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All in the pursuit to create better TV ads

TiVo announced this week that it will begin testing a new program that will track how television viewers respond to commercials. TiVo has created a vision called TiVo Audience Research and Measurement which will use roughly 20,000 random TiVo DVR units out of a total of 4.4 million on the market, to perform the study. While TiVo has been allowing customers to skip over commercials for several years now, the company is finally conducting a study just to see the actual impact it has on advertising.

The program however, is simplistic. TiVo will track the average number of viewers who watch a commercial during a program and if they skip, how long it takes them to do so. TiVo CEO Tom Rogers said that "this is the hottest issue in television marketing."

According to TiVo, it plans generate reports for every national ad that it tracks. TiVo also plans to report on when a commercial was watched, during what program, at what time of the day, which network and what the position the commercial was in during the commercial break block. TiVo believes that this new study will help ad agencies produce better advertisements and commercials and position them more wisely. This still doesn't address the fact that most viewers prefer to have no commercial interruptions during a program at all.

In related TiVo news, DailyTech recently reported that the company's latest dual CableCARD tuner, the Series3, is almost ready for prime time. The unit is in final phases of testing and TiVo is already shipping sample units out to major cable providers.


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I'll save them the research costs
By segagenesis on 7/27/2006 11:59:39 AM , Rating: 4
This still doesn't address the fact that most viewers prefer to have no commercial interruptions during a program at all.

That screaming you may hear in the background is half of America yelling "DUH!". While obviously revenue comes from advertising, the usual main reason people get a TiVo in the first place is to... surprise... skip ads. I mean, we've been doing it since the VCR existed by hitting the fast forward button for however long it takes. While you can't have something for nothing, what would be a more productive study is to see how many Americans would pay a monthly fee to have ad-free channels. Yeah I know about HBO and such, I'm talking about the rest of your cable lineup. Personally I'd be willing to pay...

TiVo believes that this new study will help ad agencies produce better advertisements and commercials and position them more wisely.

This is already being done. Most programmes now on the "major" channels have in-show ads of some sort that bring up mini promos that fill the bottom half of your screen and completely distract you from the show. Great idea, just aggrivates people even more. I can only see in between commercials moving to 5 or 10 second spots in the future seeing how most people will hit the skip button if they don't see something they like in this time frame. They need a study for this?

Bottom line: Timeshifting and personal recording devices have allowed people to skip ads for the past three decades so changing the ads to be more annoying or intrusive where you cant skip them wont help. Rather, try a more polite method as I described above...




RE: I'll save them the research costs
By TomZ on 7/27/2006 12:19:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
While you can't have something for nothing, what would be a more productive study is to see how many Americans would pay a monthly fee to have ad-free channels. Yeah I know about HBO and such, I'm talking about the rest of your cable lineup. Personally I'd be willing to pay...

Not me, I wouldn't pay $0.01 for most (not all) of the programmin on network TV, especially the "reality TV" programs that are so popular. Premium networks like HBO, on the other hand, have some decent shows, in addition to the movies they sometimes play. My only complaint with the latter is their recent pattern of playing the same show twice in a row on a given night, or playing it lots of times in the evening in a particular week.

I realize my statements are completely subjective, but I'm sure there are a lot of other Americans that don't feel the value is there for paid-for network programming.


RE: I'll save them the research costs
By AlexWade on 7/27/2006 12:38:26 PM , Rating: 1
We already pay money for cable and satellite. These channels charge the cable/satellite company to air these channels. These insane prices and requirements to sell channels in packages only are the reason the cable and satellite bills increase often.

In an ideal world, we only have to purchase the channels we want, none that we don't, options to avoid contracts, and if the channel charges to air the station there can be no commercials (except maybe for sporting events).

I never got TiVo. It went from a good guy to advertising shrill. I do have a ReplayTV which has auto-commercial skip. A feature greedy TV stations sued over and it was removed. I also have a DVR from the cable company which lacks a 30-second skip feature.

