Making a list and checking it twice. Is a TiVo on the list? If it is . . .
In the event you or a loved one is has a TiVo on your Christmas wish list, be sure to at least consider the news reported today by the Associate Press that TiVo will now start putting up "pop-ads" whenever a user tries to "fast-forward" through recorded commercials.
Although not noted in the AP report, TiVo will undoubtedly sell the four second pop-up spot (it takes four seconds to fast-forward through a 30-second commercial) and as a way to add incremental revenue.
But this new strategy looks a lot like "biting the hand that feeds them." Although TiVo has many great benefits, the company has failed to market the service effectively. You almost have to buy a TiVo in order to really understand what it can do.
But ask anyone who doesn't have a TiVo already what the real benefit of a TiVo is. The answer is almost always "so you can skip commercials." There are a lot more benefits available when you actually get a TiVo - and learn to use it, but the "simple" benefit that most potential subscribers in the future see is "no commercials."
The company hasn't been able to effectively market the real benefits of TiVo, like automated recording of shows and the value of "time-shifting" and even "editing" a show you might otherwise miss.
But now the company plans to dilute the value of the ''no commercials" benefit by substituting a new ad for the skipped ads. In addition, the pop-up ads, which apparently will be static, lacking audio and moving images, will be more like banner ads than true TV commercials. The value of that to advertisers is minimal and the willingness to pay much for them will be low. In the end, the most likely scenario is that the pop-ads will generate very little revenue while making the marketing effort even harder.
Now when he/she asks you for one, you can say, hon, did you know that . . ., and then maybe direct the conversation toward something that you want.