By Carl HoweDigital Video Recorder (DVR) maker TiVO (ticker: TIVO) has announced it will provide a service that allows users to search for and view TV ads. This is a brilliant idea, comparable to that of Google when it decided to launch AdWords. It also allows TiVO to offer pay-per-view advertising comparable to that of Google's pay-per-click model. And just as Apple is beginning to monetize the value of previously free movie videos by selling them online, TiVO has the opportunity to do the same thing with TV commercials.
This move along with TiVO's service to move TiVO content to Video iPods could turn around its business once and for all. Note that the launch date is early next year. The obvious time to do this is before the Super Bowl. If they do that, all of us who watch the game just for the ads won't have to even see the game any more.
If you want to get a clear vision of how important this type of adverising move is, I encourage you to read John Battelle's book, "The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture" He also has an excellent blog as well talking about the importance of search and his concept of the database of intentions. Will TiVO become the next compiler of such a database for video? And will Google end up buying them in the end? I'm betting on yes to both questions.
TIVO 1-yr chart: