CNet has a decent overview of the moves (Showcase and Video-to-Video) that Tivo is making to begin to serve more targeted ads to it's 1.3 million users.
Known as Video-to-Video, the idea is to let viewers click a button on their remote control to immediately watch a 3-minute video describing products and services that might appeal to them. The marketing clips are promoted through small icons that appear on the TV screen as viewers fast-forward past regular ads.The article goes on to talk about "telescoping" which is a new term to me. Does "telescoping" have anything to do with interactive television? I'm inherently skeptical because so much has been hoped for (remember TELE-TV?) and so little has materialized.
TiVo is helping to pioneer a futuristic vision of TV-watching that will let people access whatever information or video they want, whenever they want and for however long--without missing a beat. The long-term vision for TV advertising invokes a concept known as "telescoping," in which the lines between advertising and programming may blur beyond recognition.As long as Tivo is working on creating targeted ads, perhaps based on what you have recorded, I might stop to watch one. As it is right now, the vast majority of TV advertising means nothing to me and I would skip whatever I could when using a PVR.
For example, if a viewer is watching "The Apprentice" and likes the new BMW a young executive is driving, he could click on the car with the remote to get an informational video on the car and schedule a test drive with a dealer. He could then go back to watching the show at the exact point where he left off.
If we end up with a future such as is described, maybe we will wistfully long for the 20th century, and relatively well-defined lines between advertising and content.