TiVo confirms ads are coming to all DVR recordings regardless of subscription status

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member

Last week, we reported on rumors that TiVo was testing running ads before recorded content. Some users were seeing an advertisement when they tried watching recorded content from their DVR.

This week, a TiVo spokesperson told digital media website Light Reading that it is going ahead with the plan for the pre-roll ads.

"DVR advertising is going to be a permanent part of the service," the company representative said. "We expect to be fully rolled out to all eligible retail devices within 90 days."

The change will apply to all users running the TiVo Experience 4 software, including those with lifetime subscriptions. The ads will run when users hit play to start watching a recorded show. The company intends to roll out the commercials to users still on TiVo Experience 3 at a later date. So not updating to the latest software is not a way to avoid the ads.

The initiative is likely to upset many customers, especially those who have paid for lifetime subscriptions. TiVo is ready for the blowback, saying that users can skip the ads.

"DVR advertising is going to be a permanent part of the service."

"We have designed our new DVR advertising units with the ability to 'skip' ads anytime a customer hits' skip'" said the spokesperson. "This is part of our ongoing commitment to bring our users the best media discovery experience possible."

Of course, as expected, users on the TiVo forum are fuming. Many say they will be quitting the service.

"Like most, unless they remove the monthly subscription fee entirely, pre-roll ads are a nonstarter for me," said one long-time subscriber. "Not paying a monthly subscription to then have to also watch ads. Shame on you TIVO that's it for me after 10 years of TIVO. Your greed will be your downfall."

Of course, anytime a change like this comes along, there is a lot of weeping and gnashing of teeth. I am old enough to remember when MTV (and many other cable channels) did not have ads. There was much outrage about that too. "Why should I have to watch commercials for a channel I pay for?" However, very few dumped their cable service.

We shall see how this plays out for TiVo. In the meantime, keep your thumb on the skip button.

Permalink to story.

 

Theinsanegamer

TS Evangelist
"The initiative is likely to upset many customers, especially those who have paid for lifetime subscriptions. TiVo is ready for the blowback, saying that users can skip the ads."

Yeah, I wouldnt like having ads shoved down my throat after paying to NOT have them. You want to show me ads? Your service better be free then. If I payed $240 a year for a service, I better not see ads anywhere. Dont count on those ads being skippable for very long.....

And TV providers wonder why piracy is still a thing.
 

gusticles41

TS Evangelist
We have designed our new DVR advertising units with the ability to 'skip' ads anytime a customer hits' skip'" said the spokesperson. "This is part of our ongoing commitment to bring our users the best media discovery experience possible.
Implements annoying ads, lets users skip ads. Wow, what a nice addition to the "media discovery experience"!
 

yRaz

Nigerian Prince
I don't care if TiVo isn't as profitable as they want it to be, you can't make a profit if you don't have any users
 

Theinsanegamer

TS Evangelist
We have designed our new DVR advertising units with the ability to 'skip' ads anytime a customer hits' skip'" said the spokesperson. "This is part of our ongoing commitment to bring our users the best media discovery experience possible.
Implements annoying ads, lets users skip ads. Wow, what a nice addition to the "media discovery experience"!
TiVo has so much Courage.
 

brucek

TS Maniac
Adding insult to injury, the one description I've seen of this feature is that it was implemented awkwardly, so that there's a slow spinning circle / wait for buffering / and then low-quality low-res streaming of the ad itself.

I could picture a way to do this where the experience was basically seamless where the new ad would fit in better and either immediately catch your attention or immediately be easy to dismiss, in which case people would probably adjust or forget quickly, but if it's always going to stick out like a sore thumb it is going to make the adjustment that much worse.
 

TheBigT42

TS Guru
Get PC with large Hard drive
Purchase Plex Pass ~$100
Install Plex with DVR
Get TV Tuner with Cable Card Support ~$120 (SiliconDust HDHomeRun)
 

jakep82

TS Rookie
When I first read about this last week, I said I would sell my Tivo if it was true. Now that it's been confirmed I followed through and ordered a Tablo today. My lifetime Bolt (the third Tivo I've purchased in the last 5 years) will be on ebay within a week and I'll never spend another dime with them. If you treat customers like garbage, don't expect them to stick around very long.
 

hwertz

TS Rookie
"I am old enough to remember when MTV (and many other cable channels) did not have ads. There was much outrage about that too. "Why should I have to watch commercials for a channel I pay for?" However, very few dumped their cable service."

Difference being, now people HAVE ditched cable or satellite dish en-masse (like 20% drop per year...) partly for EXACTLY that reason. My relatives (who have no cable or satelllite TV but have Netflix etc.) came over to my parents (who have Dish), and the first comment was basically "This has so many ads, I can't believe they charge for this and then have this many ads. Netflix costs way less plus no ads."

TiVo may want to rethink their position on this.
 

MushyWaffle

TS Rookie
You GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!! I've been using Tivo for 15 years. I have lifetime subs on my Tivo's for a reason. So I can lock myself in time and not worry about having upgrades and wasting more money.

This is 100% deal breaker for me. At least I have a little more time than most. I refused to upgrade to 4 because I felt their "Suggestions" (which I turn off) were being shoved in my face. I find the 3 interface far superior because ALL I want to do is record my shows and use streaming apps. I dont' need suggestions, or super searches or anything else. Sure as hell dont' need commercials which is why I have been using DVRs since inception.
 

ItZmE Again

TS Rookie
Happy trails Tivo, I'm outa here. Paid for it for 12 years. Besides, I have found much better and CHEAPER, NO ad alternatives. I guess everything has to go at sometime.
I hope you find that your greed was worth it!
 

dob_1

TS Booster
Still cant believe they are adding Ads to a paid service, and an expensive one at that
they must be going broke fast
I was staggered when I was able to piggyback onto my son's Foxtel paid service here in Australia. He pays about $100 per month for the premium package, which includes streaming channels with and without ads, but the amazing thing was there are still ads before every recording chosen from the 'on demand' section! Glad I'm not paying for it!
 

Kibaruk

TechSpot Paladin
Still cant believe they are adding Ads to a paid service, and an expensive one at that

they must be going broke fast
This was the same when cinemas started showing ads... or was that in my country only? You pay for overly expensive food, on tickets that are not cheap whatsoever, to watch ads before your movie?

As this is 'murica, probably there will be some sort of class action suit for those lifetime payers to get something.
 

Mark Warbington

TS Rookie
I've owned three Tivos since the original 1999 model. I can confidently say that they will never see another penny of my money. The world has changed and the way we consume media has changed. TiVo is just trying to stay alive and relevant, but this was the wrong solution. Bye bye TiVo.