and on-demand every Monday.

All of RipeTV’s content will exist on VOD platform and broadband. The internet interaction will allow viewers to vote, in order to change the programming, and put their favorite shows on the prime slots. The RipeTV platform also has access to 400 hours of other content such as DVDs and short animation pieces. The content – 10 hours per month – will be tailored for the on-demand platform at about 8–12 minutes each.

RipeTV did focus marketing groups and these groups did not find the ads disruptive. RipeTV offers customer navigational solutions for its distribution partners, including graphic design through to engineering a custom interface.

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