People are tired of ads -- they are everywhere. If you want people to pay more attention to ads, they should be fewer of them and less obtrusive. As it is now, they annoy us so much that we tune them out.


RE: I'll save them the research costs
By rushfan2006 on 7/27/2006 3:44:29 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In an ideal world, we only have to purchase the channels we want, none that we don't, options to avoid contracts, and if the channel charges to air the station there can be no commercials (except maybe for sporting events).


Yeah well your exact "ideal world" scenario has been pitched to the nation's largest cable TV provider , Comcast, many times. Even non-profit organizations tried to drive that idea home to them...and you know what they said each and every time ... "That would make cable even more expensive.".

They claim that the public doesn't understand how the cable tv market really works if they think they can just split up channels in ala carte fashion. It would require "special" and "very expensive" equipment at the cable providers end -- why? I don't know or understand this, but I swear that's one of their reasons. Said equipment would drive up their costs.....then the main reason. They also claim its the networks that own mulitple channels that the problem of "spliting up" is highlighted. The networks simply don't want to do it. It would cost the networks money to slice up their stations then to continue the "bulk" selling model they currently employ.

Why? Well right now the cable company you subscribe to might have a bulk contract for say 500,000 licenses of HBO Gold Package (these numbers and the service is just example purposes) that 500,000 might be the LEAST amount they are allowed to buy or else HBO won't do business with that cable company. The next contract level might be 1,000,000 licenses and there they get a discount..... So then running with that logic, Comcast says if you ala carte this stuff you can't guarantee that in a particular time frame you'll have met the need for 1,000,000 subscribers buying a certain channel. Right now they can because if you buy one channel you automatically have to get another channel that is "packaged/bulked" with it.

Anyway this is kind of a long post and I know I probably screwed up some of the wording..but basically ...honest to God this is what Comcast's VP stated a few months back when he was answering the reasoning why you can't just offer cable ala carte.


And btw...No way in hell I'd pay for "NETWORK" channels to be commerical free....premium at least means (or at least implies) premium programming and movies....why do I want to pay just so the crap reality shows have no commercials.

And also -- this would cost the networks a fortune, since they would need the regular channel "version" that we have now, plus new channels for the "commercial free" version..And knowing that each half hour sitcom you watch is really only 22 minutes long (with 8 mins of commercials) what do they do for that extra 8 min time slot to fill? So I'm paying to NOT see commericals but instead I just see a "paused" version of the show (until normal commercial time passes then it "plays again") or a black screen to fill the would be commerical time space?

Yeah that would make sense...might as well just toss the money in your toilet and flush.



RE: I'll save them the research costs
By TomZ on 7/27/2006 4:57:32 PM , Rating: 2
I have a lot of contempt for companies like Comcast that claim that giving their customers more choice would drive up the cost too much, especially with most customers now receiving digital cable. The argument is totally bogus, and everyone knows the real reason for bundling is to force customers to overbuy. For example, suppose I like ESPN, then I have to choose the "sports package" (made-up example) that has 8 other sports channels that I have no interest in. The real motive is more profit, which is fine, but let's be frank and honest about that instead of telling customers outright lies.


we already pay
By Twsmit on 7/28/2006 10:37:27 AM , Rating: 2
In the area I live in, no one still uses "free" terrestrial over the air TV. Everyone is on cable or satellite, paying $50-$100+ a month for TV packages and service.

TV started out a half century ago with commercials to pay for an almost free service.... I think people understood why there were commercials back then. But now with these expensive channel packages and the avaliabiity of DVR's I frankly don't give a rat's arse if a network wants me to watch a commercial, I'm already paying for a very expensive service and I believe it's up to the networks and the distributors to rework their deals.

In America consumers treat TV as a utility, same as water and electricity, yet for every hour of programing we pay a monthly flat fee for, we are subjected to 20 minutes of advertising garbage. Thats the real problem, we pay monthly fees to beam brainwashing into our homes.




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