TiVo: an Advertiser's Best Friend?

Signs Ad Pact With Omnicom for Audience Data

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- After nine years on the market, TiVo is serious about courting advertisers. Today the company confirmed it has signed a second major ad holding company to a deal that includes research and experimentation with new interactive ad models.

Today, TiVo announced it struck a deal with Omnicom Media Group, which houses media shops OMD and PHD, in which it will purchase TiVo's second-by-second-audience-measurement research and fund a separate engagement study that uses TiVo's DVR behavioral data. Omnicom clients advertising on TiVo will also receive economies of scale on pricing, said Omnicom Media Group CEO Daryl Simm in a statement.
Omnicom Media Group joins IPG Media as TiVo partners. Tivo is working hard to transform itself from merely a hardware brand into a more diversified software company.
Omnicom Media Group joins IPG Media as TiVo partners. Tivo is working hard to transform itself from merely a hardware brand into a more diversified software company. Credit: AP

Reversing 'ad-killer' image
This announcement follows a May 15 deal -- touted as TiVo's first "upfront deal" -- with IPG Media, brokered through Interpublic's Emerging Media Lab. IPG media agencies would get preferential pricing on TiVo ad programs and the two would collaborate to develop new interactive advertising models.

When TiVo first launched, most advertisers and agencies viewed the company's DVRs as ad-killing technology. TiVo is now trying to reverse that image and impose a willingness to work with advertisers. And advertisers, sensing they need to learn how to work in a DVR-enabled world, are now willing to collaborate with what was formerly considered the enemy to figure out how to reach those fast-forwarding viewers.

For TiVo, which is working hard to transform itself from merely a hardware brand into a more diversified software company, growing its advertising and data business is important. The question many analysts have is whether or not it's too late, amid competition from other DVR technology services and cable and satellite operators who are fast deploying their own DVRs and digital set-top boxes. (TiVo does have distribution deals with Comcast and Cox.)

Slicing and dicing
Last month, TiVo announced it had created a division, TiVo Audience Research and Measurement (ARM), which would offer advertisers, agencies and networks second-by-second DVR-viewing data that can be sliced and diced by network, genre, day part, time-slot, day of week and pod position.

TiVo's second-by-second audience research is much more granular than what agencies are able to get from Nielsen Media Research, which reports to the minute-by-minute level. However, TiVo's research comes from 4.4 million mostly early adopting homes. The deal isn't meant to replace Nielsen metrics, but rather to provide additional guidance to how people use DVRs and interact with advertising. TiVo has also been deploying more targeted, opt-in ads and advertisers are eager to study how consumers use them. For example, if a viewer wanted to request more information for interactive tagging.

Both companies' deals with TiVo are valued at upward of a million dollars, although specific financial details of the agreements weren't disclosed.
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