TiVo Plans to Sell Information on Customers’ Viewing Habits

Catherine sent me a link to this report about TiVo in the NY Times, which I’m sure is making waves with privacy advocates…

“TiVo, the maker of digital video recorders, plans today to begin selling information about the viewing patterns of its customers to advertisers and programmers. The company says the reports offer far more precise data than traditional rating methods.

Because TiVo’s are essentially computer hard drives connected to a central server, the company can monitor viewers’ second-by-second behavior. It can tell how many viewers in a certain ZIP code clicked away at what moment in a commercial, for instance, or when a particular character appeared on a show.


” The information will be gathered in aggregate and filtered through a third party, Mr. Yudkovitz said, so that the habits of individual users will remain anonymous.


” Less than a million households currently own a TiVo, so the data may have limited value for immediate decision-making. But the reports, which Tivo plans to publish quarterly, may give the industry a sense of the changes it is facing…

Like the fact that…

” …54 percent of the total audience was skipping commercials….”

Which will …

“… dramatically alter the way advertisers deliver their message and programmers determine their programming.”

And I hope will reduce media spam, but that could be too much to hope for ;-)

Posted in PVR

To TiVo and beyond

I think it’s safe to assume that Brad Choate really-really likes his TiVo. However, he has made some interesting points about TiVo’s future uses:

“I also expect that weÂ’ll be using the TV for video e-mail and home-to-home video conferencing. ThatÂ’s a killer application waiting to happen. Something that would drive a market to broadband faster than Superman puts on his tights.”

Posted in PVR


I want one of these … freeplayTV is an attempt at a working, low-cost, replacement for TiVo and ReplayTV Digital Video Recorder systems (also called PVR or “Personal Video Recorder”).” (Thanks Per)

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Controlling the TV experience is a killer app

Kevin Werbach nails it again with this comment,

“… the growth of PVRs is inevitable. Almost every Tivo user will tell you that controlling the TV experience is a killer app. The costs are falling inexorably because the devices are based on familiar hardware and software. Broadcasters won’t be able to stop them; they need to develop new business models and marketing mechanisms that don’t depend on 30-second commercials.”

Posted in PVR

Affordable networked set-top box?

“PRISMIQ has developed a high-end yet affordable networked set-top box that supports your personal media (such as MP3s and digital photos), digital television, IP-based video on demand, musical/digital jukebox, and web

All for $249.95 … not bad …

and … “[PRISMIQ has a] flexible architecture that can support a variety of additional components like a Personal Video Recorder (PVR). Our unique hardware and software solutions are built from the ground up to take advantage of the home network from Ethernet, to WiFi, to HPNA, to HomePlug. We put the fun in your home network.”

Posted in PVR