FROM AD-ZAPPING TO ADVERTAINMENT

TiVo Shifts Gears to Aggressively Court Marketers

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- TiVo, the personal video recording system that rankled marketers, ad executives
Photo: TiVo
TiVo's audience will now be sold for advertainment programming.
and networks for its ability to skip ads, is now planning to sell them.

The company today launches an ad program, dubbed TiVo Advertainment, that allows advertisers to repurpose and edit existing commercials or create entirely new advertainment executions without the usual time constraints for TV spots. TiVo said advertisers can negotiate to buy up to an hour of time. There is no advertising rate card as yet.

Sheryl Crow videos
Best Buy Co., which is already a TiVo retailer, kicks off the ad program today. The consumer electronics retailer will extend it current "Go Mobile" ad campaign featuring singer Sheryl Crow by running longer versions of the ads. TiVo subscribers can click on the ads with their remote controls and can then segue from the 30-second ads currently running on national TV networks to an exclusive Best Buy-branded entertainment showcase that features Ms. Crow's music videos and other features such as a CD giveaway.

Despite getting a

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bad rap for its ad-skipping feature, TiVo executives say they've always courted marketers and agencies through a charter advertiser program. The company pulled back as the economy softened and marketers refrained from experimenting with new media. TiVo turned to licensing its software and other technology alliances.

TiVo said it hopes to lure other major advertisers to the new TiVo Advertainment program in the next few months.

Ad effectiveness
"Every advertiser is interested in measuring effectiveness, so part of our arrangement is we'll be able to measure what worked," said Brodie Keast, senior vice president and general manager of the TiVo Service. "We'll be able to tell Best Buy how many people watched the Sheryl Crow video showcases."

TiVo expects to add an estimated 200,000 to 350,000 subscribers to its service by year-end, Mr. Keast said. TiVo currently has more than 400,000 users.

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