The two companies on Tuesday launched a promotion called Hotline2Hollywood. The format gives TiVo subscribers the option to participate in what is essentially a focus group for upcoming shows and promotions.
The new program is different from traditional focus groups where consumers are brought together and presented with some sort of product and asked to give feedback. Companies use that feedback in determining product development.
TiVo subscribers who own standalone receivers will be able to sign up to take a survey, and a subset of those subscribers will be asked to give their feedback on movie trailers or promotions for new TV shows delivered to their recorders. The feedback is collected either online or over the phone.
Those opinions could be shared with the clients of Lieberman Research Worldwide. Participants are also entered into sweepstakes for prizes, which will vary depending on the survey.
"The objective is to get consumer feedback in advance of companies making huge investments in marketing and advertising," said Brodie Keast, senior vice president at TiVo.
TiVo spokeswoman Rebecca Baer declined to comment on the financial terms of the deal, but said that the two companies are in the early stages of what could be a long-term relationship.
TiVo will deliver the video to its subscribers, while Lieberman will design research materials and manage client relationships. Video clips will be uploaded to DVRs around the end of the month. Clients in the home video, movie, and auto industries have so far expressed interest in participating, said Peggy Einnehmer, Lieberman senior vice president of research.
"These clients are interested in tapping into TiVo subscribers because they tend to be highly engaged in entertainment and new technologies," Einnehmer said.
While TiVo's main source of revenue comes from subscriptions to its service, the company is looking for new revenue opportunities. TiVo had about 422,000 subscribers as of April 30. The service costs $12.95 per month, or $249 for a subscription that lasts for the life of the recorder.
TiVo's service lets subscribers program DVRs to record their favorite shows, "pause" live broadcasts or resume play without missing any material. They can also fast forward to catch up with the live feed.
TiVo is counting on theof its technology to boost revenue. The company currently has licensing deals with and .
TiVo on Wednesdayits revenue guidance for the second quarter between $10.5 million to $12 million to between $23 million and $24 million, following a windfall from a licensing pact.
Advertising represents just a fraction of TiVo's overall revenue, but the company expects it to contribute more in the future and has beenwith partners, such as Best Buy, to develop new more interactive forms of advertising.
TiVo representatives have said that the advertising efforts have been well received by TiVo subscribers.
TiVo has alsosoftware with Nielsen Media Research partially aimed at improving the level of detail given to television network programmers to help sell advertising for shows.