TiVo to Let Users Search for Infomercials

Television recording technology company TiVo Inc. (TIVO) on Monday said it launched a service that will allow its customers to search for and watch extended commercials when they choose.

TiVo, whose set-top boxes became somewhat infamous for simplifying TV watchers' ability to skip commercials, says "TiVo Product Watch" offers advertisers an opportunity to reach shopping TiVo subscribers with ads and information.

TiVo subscribers will be able to select ads, ranging from one minute to one hour and have it delivered directly to the main screen on their TiVo device.

Advertising is seen as a fertile growth opportunity for TiVo, which primarily earns its revenue from monthly fees paid by its subscribers.

TiVo said it has worked with agencies such as Starcom MediaVest Group, OMD and Interpublic Group (IPG) to help recruit advertisers and develop pricing.

TiVo has for years offered its subscribers the opportunity to view a limited number of long-form video ads, mostly from cars makers and Hollywood studios.

While only a relatively smaller percentage of users watched the videos, it enabled TiVo to guarantee hundreds of thousands of viewers for ads that may be bypassed on network TV or radio.