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Old 02-06-2004, 04:30 PM   #1 (Print)
trausch
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Death of Tivo Fast Foward Through Commercial

Tivo-Nielsen to measure cherry picking
Commercial free?
Source: Variety
02/05/2004


Nielsen, TiVo to measure use of DVR device


By MEREDITH AMDUR, PAMELA MCCLINTOCK

In a landmark deal, Nielsen Media Research and TiVo announced Wednesday they will begin measuring whether viewers are indeed using digital video recorders to blast through commercials.

The Nielsen service will give the broadcast nets and advertisers their first real glimpse at the threat posed by TiVo and other DVR devices, as well as any opportunities.

"Everybody wants insight as quickly as possible as to how time shifting is affecting their audience and advertising. Now we are going to know that," Nielsen spokesman Jack Loftus said.

Or, as one TV industry exec said, "Be careful what you wish for." Proof that viewers are indeed not watching commercials could push down ad pricing.

Service, to be marketed by Nielsen, is separate from Nielsen's national and local television ratings service, the data from which still serve as standard currency for the U.S. TV market. Under the Nielsen-TiVo agreement, a panel of several thousand viewers will be selected out of TiVo customers that "opt in" to allow their viewing habits to be evaluated.

The automatically downloaded data logs will measure how often users skip ads and during which shows, and can also review the frequency of replay, recorded viewing versus live viewing, use of the program guide and how frequently some shows are viewed.

Nielsen, which hopes to have a marketable data flow available to customers in the next several months, is charged with analyzing, processing and marketing DVR usage data.

Insights needed

"In a world where DVR has put the viewer in charge, industry executives are looking for insight into the impact of this changing television landscape TiVo has helped to create," said TiVo prexy Marty Yudkovitz.According to Kimber Sterling, TiVo director of advertising and research sales, broadcast networks are far more receptive to working with DVR providers now than they were even six months ago. "The DVR cat is out of the bag," he said, noting that the company already has active relationships with Fox, NBC and several cable networks to participate in ad promotions and research. Fox, in particular, has been aggressive in using DVRs rather than hoping the technology will go away.

Under pressure to expand its revenue base as it confronts encroaching competition from rival DVR boxes from cable and satellite operators, TiVo has been trying for the past year to find a way to monetize the research to which it has access. It already markets the "TiVo commercial viewing" report that measures how many viewers stick with the ads through the program. Company also recently started selling its own ongoing ratings service, which has shown some strikingly different numbers than Nielsen's own reports, since TiVo measures recorded as well as live viewing.

Sterling said it was never TiVo's intention to go it alone as a rival ratings service, however, and the decision to partner with industry giant Nielsen should facilitate the marketing of the research to the VNU-owned companies' large base of existing media customers.

"Harnessing the power of TiVo's DVR technology, this new service will provide insight into the viewing habits of opt-in subscribers who have unique control over their television viewing experience," said Nielsen prexy-CEO Susan Whiting.

TiVo subscribers, of which there are an estimated 1.3 million, can digitally record up to 80 hours of television programming to an internal hard drive and control live TV with pause, rewind and slow-motion functions.

BTW Nielsen to start HD measurements this year if their boxes ever work.
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Old 02-06-2004, 04:31 PM   #2 (Print)
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The result will be obvious. People fast forward through commercials. Resolution, networks will bar you from fast forwarding through commercials by forcing Tivo and the like to disable fast forward during commercials.

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Old 02-06-2004, 04:47 PM   #3 (Print)
allan
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Quote:
Originally posted by trausch
The result will be obvious. People fast forward through commercials. Resolution, networks will bar you from fast forwarding through commercials by forcing Tivo and the like to disable fast forward during commercials.


In which case, millions of PO'd people will boycott the products! More likely, we'll see more product placement that you can't FF past without missing parts of the show as well.

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Old 02-06-2004, 04:49 PM   #4 (Print)
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Great. So the computer on star trek will only serve Coke products. Maybe a Castrol Oil logo on the side of the enterprise. Or monica saying "Hold on a second Ross while I change my Platex tampon". Even better, people on law and order only drive ford cars.

