Saturday, December 29, 2007

TiVo is Watching...

Reuters: NBC Uni time-shifts with TiVo data
Tue Nov 27, 2007 11:44pm EST
By Paul Bond

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - For the next several years, NBC Universal will rely on TiVo to tell it how television viewers are using their digital video recorders and, presumably, to introduce interactive commercials to the masses.

In a pact announced Tuesday, the companies said they will use TiVo's existing interactive advertising platforms as well as create new ones, and they will split some of the revenue the platforms could generate.

The deal also calls for NBC Uni to subscribe to TiVo's Stop//Watch and Power//Watch services, which provide second-by-second data about shows and commercials that are being watched, paused, skipped and rewound.

Power//Watch is based on a random and anonymous sampling of 20,000 of TiVo's 4.2 million subscribers each night, whereas Power//Watch data comes from an opt-in panel of 20,000 TiVo users, so it includes detailed demographic information.

Read the Full Article from Reuters

Does this bother anyone else? TiVo shares your second-by second viewing habits (albeit anonymously). It bothers me just a little, but not enough to give up my 'mistress' (my wife's nickname for our TiVo Series 3). I guess that I knew as far back as 2004 that they tracked this information, I guess that I thought that they kept it to themselves. I am glad that people can opt out and that the data is stripped of personal information, but the potential for privacy leakage is there...

So last night I had this dream (I REPEAT THIS WAS A DREAM, NOT REAL, PEOPLE) where TiVo installed these mind control devices on their set top boxes. I turned mine off and the CIA-like TiVo goons came to my house and tortured me into turning it back on. Weird.

I do see one benefit of NBC/TiVo's record keeping--I will set my TiVo to play Journeyman over and over again. Maybe that will keep it on the air. That show rocks.

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