Davis Freeberg has a blog post out about some of TiVo’s upcoming international expansion plans. And not all looks good on the TiVo international front. According to Freeberg, TiVo has started a pilot program with non-US TiVo advertising partners that would effectively block commercial skipping for companies that pay TiVo as ad partners.
To me this is a dangerous precedent to set and I worry that if successful that these ad skipping blocks might be expanded here to the U.S.
Although at first blush I thought that this might be an April Fool’s joke by TiVo, it would appear that their Japanese TiVo site tivo.jp has actually been hacked by a group protesting the move to allow some advertisers to be exempt from ad skipping.
It’s one thing for TiVo to serve ads on their box on an opt in view basis. But the moment that they disable any commercial skipping at all I think that they will very quickly see consumers respond by skipping TiVo all together. There are plenty of other DVR alternatives out there to TiVo.
Update: It looks like the hacked site at tivo.jp has been taken down, the site is now showing a “database error.”
Ummm.. April Fool’s?