Friday, July 20, 2007

Disruptive Technology Disrupts TV Advertising Market Again

TIVO and DVR (digital video recording) technology disrupted the TV advertising industry. Now technology has been created for a "skip proof" TV ad that could bring the industry back to life.

GlobeAndMail reports about an ad created by Canadian toy maker Spin Master Ltd. turned out to be impossible to race through with the fast-forward button.

TV networks must be buzzing this morning over that news.

It won’t be long until someone figures out what it is that makes some ads skip-proof, and the technology will be used by everyone. This would remove a major stumbling block in the advertising game. If we all go back to advertising-supported viewing, advertisers would be more comfortable paying the rates they’re asked, and production studios could be ensured of better financing.

Moreover, a technology that makes ads skip-proof suggests that perhaps other technology could be similarly embedded into the signal stream to foil video piracy.

This is the kind of stuff that shakes an industry. And it will affect your viewing habits too.


Anonymous said...

Scott...or anyone for that matter,
Have any idea on how this is possible? My understanding of a Tivo or other DVR is that it doesn't care what's coming across the "stream," if the user presses forward, the content goes forward. If I can recall correctly, I believe in the early days of Tivo they could automatically resume normal play when commercials ended...somehow, but I think they got challenged in court and that feature was removed.

If this is possible, I see two outcomes likely to occur:
1) Someone will hack a way for Tivo's and other DVR's to resume being able to skip these types of commercials...just as every other attempt to hinder consumers eventually gets overwritten.
2) Consumers will "revolt" against this. I don't mind commercials, but they better be relevant to me, be interactive (of course using a mobile phone to text in) and/or hold my interest...not FORCE me to watch. This is sort of like DRM with music and videos...we won't like it!

Jim at OTAir

Anonymous said...

This is not possible. Tivo simply digitizes an analog signal and stores it on a hard disk for later viewing. Tivo does not distinguish between commercials and and content. Fast forward is fast forward...

Dean Collins said...

To Scott and "End of Path", you are wrong - Tivo is able to 'tag' advertising content and prevent you from fast forwarding.

They are also able to substitute the original commercial and insert their own as well (lol-they demonstrated it as a proof of concept but never turned it on for fear of outcry).

As for the original post - whilst Tivo is able to implement this (and likewise so could Microsoft with MediaCenter), at the end of the day it's just as easy to download MythTV the open source PVR application (or purchase an off the shelf model if you are technically challenged) that they cant control so the point is moot.

Dean Collins
P.s. Clueless about MythTv go search on my blog for some links and information.

Anonymous said...

Assuming an analog signal where does Tivo get the information that the content is a commercial? Does it use algorithms similar to those used by MythTV to detect commercials? If it uses algorithms similar to MythTV then I'm sure you'll agree that they can not be correct 100% of the time. I disable commercial detection on my MythTV setup as it isn't accurate enough.

Scott Shaffer said...

I have tried repeatedly to get more info about this technology from the company, but they have yet to respond.