There’s a lot of discussion around Personal Video Recorders (PVRs) at the moment, particularly, whether or not Virgin Media’s acquisition of the American TiVo technology will help them close the gap on its rival, Sky. I think it will, but it will be a tight race to see who will lead the way in personalised advertising, and to watch how this technology will change consumer behaviour.
TV advertising is entering a whole new era with the advent of TiVo and other PVRs. Earlier this decade, it was predicted that PVRs would harm the industry, but it appears that advertisers have come out the other side, realising the massive opportunity this presents for TV ad effectiveness. On-demand programming has become hugely popular through online platforms such as BBC’s iPlayer, so it seems only a matter of time before PVRs become more widely adopted by TV viewers.
This is an exciting time for marketers. With PVR technology, cable companies will eventually be able to target ads by postcode and personal details such as gender. This will mean that advertisers can deliver more relevant ads but personally, I can’t see this changing my tendency to fast forward through adverts. My view is, ‘let me get on with the show!’
I may be part of a minority here, but the time that I have to watch TV is limited as it is and most of my TV viewing is recorded programming. In fact, I view recorded programming and the ability to skip ads as one of the main benefits of having a PVR and I’m not sure there’s much that advertisers can do to change that.
Who knows? Maybe we’ll find ourselves rewinding to watch an ad again. This is my challenge to all of the advertisers out there. This has never happened in my own living room but I’m prepared to be wrong.