The Motley Fool: With 3 Million TiVo Subscribers Taking the Bait, Now Comes the Switch

TiVo Goes Direct Again [Fool.com: Motley Fool Take] April 5, 2005: Although I’m sure the company would rather not have TiVo and “bait and switch” in the same article, Tim Beyers, a contributor over at The Motley Fool, says that this is what TiVo is doing.

Beyers suggests that TiVo got it’s first 3 million subscribers by liberating them from the shackles of advertising (the bait) and now is turning on those early users and marketing them with ads (the switch).

“Like a significant other who swears to love you for who you are only to try to change you the minute the relationship gets serious, TiVo, once an enabler of commercial-free TV, is doing everything it can to sell ad space. Indeed, this morning, the company announced an extension of an advertising services deal with satellite broadcaster DirecTV (NYSE: DTV). The agreement calls for each company to sell and distribute TiVo’s advanced advertising capabilities on DirecTV digital video recorders featuring TiVo service. Both companies will retain revenue generated from such sales.”

Beyers goes on the add, “the right question for TiVo now isn’t whether ads are coming or when they’ll arrive. Nope. The correct question is how. How will TiVo bring ads to its loyal but bound-to-be-disappointed subscribers?”

Beyers suggests that perhaps TiVo will try for a more Google like model and create less intrusive but targeted ads in the end but says that the footprint better be small.

This article is interesting in light of some of Charlie Owen’s comments on Ian Dixon’s Media Center podcast last week where he had suggested that Microsoft’s Media Center PC was a good thing for advertisers as it allows them to customize and personalize advertising.

Although Beyers takes a bit of literary license with the sensationalistic tone of his piece, he does address the interesting question of how the TiVo loyal will react in the end.

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One Comment

  1. Joefrontier says:

    I think this is the beginning of the transition I was talking about. TiVo is rapidly replacing consumers with advertisers as their most coveted constituent.