It's Miller time for TiVo.
The digital video recorder company announced Tuesday a one-year agreement
with Miller Brewing Company. Under the deal, the beer maker will sponsor
TiVo programming and will get a seat on TiVo's advertising board, which is
working to develop interactive ad formats.
TiVo's programming includes "TiVo Takes," a weekly show that highlights
upcoming television that viewers might want to record.
San Jose, Calif.-based TiVo also announced partnerships with ad agencies
Starcom MediaVest and Digital@JWT to develop interactive advertising. The
agencies will also join the advertising board.
Digital video recorders are set-top boxes with hard drives that allow people
to record programs without using videotape. Viewers can replay live
television and program the box to anticipate and record shows that might
interest them, based on previous selections. Subscribers can also use the
service to fast-forward past content, such as commercials--one of the
selling points for TiVo.
The perception in the television industry has been that the service allows
viewers to cut advertising out of the TV viewing.
"TiVo is committed to working closely with innovative advertisers," Stacy
Jolna, TiVo's chief programming officer, said in a statement.
TiVo does not manufacture the digital video recorders itself. Instead,
viewers subscribe to TiVo's service, which costs $9.95 per month or $200 for
a lifetime subscription. Sony and Philips Electronics manufacture the
recorders for TiVo.
ReplayTV was TiVo's direct competitor until November when the company announced it would stop selling its
own brand of digital video recorders and would instead license its recording
technology to cable providers and other television-related companies.
TiVo's announcements Tuesday may help the company avoid the fate of
ReplayTV. Mark Snowden, a Gartner analyst, said the new advertising
relationships are a step in the right direction.
"The announcements are meant to bring these companies together to implement
interactive advertising, which will be a new direction for the advertising
industry," Snowden said. "Gone are the days of straight ad buys. Now all
entities need to get involved from the networks down to the programmers."
TiVo announced earlier this year that it will add expanded search technology
to its service, allowing subscribers to search for shows using names, themes,
actors and key words.
The company will report its fourth-quarter earnings Tuesday afternoon.