It looks like our days of skipping commercials on TiVo may be coming to an end. According to TiVo, by March 2005, TiVo viewers will now see “billboards,” or small freeze-frames of ads, popping up as they fast-forward through TV commercials. Additionally, if a viewer selects the ad, TiVo will then share the user’s contact information with that advertiser.
Shame on you TiVo!
One of the main reasons people bought TiVo was to skip the commercials. After paying $300 or more for a TiVo box and $250 for the TiVo Lifetime Service, it’s hard to believe that TiVo is going to betray their millions of customers like this. However, it appears that a greedy fever has over-taken TiVo CEO Martin Yudkovitz. He is shifting the company’s focus away from the consumer and attempting to court advertisers.
This major policy shift for TiVo is just the latest example of the company turning its back on their customers. TiVo still hasn’t enabled AAC audio support for their Home Media Option even though they promised to do so over a year ago.
Hopefully consumers will protest this pro-commercial policy shift at TiVo. Back in the late 1990s when TiVo first launched, many people sung the praises of the company for being the consumer’s final savior against a never ending onslaught of advertising. Apparently those days are numbered.
Perhaps it’s time for TiVo CEO Martin Yudkovitz to step down.