By Tobi Elkin
Finally, TiVo has found a way to leverage its easy-to-use interface for search. Today, the company that gave us digital video recorders announced its first search product. To debut next spring, the device will enable subscribers to search for programming and will also deliver relevant ads.
TiVo developed the product in partnership with media shops, along with Comcast Spotlight, Comcast Cable's ad sales unit. The partners are working with TiVo to devise pricing and topical ad categories.
TiVo's search device will enable advertisers to target ads, on demand, to subscribers who search for a product or service by category or keywords. This product represents a small step in the direction many of us have been expecting--that Internet search techniques and practices will become the de facto standards for video/TV and that all those mind-numbing, endlessly scrolling electronic programming guides will eventually become search-based. The fact that TiVo has taken this step is a good thing.
The TiVo system will be opt-in. What does that mean? TiVo subscribers choosing to use the search capability will create a viewer profile to trigger ads based on their interests that will be delivered to them.