You Skipping Ads? TiVo Plans to Sell That Info

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 20, 2009 6:59 PM CDT
A man walks by a display of TiVo boxes at the 2005 Consumer Electronics Show January 6, 2005 in Las Vegas, Nevada.   (Getty Images)
camera-icon View 5 more images

(Newser) – Watch out Nielsen, here comes TiVo. The company that allows you to skip ads and store shows on its digital video recorder plans to sell your viewing habits to stations and advertisers, USA Today reports. Unlike Nielsen, TiVo can sell second-by-second breakdowns of the shows and ads people watch. But its privacy policies strop it from collecting data available to Nielsen, like demographic breakdowns.

"Is it a be-all and end-all?" one ad buyer asked. "We'll have to look at it and see." A TiVo manager admitted that its 3.3 million users are more educated, affluent, "and, unfortunately, a little more white" than the average American TV-watcher, but "it isn't a gigantic difference." TiVo declined to reveal a pricing plan for the new venture, which will sell national viewing data and info on local markets.