by Mike Masnick

How Tivo Will Force You To Watch Commercials

from the creative-solutions dept

This one makes me happy. I'm always complaining about companies who react to new technologies by suing them into submission. Instead, I believe, companies should look at new technologies for creative ways to deal with issues like changing revenue streams. For instance, digital recorders like Tivo and Replay may threaten traditional television advertisers, but I thought it was particularly silly that the networks sued Replay instead of looking for creative solutions. Now, it appears they are working on creative solutions with Tivo. Earlier this evening, Dennis (Techdirt's code junky) was showing me the new Tivo promotion with Lexus. It's a sweepstakes to win a new Lexus, but which forces you to watch a number of Lexus commercials (which the Tivo will conveniently record for you) to answer the questions to win the sweepstakes. Actually, to make it a little trickier, the Tivo records some of the commercials as is, but then tells you a bunch of shows that you will need to record in their entirety to find the other necessary commercials. Obviously, Tivo can try to sell the networks on paying up to be included in these "forced" recordings. Who knows whether or not a promotion like this will work, but I sat through a bunch of Lexus commercials willingly this evening...

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Resistant, Nov 14th, 2001 @ 4:13am


    Why the hell should I be forced to watch commercials? I don't watch them when they are shown live so why should I be forced to record them? I really hate television advertising (and almost never watch commercial TV)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Jason Airlie, Nov 14th, 2001 @ 5:38am

    You aren't forced

    Forced is a bad description. If you want to win the prize then you will need to watch the commercials. If you don't care then you can ignore the whole thing.
    No one is forced to watch or record anything.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    sb, Nov 14th, 2001 @ 6:15am

    Get a clue

    What a STUPID idea. Only the reddest of the rednecks would bother. The same idiots that used to surf But then again, they wouldnt own Tivo in the first place.

    The whole point of Tivo is for people who dont have time to watch TV, and must record shows, to work around their schedule. These are EXACTLY the LAST people who would sit around playing "virtual lottery" by watching commercials. What a total joke.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    ScooterBoy, Nov 14th, 2001 @ 9:08am

    Re: Get a clue

    I think it's a great idea.. it allows TiVo to non-intrusively make some more revenue and explore the power of what they've created. Personally, I enjoy watching GOOD commercials -- I fell off my chair laughing at the Celica commercial (the one where the dog runs into the parked car). Thankfully, it was on TiVo and I could watch it over and over and over again. Now, if TiVo automatically recorded commercials for me that it thought I might enjoy, then that's fine -- I don't have to watch them if I don't want to.. I could even go as far as demanding to see certain commercials -- why do you think AdCritic is so popular??

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    sb, Nov 14th, 2001 @ 9:43am

    Re: Get a clue

    Dear Dummy,

    No one (except you) sits around *waiting* to good commercials to come on. AdCritic is popular b/c people can selectively watch good commercials they've already been told about, or have already seen.

    Again, I predict Tivo won't make squat from this foolish idea. It totally defeats the purpose of buying the god damn system in the first place....

    Just another stupid ad project their marketing/advertising people, who will soon be laid off anyways, can do to justify themselves.

    The best moneymaker for Tivo would be to fire their idiot marketing staff. A penny saved is a penny earned.

    PS: Reading my above rants, I am reminded of the spirit of the Techdirt of yesteryear,. IMHO, Techdirt has lost it's biting edge. It is a mere shadow of it's former self. Few sites make it to my daily bookmarks folder.
    Another sad recession reality. I hope the economics allow for techdirt to continue, even in it's watered down, profit attempting state. I wish I could help, but this is a labor of love. Keep up the decent work !

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    Mike (profile), Nov 14th, 2001 @ 10:22am

    Re: Get a clue

    Wow. We were so close to being called a sellout. Come on spongeboy, call us a sellout! Please? Pretty please? You can do it. I know you can.

    Then, I'll finally know we've done something right.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    sb, Nov 14th, 2001 @ 12:52pm

    No Subject Given

    I really enjoy the techdirt commentary and news aggreagation. I have only thanks and gratitude to you for providing me with entertaining albiet useful content for over a year now.

