TiVo, Lieberman to Put Together DVR-based Panels

In another move aimed at convincing marketers that digital video recorders
are their friends, not their enemies, TiVo has teamed
with Lieberman Research Worldwide to put the devices to work in market
research.

The companies are creating a panel of TiVo subscribers that have agreed to
respond to surveys testing promotional and product concepts. The idea is
that San Jose, Calif.-based TiVo can distribute movie trailers, promos for
TV shows, and new advertising campaigns to the devices, and panelists can
voice their opinions on the videos after viewing them.

“We’re going to be able to offer leading marketers the opportunity to get
almost immediate feedback from a discriminating audience that can view video
broadcast to their TiVo,” said Brodie Keast, general manager and senior vice
president for the TiVo service. “At the same time, we’ll be offering our
audience a sneak peak at promotions for top films, TV shows, products and
entertainment.”

TiVo has begun recruiting potential panelists at hotline2hollywood.com, and
Los Angeles-based Lieberman says it will begin immediately to offer the
custom research offering to its roster of marketing clients. Clients have
included BBDO, Bozell, J. Walter Thompson, Grey Worldwide, Disney, Universal
Pictures, and a variety of other household name brands.

“The TiVo research panel constitutes a big leap forward in the capabilities
of marketers to get critical feedback from opinion leading consumers in the
most natural environment … their living room,” said Peggy Einnehmer,
senior vice president of Lieberman Research Worldwide.

Although competitor SonicBLUE has never shied from antagonizing marketers —
incorporating a “commercial skip” feature into its devices and drawing legal
action from networks — TiVo has taken a more conciliatory approach. The
company has made a practice of automatically recording “showcase” videos
onto subscribers’ hard drives — items which are paid for and provided by
marketers. Most recently, a preview for the Newline comedy “Austin Powers in
Goldmember” was showcased, and around 67 percent of TiVo households viewed
it. The video featured the full-length trailer, along with a personal
message for TiVo subscribers from Austin Powers star and creator Mike Myers.

Getting TiVo subscribers’ feedback on the video is the next step, which is
what the
company hopes to achieve with Lieberman. The TiVo subscriber base now
exceeds 420,000.

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