Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Are we not annoying? We are TiVo!

A couple of days ago, TiVo and Amazon.com announced that TiVo users will be able to purchase physical products from Amazon.com that they see on television. Let's say that Jay Leno is pushing a nose hair shaver on The Tonight Show; lucky TiVo users will be able to pause the show and buy the shaver, using only their remote control.

I don't know if one of those obnoxious icons, like the ones that TiVo uses to try to get users to record a particular show, will flash on the screen ("Click Here to Buy that Nose Hair Shaver"). Frankly, I'm already getting sick of TiVo interupting my late-night television viewing so that it can change the channel to record content that I have absolutely no interest in. They're selling my viewing information, my eyeballs, and now they're trying to sell me merchandise from Amazon.com.

It's getting to the point where the basic utility of the TiVo service, time-shifting, is becoming outweighed by the annoyance of putting up with a salesperson sitting in my living room, 24 hours a day. If the company offered some kind of trade-off--accept the plugs and ads, or sign up for Amazon Prime, and the basic TiVo service is free--I could justify what's going on, but they're doing nothing except making the service less, rather than more, valuable.

Therefore, I've decided to relegate my TiVo to the dustbin. I've enjoyed it, but I won't go back until they tip the value scale back in favor of subscribers rather than advertisers and merchants.
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