Commentary: TiVo and Advertisers

"In fact, TiVo was designed to accommodate the needs of the marketplace, especially advertisers, from the beginning; this is the reason you can fast-forward through recorded commercials but not skip them entirely. And the increasing popularity of the DVR — Forrester Research predicts that in five years, 41% of households in the U.S. will have some form of digital video recorder — has transformed the way we experience advertising.

DVR users' eagerness to skip commercials has led to more insidious forms of marketing, such as product placement within television shows. Those enormous cups of Coca-Cola on the judges' desk on "American Idol" were not there by accident. The relationship between TiVo and advertisers is also evident in TiVo's practice of selling information about subscribers to marketers. The company recently signed a deal with Nielsen Media Research to provide detailed (though not individually identifiable) information about customer viewing habits."
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