Will Google’s US deal with TiVo push more video to the Web?

Google's advertising division will get unprecedented levels of information about viewer habits

To make TV commercials far more targeted than anyone has ever dreamed of, Google and TiVo are now teaming on a deal in the US that gives companies buying ads through Google's TV Ads division access to "second-by-second" TV viewing data collected by TiVo's home digital video recorders (DVRs).

If TiVo can be trusted, the individual privacy concerns should be minimal. TiVo will turn over only "anonymized," aggregated data about TV viewing behaviors.

But still, the ability of advertisers to tell whether a commercial is doing what an advertiser wants it to do could reach an unprecedented level.

Traditionally, TV networks have charged companies for TV ads based largely on Nielsen Ratings showing how many viewers a TV show attracts. Nielsen also breaks out its data into demographics.

Only a few weeks ago, Google TV Ads reached a deal with Nielsen to layer Nielsen PRIZM lifestyle data such as "lifestage," income, social group, home ownership, employment, and education on to demographic and interest data already available in Google's ad tools.

Now, with the addition of the TiVo data, Google and its customers will also be able to tell how people behave on a "second-by-second" basis when an ad comes on -- whether they fast-forward through a commercial, switch the channel, or leave all or only part of an ad running, for instance.

Admittedly, data like this isn't always that meaningful. For example, when viewers leave a commercial going all the way through, does that mean they're actually watching the ad, or is simply leaving it on while running to the kitchen for another bag of chips?

But from an advertiser's perspective, it must be useful to know that at least people don't find the ad so boring and annoying that -- in the aggregated sense -- they want to escape it by grabbing the remote and switching to a different station three seconds into the TV spot.

The deal with TiVo also propels Google's two-year-old TV advertising arm into an entirely new competitive league. Only nine months ago, an article in BusinessWeek openly questioned whether Google TV Ads would even stay in business, following Google's decision to ditch its earlier forays into radio and newspaper ads.

Back then, Google Ads had lured only a handful of major advertising clients, including Lenovo, Jenny Craig, Priceline, and Buy.com.

Only paltry numbers of relatively small TV broadcasters were using Google's services, such as Dish Network, Bloomberg TV, Hallmark Channel, and NBCU cable channels like CNBC, Chiller, and Sleuth.

But at this point, if traditional broadcasters don't catch on to the potential inherent in the TiVo deal, I'd say there's a good chance that more video ads -- and video content -- will be moving onto the Internet, a place where advertisers could find it easier to use the Google TV Ad platform.

TV set-top box manufacturers might possibly forge similar deals with Google, too. Roku, for example, recently expanded beyond traditional TV offerings to offer content from the Internet-based Netflix, along with Amazon On Demand.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jacqueline Emigh

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?