TiVo delivers the death blow

28 Nov

[by Todd] This short item in the WSJ today will hit like a bomb in the halls of television and cable networks:

TiVo Inc. announced a new service that will let marketers place ads at the end of recorded programs and track how many people watch them. The company, which makes digital video recorders, said Tuesday it would insert the ads after a television show has played, when there is nothing left to fast-forward, offering a way for advertisers to reach audiences who record shows and are more likely to skip through traditional commercials.

Can you hear the shrieks yet? Don’t want to pay a couple hundred grand for a spot on Lost? For a lot less TiVo will tag your commercial at the end. Then again, why drop in a commercial at all?

Suddenly every creative director who was claiming the 30-second spot still has legs will be pitching long-form messages to clients. And why not? Based on the show it will be easy to understand the psychographics are of any given audience, so why not offer them extended content to present your client’s product?

Then there was this little tidbit:

TiVo said it will give marketers in the new program access to its audience measurement data, so they’ll be able to track how many viewers play the ads at the end of the program.

Longer messages? Verified viewership? Provided the networks don’t pull off some legal maneuver to kill the program, you can mark this day as the point where 30-second spots went on life support.

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