USAToday and NYTimes today report that TiVo has started a research division to sell passive viewer and behavioral data about users of the service. TiVo’s mining and selling its data is a no-brainer, of course! What’s most interesting is they have a self-selected group of super-TV watchers, or early adopters, in which to tap into for emerging trends and viewer behaviors. That’s exactly how they should be packaging their four-million super-viewer sample (or fan group).
In the NYTimes story, Andrew McLean, the chief operating officer of MediaEdge:CIA, a unit of the WPP Group, said:
TiVo doing a small thing here, or someone else doing a small thing there, doesn’t give us a better and more broad form of measurement.
I think Andrew McLean is missing the boat…his mindset is stuck in broadcast mode and is missing the value of the early curve of disruption. The TiVo research service is one of the best windows into the future of what television will be – the future of fandom, ad-skipping and video interactivity.