September 23, 2019
TiVo popularized the digital video recorder (DVR), enabling TV viewers to record and playback programming.
Now the company wants users to watch ads before viewing their time-shifted content. TiVo plans to roll out so-called “pre-roll” ads on all recorded content within 90 days.
The move underscores the ongoing value of advertising in an over-the-top landscape that eschews them. For TiVo, which now operates as two separate companies focusing on software IP and hardware, respectively, ad-insertions open up a new revenue opportunity.
“DVR advertising is going to be a permanent part of the service,” a company representative told LightReading.com, which first broke the news.
The company, which began testing the concept with its TiVo Experience 4 device, will roll out the ads to all TiVo DVRs.
“We’re dedicated to innovation that helps our customers stay in control of how, when, and what they watch,” TiVo said. “Advertising is an important part of every media business and TiVo is investing in new advertising experiences.”
The company also said it designed the new DVR advertising software with the ability to ‘skip’ ads anytime a customer chooses to.
Some media reports said users attempting to bypass ads found the process more complicated than simply pushing a button.
Regardless, TiVo, which saw a 9% drop in second-quarter (ended June 30) platform revenue, in addition to a $9.5 million operating loss, said the ad-insertions would help stabilize operations.
“This is part of our ongoing commitment to bring our users the best media discovery experience possible,” the company said.