Friday, May 11, 2007

Time Shift Selfishness

A friend forwarded me this linked article ("Is Crucial Daypart Finally Past Its Prime?"). Using my superior reading comprehension skills (which got me a 28 on my ACTs), I determined I'm on the cutting edge.

In my study group of 2 (my wife and I), I've determined this is very real. Last night I watched Survivor from 9:30 to 10:10pm. then watched PTI from 10:10 to 10:25pm (skipping the topics that bore me). then The Office from 10:30 to 10:55pm. I then unpaused the Pistons game and got to watch their entire comeback whilst skipping free-throws, time-outs, and commercials. I was in bed by 11:45.

I watch EVERYTHING time-shifted. Everything!!! No exceptions. (NOTE: I use Tivo - not a DVR - because it is the superior technology to any generic DVR.)

I could use this opportunity to ask where all the viewers are going, as was asked at LostRemote. Instead, I'll use this opportunity to taunt and daydream.

First, the taunt. Join the club, TV. I'm a radio guy. For years, every friend, Uncle, industry trade magazine, and most opinion leaders have ranted and raved how radio is a dying medium. Never missing a chance to say XM and Sirius are better, radio is too cluttered, and if they want to hear something, an ipod is better than any radio station. Worse yet, sometimes radio would simply be forgotten - but never TV. And though nothing is more cluttered than the Internet, suddenly radio has taken a back seat even to the web.

Bottom line ...Tivo'ing is to TV what button-pushing is to radio. Until just recently, TV had its audience captive. Yes, you could flip channels during commercials, but typically you didn't, lest you miss the first :30seconds just back from commercials. People have favorite radio stations, but rarely to they have a favorite TV station - only favorite shows.

In your face, TV!

But here's what I think is actually happening - people love time travel and Tivo (DVR) is the closest thing to it. That's why people love their answering machines and camcorders. It's time travel, baby!

A marketing professor once told me the reason railroads went broke was because they didn't recognize they were actually in the "transportation" business, but instead thought they were in the "train" business. They could not adapt to the increasing dependence on airplanes and automobiles. This always struck me as absurd, though I'll apply it here. The reason people don't buy answering machines or VCRs anymore is because neither industry recognizes that they are actually in the "time travel" business. If Tivo could extend its brand, I could mow my lawn when I wanted (1am to 2am while I'm sleeping), go to the dentist at 5am similarly, and I could fast forward through the time I'm waiting for red lights to turn green.

Lifevo, if you will.

The other interesting statistic is that people watch more shows but spend less time with TV due to Tivo ...I mean time machine.

My weekly Tivo list includes:
  • Pardon the Interruption
  • The Daily Show
  • The Colbert Report
  • Late Night with Conan O'brien
  • South Park
  • LOST
  • American Idol x2
  • Survivor
  • The Amazing Race
  • The Office
  • The Apprentice
  • Cheap Seats
  • The Soup
  • Best Week Ever
  • Acceptable TV
  • The Whitest Guys You Know
  • Misc (Family Guy, Robot Chicken, Mr. Show re-runs)
  • Sports (+/- 2hrs weekly)
16+ hours of TV plus reruns. Impressive, eh? Consider that I can rarely sit down before 9pm, what with 3 kids under 4 years of age and I have a full time job - and I like to be in bed by 11pm. Without my time machine, these shows would not and could not get my eyeballs. I can watch this all in less than 10 hours.

So ...the question becomes, what will TV do with this. Tivo allows you/me to watch more TV, but we skip commercials. I have figured out the solution ...each and every TV ad should have a stationary image or graphic in the top corner of their TV ad so that, even as I'm skipping the actual ad, I'll see the logo. That logo could also be an offer. Basically, its like a stationary image in a flip-book cartoon. It wouldn't bother old fogies without Tivos, and they'd still get their ad impression onto us time travelin' guys.

There you have it. I've solved the Tivo problem for marketers. I've solved the marketing problem for Tivo and the DVR industry - focus on time travel and not recording-of-content. And I've shown the world why I don't call my relatives on their birthday TV shows take priority.

Hope you enjoyed reading this now ...or at sometime in the future. Freaked out, aren't ya?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

In your face, TV
Love it