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Old 02-06-2004, 04:52 PM   #5 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by allan
More likely, we'll see more product placement that you can't FF past without missing parts of the show as well.





Quote:
Originally posted by trausch
Even better, people on law and order only drive ford cars.

Like the ones on 24?
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Old 02-06-2004, 05:31 PM   #6 (Print)
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If that happens I'll unplug both my DTiVos from the phone line. Problem solved until they figure out how to install updates via satellite.

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Old 02-06-2004, 05:34 PM   #7 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by allan
In which case, millions of PO'd people will boycott the products! More likely, we'll see more product placement that you can't FF past without missing parts of the show as well.


More product placement, I agree. Yellow stars, OK. I also think Tivo will eventually sell the TV networks the ability to prevent fast forwarding on their most popular programs. Tivo would charge a premium for this and only offer it on some small percentage of programs.
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Old 02-06-2004, 05:40 PM   #8 (Print)
Garth H
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In All Likelyhood

What we'll get is newschannel banner style advertising.

With new Tv's coming out with 16:9, I wouldn't be surprised to see networks continue to make shows in 4:3 and use the "extra" space for durning the show ads.

Yes it sucks, but how many people fastforwarding through commercials does it take to get advertisers pissed enought at the people they pay to put thier commercials in front of people's faces.

Bottom line is that it sucks, but commercials are what pay for "free" tv.

Pulling FF is not an option, it would be suicide for TiVo. If that happend I personally would do is ditch my TiVo and build a homegrown system that no one else had control over. It would also be a great way to drive casual viewers AWAY from popular shows too. I don't have to tell you that wouldn't be good for advertising.
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Old 02-06-2004, 05:49 PM   #9 (Print)
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I think it's WAY too early to declare the "death of Tivo fast foward through commercial". I can't think of a better way to get your show boycotted by TiVo owners (and get yourself a nasty name among even live TV viewers) than to disable TiVo FF-ing of commercials during it. TiVo's reputation would take a major hit too. I don't think it'll ever happen. Look for more product placement and more of those annoying screen-corner ads instead.

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Old 02-06-2004, 05:57 PM   #10 (Print)
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What will probably happen is the price for the yellow star would go up astronomical because everyone would see that everyone fast forward through commercials and that the only successful way to advertise would be with TiVo.

Last edited by ufo4sale : 02-06-2004 at 10:48 PM.
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Old 02-06-2004, 06:25 PM   #11 (Print)
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I agree that it would be suicidal for TiVo if FF were to be disabled during commercials. Even now, I get angry when the FF is disabled on my DVD player while the "Don't copy or the FBI will get you" notices and other miscellaneous introductory crap is displayed.

More product placement is fine with me - it's a lot less intrusive than regular ads. And it works as well or better - I understand that sales of "Slut's Delight" nipple shields skyrocketed after Janet so coyly displayed hers during the Superbowl.

And, it may even turn out that FF doesn't diminish the effectioveness of advertising that much. While I FF through ads, I often stop and view one that looks interesting. If they were played at normal speed, I would just go do something else during commercial breaks, as I did in the bad old pre-TiVo days.
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Old 02-06-2004, 06:34 PM   #12 (Print)
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A while back I read some interesting stuff on virtual advertising. The article focused on NASCAR and NHL but it can be applied to any programming. They showed the original track or ice. Nothing there. They showed the US programming. There was a logo for X brand. Then they showed the Canadian version of the same event... different logo on the ice/track. It was very interesting technology. The logo/picture/ad was purely computer generated but whenever a car or player would go over it there wouldn't be any hint of the ad where the player or car was. There was also appropriate shows cast across the logo where it should be.

The article said the computer processed real-time and masked out all necessary parts of the logos/ads.

There has also been consumer inserted images on TV land of modern products within old shows. That technology can be used in anything and be changed at will. Those Coke cups in the picture above could be Pepsi cups later just depending on who wants to pony up the advertising.

