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TiVo Metrics Demonstrate Age-Related Ad Skipping

The inaugural results of TiVo“s (NASDAQ:TIVO) demographic measurements effort bear out the long-held assumption that users fast-forward through commercials, and further defines who skips what. The general practice of skipping ads was consistent across all demographics, but the specific ads that were skipped varied between households with relative predictability. Toy ads got more eyeball time in households with kids 12 and younger; political ads and hair tonic shills received more attention from the over-50 set.

TiVo, the Alviso, Calif., digital video recording pioneer, launched its Power Watch demo-based ratings service in May, using 20,000 volunteer households. Only passive viewing was required--no diaries, log-ins or special boxes. The Power Watch service is a companion to the Stop Watch behavioral and viewership ratings service launched nearly two years ago. TiVo developed Power Watch with Chicago-based Starcom, the first media buying agency to pick up the Stop Watch ratings service. Both provide second-by-second audience measurement data.

The May Power Watch numbers reveal the following:

TiVo last week announced that it had partnered with Amazon to allow users to shop at the gigantic online retailer using the DVR“s remote control. Through a “product purchase” function, viewers can execute impulse buys without so much as punching in a phone number a la Home Shopping.

The arrangement gives advertisers a hefty carrot with regard to TiVo and its evil ad-skipping facilitation by allowing them to market products specifically related to a given program, actor or genre. Amazon, which sells everything from TVs to layettes, will handle fulfillment.

The programs on the launch target list are mostly personality driven--Oprah, Ellen and Stephen Colbert--and an odd one out, “Burn Notice,” a series on USA Network about discredited spies.