TiVo Turns TV into Search Engine
From the press release today: ‘TiVo Product Watch’ [ ] offers advertisers an innovative new way to reach TiVo subscribers who are actively looking for products (“In Market”) with advertising content and information. At launch, TiVo Product Watch will deliver targeted, relevant advertising content, from more than 70 advertisers and 100 leading brands, from up to five different product categories including Automotive, Entertainment, Financial, Lifestyles, and Travel and Leisure.
TiVo subscribers will be able to create searches and select advertising content, ranging from one minute to 60 minutes, from any of the five different product categories of interest and have it delivered directly to their Now Playing section of the TiVo service. TiVo Product Watch will also offer subscribers the ability to create a search based on their favorite brands. TiVo viewers will be able to subscribe to a brand and opt-in to receive video content directly from that company on an ongoing basis.
TiVo had talked about turning itself into a Google-like ad broker some time ago. Ultimately a system like this where consumers get to “search” for advertisers and opt-in to receive desired ads/promotions turns TV into something much more like paid-search — but with the emotional power and richness of video. It’s pretty interesting and represents a model that, if done right, consumers and advertisers will profit from. The dark side is that all TV content becomes a version of product placement with advertisers scheming around how to stimulate demand with the content of shows.
There’s a very clear local aspect to this, if not for small business then for nationals doing geotargeting or specific messages for specific markets. If it’s successful, watch for others to quickly copy this.
Greg Sterling is the founding principal of Sterling Market Intelligence, a consulting and research firm focused on online consumer and advertiser behavior and the relationship between the Internet and traditional media, with an emphasis on the local marketplace.