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Red Herring Says TiVo and ReplayTV Working on Interactive Ads for PVR Devices

On Monday, The Red Herring reported that ReplayTV and TiVo are working on mechanisms to embed interactive content in TV programs. This would allow Personal Video Recorder (PVR) users to immediately order advertised products and might also create other, less transaction-oriented interactivity.

This will be quite interesting to some television viewers who are not the earliest adopters of this technology. But, we question how much this type of thing will appeal to people who bought a PVR six months ago.

For instance, CTDATA bought a TiVo unit when we learned that we could use it to record business-related broadcasts that are played during the day. TiVo and ReplayTV are both excellent vehicles for time shifting television viewing. However, we did not sign up for little interstitial messages that appear on screen offering us a deal on Tide.

It is on the basis of this experience with PVR products that we make the following statement: any attempt to weave interactivity into broadcasts to suit the commerce interests of advertisers needs to be done in a way that is extremely unobtrusive. Otherwise the advertisers who implement this technology run the risk of having the programs they paid for deleted by the people who consider PVRs productivity tools.

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