    Yes, maybe one can interpret what I was saying as selling out. I have no issue with that. In fact, I fully support it. You owe no one anything!

    It is totally understandable if you are trying to package this site to sell to corporations....I am just noting that when you first started this site, that wasnt the intention, Back then, it was just a platform for you to voice your commentary of the oft idiotic nature of the tech landscape. And your madness and insight was great.

    However, we all need to pay our bills. I like your site, and would hate to see you have to shut down, and get a job doing shit coding for some insurance firm.

    In fact, I fully support the "sellout", if that indeed is what has happened. (That may be way off base, you may simply be mellowing out in your old age,,,or frankly, im sure ranting maniacally for a few years gets mentally tiring! Impossioble to keep the intensity !! I can do it b/c I post once a month, not 12x a day !!)

    Bottom Line: I'd rather have a watered down, less offensive techdirt, that caters to paying clients, than no techdirt at all. Thanks for the decent work!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    sb, Nov 14th, 2001 @ 12:57pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    I only started this topic, b/c it occured to me that the Mike of last year would have RIPPPED that stupid insipid Tivo ploy to shreds. Instead he now advocates it, like a newbie AOL user would. Thats when it hit me, that either techdirt, or Mike had lost the edge that initially lured me to the site daily.

    and that is fine, life evolves,,people evolve...thats the cycle. Its all cool. If techdirt went away today, it still would have been one of my top 10 favorite site to date.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    Mike (profile), Nov 14th, 2001 @ 1:09pm

    Re: No Subject Given

    Point taken.

    A few things: Techdirt and Techdirt corporate are separate from each other. I am not doing Techdirt corporate in order to keep's public site going. I am doing Techdirt corporate because it's a fun way to make a living and it builds off of the work I did with Techdirt.

    Should Techdirt corporate go away (not likely) that doesn't mean's public site would go away.

    Don't confuse the two.

    Second, I don't think I've mellowed very much at all in my "old age". There are things I like and there are things I don't like. The thing is, I can explain why I like them or why I don't - which is what I always have done, and always will do.

    The funny thing is that I received a number of emails from people who pointed out that they liked the fact that Techdirt still seemed "edgy" even though we are doing the corporate stuff as well.

    Just because I *like* something, doesn't mean we've changed at all. I still think the Tivo sweepstakes idea is a smart and creative move, and I would have thought so two years ago or even 4 years ago when I Techdirt was started. Whether or not you like it, is your issue.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    L, Apr 1st, 2006 @ 11:26am

    I am still not watching commericals. I don't have to and they can't make me.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    David Bidwell, Oct 15th, 2010 @ 8:17am

    Forced into Watching T.V. Adds

    I Do Not Think any DVR or Cable or Sat Company Should Force you into watching tv adds. This will hurt them more than help them. People will stop using ther DVR and the tv and cable companys that charg you for having there DVR Like Direc TV or even the comcast DVR. They will not have any one using them any more so they will not be able to chat them for there DVR's. What people will do is go to the internet to watch there TV shows. Most of the tv stations put the new shoes out on the internet. and once it hits the internet there are so many was around watching the adds there. Most websites will strip the adds out for you. It will be a battle but like everything they will bot win. Like Everything there will be a way around it. I Will Just Like to See How this plays out. Comcast Direc TV Dish Network and all the others that plan to make you watch the TV Adds Will Be Making a big mistake and People will no longer want to rent the DVR's From them. So I Think before they let people return the DVR they will have a Fix or a way around it. Is What i Think Will Happen Is they will not let you skip the adds on tv unless you call them up and tell them you want to return your DVR for that reason. Then they will tell you how you can get past the TV adds. The Smart thing for them to do will be While you are Skipping past the TV Adds Is to Have Pop Up Adds on the top or bottom of your Screen that will go away when you press play again. to me that would be smarter. We Will see...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Kristin, Oct 22nd, 2011 @ 8:56am


    They aren't forcing you to watch it. Its a game. And don't be a a**hole some people like watching commercials. Super Bowl??? I love tivo/ dvr because I cant watch my shows because I am busy, but I'm also in the marketing and advertising industry and it is making it harder to promote certain goods. You would be surprise how many people would be willing to play the game. Its a good marketing tactic.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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