TiVo adds ads to DVR recordings

TiVo is testing inserting pre-roll ads on DVR recordings.

According to a report from Zats Not Funny, some viewers have begun to see adverts preceding their recorded videos. It is believed that this move is a part of a wider move from TiVo to monetise its platform. 

The user cited by the article said that when they select a recording, rather than jumping straight into the video “the screen goes black with the spinning blue circle for a couple of seconds, then an advertisement plays for about 15 secs, then the recording starts”.

They added that different ads play should they go back to the beginning of the video, and that the quality of the ads “look like SD low bitrate videos”.

TiVo effectively confirmed that it is going full-steam ahead as far as this kind of advertising goes, with a spokesman telling Light Reading: “DVR advertising is going to be a permanent part of the service. We expect to be fully rolled-out to all eligible retail devices within 90 days.” 

TiVo did say that users will be able to skip inserted these commercials in the same way they can fast forward and rewind in the DVR.

The move will be a frustrating one for many TiVo users, with the ability to skip ads historically being a key selling point of DVRs in general. TiVo will hope that the insertion of a short ad at the beginning of a recording is viewed as a better deal than 15-20 minutes of adverts over an hour’s worth of programming, but it might be difficult to persuade users who have become accustomed to how DVRs work over the better part of 20 years. 

It has been speculated that one of the reasons for ramping up advertising is that TiVo might be planning to offer an ad-supported subscription with a lower monthly fee.

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