TiVo Changes Its Tune

Whenever you make a product and it becomes shorthand for all its competitors – like "Kleenex" or "Coke" or "Xerox" – you figure the company is making money hand over fist, right?

Well, one of the most popular media products in years, TiVo – which had the added bonus of becoming a verb as well – finds themselves in the red and is now apparently trying to patch up its relationship with the networks and advertisers it used to antagonize.

How did the 'stickin' it to the man' company change its approach?

According to the New York Times:

TiVo is helping networks and advertisers overcome that technology by offering interactive banner ads that make sponsors' names visible as their ads are being fast-forwarded. And its ability to keep second-by-second ratings on the commercials that, after all, some viewers do still watch, also helps.
The article also goes on to say that TiVo signed a deal with NBC Universal to provide "second-by-second viewership data and demographic ratings information collected from a sample of 20,000 TiVo subscribers" – in essence, becoming a 21st century supplement to the Nielsen ratings system.

It's an interesting example of the shifting sands in MediaLand, where the line between friend and foe can change in a fiscal year. It also embodies the reality that when it comes to advertising revenue, no matter what sort of technological obstacles are created, the advertising dollars are going to find their way to you someway, somehow.