Last edited by FatherTed : 02-06-2004 at 06:44 PM.
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Old 02-06-2004, 06:36 PM   #13 (Print)
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Advertisers can't stop tivo from FF through commertials, can they? I never heard of a law that says that you must watch commertials.

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Old 02-06-2004, 06:39 PM   #14 (Print)
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Don't put the cart before the horse. If TiVo intends to disable FF through ads, wouldn't there have to be software upgrades and a significant change to the technology used to produce commercials? I would think there would have to be embedded markers so that your receiver knows exactly when it's in a commercial block and that FF should be disabled. How long would it take to develop standards for this? Would commercial producers and/or networks develop the standards? If there are standards, wouldn't all DVR makers be in on it?

I think it'll be a while before anything comes of this...

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Old 02-06-2004, 07:28 PM   #15 (Print)
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Re: In All Likelyhood

Quote:
Originally posted by Garth H
What we'll get is newschannel banner style advertising. ::snip::
Bottom line is that it sucks, but commercials are what pay for "free" tv.
TV is free??? It costs me over $80 a month in cable feeds (with all the premium channels). Not to mention the TiVo subscription.

Anyway, I agree about commercials paying for broadcast TV. But advertisers need to make the commercials more watchable, if they want people to stop and watch them. Usually when I'm watching TiVo, I don't start ffing until I see something boring. So if there are commercials with eye candy or just plain cool looking ones, I'm apt to watch them. Or if it's a movie ad I'm more likely to watch.

And there are ads I'll NEVER pay attention to, no matter how hard they try... make-up ads for example. Feminine hygiene ads. NBC Supersized Thursday ads make me just want to put my fist through the screen. Actually almost any cross promotional TV ads bug me. Once I've seen them, I've seen them, and seeing them 5 times isn't going to make me watch any more than seeing them once.

If I'm watching live TV, I STILL don't really watch the commercials. I'm more apt to get up and do something for two minutes. At the very least, I mute the TV.

This isn't a TiVo issue... it's a universal problem with advertising.

Oh, and if they do take away ffing, which I can't imagine in a million years, I'd just burn the program to a DVD-R and fast forward through the commercials on a DVD player instead.
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Old 02-06-2004, 07:48 PM   #16 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by trausch
The result will be obvious. People fast forward through commercials. Resolution, networks will bar you from fast forwarding through commercials by forcing Tivo and the like to disable fast forward during commercials.


Seriously, is this your take on it? It's just not going to happen.

Using your logic, the same networks will force you to actually buy the products that are advertised.
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Old 02-06-2004, 08:21 PM   #17 (Print)
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Notice how the original poster was the first to reply to his own post? Why didn't you just include the comment in the first post, rather than try to make it look like someone was agreeing with you and your gloom and doom projections?

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Old 02-06-2004, 10:12 PM   #18 (Print)
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So what we all need to do is pick some show we like and before we turn off the TV hit play. TiVo will play the program at normal speed including the commercials and we can play it back again later skipping them.
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Old 02-06-2004, 11:50 PM   #19 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by jasonl99
It's just not going to happen.
It's obviously crossed someone's mind ... here's an interesting patent application:
Quote:
Method and apparatus for time shifting and controlling broadcast audio and video signals

Abstract
A method and apparatus for delaying the display of a portion of audio and video broadcast signals received from a remote location. Received broadcast video and audio signals are placed in a first-in/first-out storage queue to enable the control of the playback of the signals. Signals may be placed in the tail of the queue while previously received signals are simultaneously routed from the head of the queue to a television monitor. Passing the signals through the queue creates the delay. The system may be controlled either by input to the receiver from the broadcast facility or by remote or manual control by the user. The control functions that are available to the user are pause, play, fast forward and replay. The control from the broadcast facility is through the ability to "mark" segments of the video and audio program to be immune to the fast forward function, thus guaranteeing that those segments are viewed by the user.
From: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-...0&RS=PN/6490000

The above is an E* patent ... not a Tivo patent. But, still ... someone has obviously at some point thought about this.

