A few weeks ago I wrote an entry on my DVR conspiracy thoery. No doubt my passion for John Grisham novels is starting to cloud reality. When I first saw the Kennedy assisaination I sat for hours watching the fence by the knoll trying to see the face of the real shooter. I mean come on, there’s no way Lee Harvey Oswald hit that moving target from the sixth floor of a building hundreds of meters away using a hunting rifle. It’s obvious that there were other factors in play. Much like today’s world of television advertising, there are a number of stakeholders that have vested interests in the continued success of the traditional “TV commercial”. So much interest they probably would work a little harder to make sure the revenue stream stays intact.
But will it? How long before our traditional, channel flipping boob tube turns into an interactive, user-driven interface? The chiefs at TiVo in the US are warning the industry that change isn’t far off. According to a recent acticle in Brandweek, Tom Rogers, CEO of TiVo predicts there is an advertising crisis in the making as more people adopt the TiVo model of commercial free viewing. He admits that TiVo is a big factor in this crisis that is driven by changing consumption patterns. Viewers want their television to act like their Internet experience. TiVo’s research indicates their customers like to control their own experience. Rogers says, “The consumer remains in control, which is an absolute must in the world of consumption”.
So if TiVo is right, why are there only 30 million DVRs in homes today? Is it digital penetration? I’m sure that plays a huge role. If you don’t have digital you can’t run a DVR. In February the US market is poised to go completely digital. DVR distribution should accelerate over the next 12-18 months assuming the economic situation improves. If it doesn’t it’s got to be a conspiracy by TV networks and entertainment companies. They have to be the guys over the fence in the grassy knoll controlling DVR growth while they figure out how to recover the lost revenue. This could be a new book for Grisham! You know I’ll be online for the audiobook.