updated 10:00 am EST, Thu January 31, 2008
TiVo and CBS Deal
TiVo and CBS on Thursday announced a joint project that will let the TV broadcaster track viewing behavior for digital video recorders. Through TiVo's Stop||Watch service, CBS will have access to not only data from TiVo subscribers' viewing habits for full shows but also their likelihood of skipping ads and other behavior; the service can determine the delay between recording and playing timeshifted broadcasts, generate TV ratings, and track usage down to the second, according to the two companies.
As with TiVo's normal Stop||Watch data, the user information should remain anonymous and will be randomly plucked from TiVo's usual subscriber base. The change is expected to help CBS adapt both the way it displays advertising as well as the shows themselves; data collected in the near future should allow for ads that are more likely to garner attention as well as find a way to promote other shows to customers who might never see traditional spots, the studio says.
CBS is only the second major TV producer after NBC Universal to use the TiVo service to gauge ratings and reveals an increasing shift away from traditional ratings firms such as Nielsen, which often focus solely on live TV broadcasts.