It would have to be very tempting to a DVR company ... if everyone is using your product to FF through commercials ... charge the advertisers for the ability to stop it. But ... if one DVR respects the 'do not ff' flag ... and another DVR doesn't ... which is going to sell better?
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Old 02-07-2004, 12:02 AM   #20 (Print)
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I've already started seeing ads during shows. For many shows on Fox an ads for some HDTV company pops up on the bottom of the screen during the first few seconds of any program broadcast in HDTV format. It says something like the official TV of whatever the show is. It must not be working though since I can't remember the name of the manufacturer.

They already show promos for upcoming shows in that spot (Simpsons does it a lot) while the previous show is still on I guess ads are bound to show up there too.

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Old 02-07-2004, 10:18 AM   #21 (Print)
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I watch all commercials in slow-motion.
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Old 02-07-2004, 11:30 AM   #22 (Print)
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regarding the above patent...can they guarantee that we can't watch the actual show in play mode???

That marking would make it possible to create a really good commercial skip like what Reply tried to have.

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Old 02-07-2004, 11:34 AM   #23 (Print)
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So the little fantasy about commercials being watched will be brought into the light of day and revealed for what it is...not just re: DVRs but all viewership.

If you think the advertising industry and their clients don't have a pretty good idea of how much impact those ads have then you are wrong. DVR data will extend that knowledge incrementally. It will also create better opportunities for figuring out what will interest people enough to pay attention.

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Old 02-07-2004, 12:52 PM   #24 (Print)
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If our commercial viewing habits can be monitored, How about some carrot,
Instead of all stick (disabling FF thru ads). Give the consumer some type
of incentive (a coupon or a discount ) to watch the commercial. I would not like to see some complex system where people would be whining for
not getting their tenth of a cent credit for an ad, but maybe a quarterly
bonus of some type. Or a prop to the show they were watching.

I know this would bother some people re: privacy issues, but maybe
it would engender more interesting advertisement?

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Old 02-07-2004, 04:58 PM   #25 (Print)
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or instead they may figure out that if you put in quick 20 - 30 second commercials and then more show - then another quick 20 -30 second commercial etc.. that people would not FF them as much.

even more important - people watching live TV would not get up and go do something if they had only 20 seconds instead of the normal 2 minutes or more they have now. it is not product placement but commercial placement that will be key.

the funny thing is I FF comercials but still get the gist of them as I do not leave when I FF and see enough live TV still. It is my kids who watch their shows on TiVo that do not FF becasue they are playing around and not paying real attention to the TV anyway.



PS - if you do not FF commercials then how about opting in to the Neilson
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Old 02-07-2004, 05:48 PM   #26 (Print)
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If this really does happen I guess it is back to a VCR since they can't stop me from FF through commercials.
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Old 02-07-2004, 07:16 PM   #27 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by futerfas
Advertisers can't stop tivo from FF through commertials, can they? I never heard of a law that says that you must watch commertials.


There are some DVD features one can't skip. Maybe it would be like that.

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Old 02-07-2004, 08:58 PM   #28 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally posted by futerfas
Advertisers can't stop tivo from FF through commertials, can they? I never heard of a law that says that you must watch commertials.


Doesn't have to be a law. A simple contract between TiVo and certain networks will suffice.

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Old 02-07-2004, 11:25 PM   #29 (Print)
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The way it is now the only ad I really see is the one right before the show comes back on. I think that will become the most expensive ad slot once DVRs become more prevalent.


Either that or Ad makers will start having to put frames specially into their ads that only TiVo users will see since they are fast forwarding (think of it as subliminal advertising in reverse).

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Old 02-07-2004, 11:50 PM   #30 (Print)
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Just watched a premiere episode of "Modern Marvels" recorded off A&E earlier this week...at one point in the middle of a segment about halfway through the show, they had a banner come up announcing "'Modern Marvels' is brought to you by"/wipe to UPS logo and slogan. And that, my friends, is what we have to look forward to for the rest of our lives.

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