Advertisers Hate-Love Relationship With iTV

You may use this content, but please cite (c) 2005, Dr. Bruce Klopfenstein.

Facing change, television advertisers have reacted strongly (as they usually do) to the advent of interactive TV, most notably in the form of digital video recorders (DVRs) like TiVo. (You can check out the excellent PVR Blog for current updates.) Here are some of the reactions TV advertisers have thrown at PVRs:

  • Messing around with show times (I can tell you from experience that SpongeBob Squarepants runs over the "normal" end of show causing TiVo to cut off the end...another great way to simply tick off viewers)
  • "Forcing" viewers to see ads:
    • TiVo has announced plans to insert advertiser-supplied logos that will be seen while TiVo users fast forward through a commercial pod
    • TiVo is also allowing viewers to respond to ads (I told you TiVo was on the interactive TV spectrum)
    • TiVo has "handicapped" its own machine, limited the speed users can fastforward to a speed that just happens to be slow enough to let messages register with viewers who are, after all, paying greater attention to the screen while they try to stop just in time for the show to resume. (ReplayTV allowed viewers to eliminate commercials much more easily, and they were taken to the copyright woodshed for doing it. They've survived, barely.)

The bottom line for advertisers is that there is a revolution happening in television, but (no value judgements here) advertisers will adapt as always to the new technologies. The history of media in the U.S. is advertiser subsidized, and no one is suggesting that this will go away any time soon. I'd argue that commercial services like mlb.com will learn over time that they are better off giving away the content free in return for easily inserted advertising than they are getting baseball zealots to pay for the service.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan
(http;//www.IT.frost.com), World Broadcast and Network
Digital Video Recorder (DVR) Markets, reveals that revenue
in this market grew at over 10 percent in 2004 and is
projected to reach $82.7 million in 2011. Source: CD Computing News, Jun2005, Vol. 19 Issue 6, p3. My observation: outrageously conservative, again.


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