Google has decided to dip its toe in the stream of anonymized user data coming from TiVo. By subscribing to the TiVo data, Google
hopes to make ads more useful to both advertisers and viewers
. Google’s angle for selling TV ads is that they will only charge for the ads that are actually watched. So, if most people skip an ad, the channel makes almost nothing on it.
Online it’s easy to track impressions via clicks, but having the same scheme on TV upsets the people running the networks. Google already has a similar deal with Dish Network, and this deal just extends their statistical powers. Eventually, the data Google wields will make it painfully clear to advertisers how few ads people actually watch. This has the potential to erode the financial foundation of many television networks.
Neilson data has long been the guiding force behind the value of ads, and the networks are understandably concerned about possible changes. Google contends this arrangement will simply lower the barrier to entry for TV ads. Will TV networks go along with the plan?