06.09.2003 12:00 PM
TiVo to sell viewer data to advertisers and network programmers

TiVo, the manufacturer of personal recording devices for television, has revealed it will soon report the viewing habits of its subscribers to advertisers and network programmers.



Under the new plan, TiVo will tell advertisers which commercials its subscribers watched in their entirety during an episode of a comedy, such as "Friends." (Photo courtesy of TiVo)

The new audience measurement system — capable of creating a second-by-second viewing record — represents a potential new revenue stream for TiVo, a company that’s trying to remake itself into a media services company. The new data service would represent income beyond TiVo’s standard monthly subscriber fees.

TiVo currently allows its subscribers to opt-out of the monitoring of their viewing habits. However, a TiVo spokesman told Reuters that most do not do so. Under the new plan, TiVo will tell advertisers which commercials its subscribers watched in their entirety during an episode of a comedy, such as "Friends." It can, for example, also inform "Friends" producers of how many viewers changed the channel when a particular character entered an episode.

TiVo has targeted a viewing sample of one million subscribers by early 2004.

For more information visit www.tivo.com.

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