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Wednesday, November 17, 2004  

Quit Yelling "Fire!"
If you are 1/2 as tech-geeky as I am then you have no-doubt heard the news that TiVo will soon run banner-ads when you fast-forward through shows on your DVR. Predictably there has been a huge uproar (also see here on the 'net. To these people I say "Chill." It is naive to think that TiVo (as a company) would be abel to stand against the combined might of the Studios, the Broadcasters, the government, and the dominant paradigm without adapting TiVo (the hardware) to fit into a hostile marketplace. The traditional model of television advertising has been around for a LONG time and if the entertainment industry is anything it is resistant to change. Unfortunately, TiVo represents a threat to this model and from day one it has been a target of industry pressure and litigation. The new advertising concept is actually a hell of a lot better than the old model, and if we have to be saddled with advertisements on out TV then I wuld MUCH rather have TiVo's version than the Network's.

And Advertisements are not all-bad. Firstly we wouldn't HAVE the content that we all love to suck from the glass-teat with out the ad-time. Television exists for 2 reasons: to sell ad-time to toothpaste makers, and to pacify/control the world populace (but that is another post.) Plus, I'm a good little consumer and with-out ads I wouldn't know what the fuck to BUY! And then where would I be? Now if TiVo can use the copious amounts of data that it has collected about me to deliver ads for stuff that I actually might CARE about then I'm all for it. Especially if it will keep TiVo afloat and supporting my box.

I love, love, love TiVo. It is a really elegant solution to a nasty problem and I prefer it to all the alternatives (TelCo branded boxes, Microsoft's Mediacenter PC, or god forbid regular TV.) I happily shell-out the $13/month for the "bloop-bloops" and the "fire and forget" nature of the technology. I WANT the company to succeed where others (ReplayTV) have failed, and I would MUCH rather see TiVo implement a creative advertising solution than up my monthly fees by a couple of hundred percent. Instead of the torch-burning attitude that a lot of people have towards this announcement, I'm taking a "wait and see" position. At least TiVo is continuing to innovate and try and stay one-step ahead in its cut-throat industry. If you really want to get worked up about SOMETHING today, I suggest the the news about the Senate bill that would, among other things, make it illegal to allow fast-forward though pre-menu trailers and ads on DVDs.

posted by JMV | 11/17/2004 01:36:00 PM
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