TiVo to allay concern over ad blocking

TiVo executives are to meet UK advertisers in the next month to quell growing fears that the new-style video recorder will make television ads redundant.

A team of US TiVo executives, including head of marketing and new product development Ted Malone and vice-president of programming Stacey Jolna are to meet UK programmers and advertisers to allay fears that the technology will allow viewers to screen out ads.

They will also discuss how TiVo may enable them to screen targeted ads, as the technology will give information on viewer preferences, paving the way for customised advertising.

The TiVo team will talk to trade bodies the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising and then directly to top advertisers.

The video device, which launches in the UK this week, only enables viewers to fast-forward through ads. But advertisers fear that this may change and that ad screening will become possible.

TiVo allows viewers to pause programmes for up to 30 minutes and pick up where they left off. It allows recording without videotapes, will automatically record every episode of a series and can learn viewers’ programme preferences and record them.

Brian Sullivan, Sky director of new product development and executive in charge of the TiVo roll-out, says: ” If we approach this properly, it could be an advantage [for advertisers].”

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