TiVo is Bringing In-Car Media into the Cross-Screen Mix

Tim Cross 21 May, 2024 

TiVo, a tech company which runs an independent smart TV operating system alongside its own free ad-supported streaming TV (FAST) channels, today announced the launch of TiVo One, a new cross-screen ad platform which will let advertisers buy inventory across the various endpoints which TiVo has access too. Somewhat uniquely, this will include ad inventory on in-car media platforms – a relatively new area for advertisers, but one which some analysts expect to grow in the coming years.

TiVo is perhaps best known as one of the early major players in DVR (digital video recorder) technology – tools which let users pause and record live TV shows, which in many ways were a precursor to the streaming age. TiVo itself now operates in the streaming space, running an independent smart TV OS, as well as its TiVo+ FAST platform. Its OS is embedded in TVs made by Vestel, which owns a number of smart TV brands across Europe, as well as Argos’s Bush house brand. Further deals with Panasonic, Sharp, and Konka have also been agreed.

Alongside these, TiVo also powers IPTV services offered by third-party broadband providers, via its TiVo Broadband product. And its technology powers DTS AutoStage Video Service, another product run by TiVo’s parent company Xperi, a media platform for in-car entertainment systems which has an early partnership with BMW.

TiVo says TiVo One will enable advertisers to run campaigns across these various platforms with targeting, forecasting, and measurement capabilities which works across these various screens. The company’s announcement suggests that TiVo One will offer unified reach and frequency management for these campaigns as well. The ad platform will launch with a specific ‘Homepage Ad’ unit across these different screens and platforms, which it says will offer shared ad revenue opportunities for partners.

“As a key element of our long-term strategy for the independent media platform, offering a variety of ways to optimally engage with audiences is essential,” said Xperi CEO Jon Kirchner. “Whether that be through our smart TV offerings or connected car solutions, partners leveraging our innovative solutions can ensure we’re committed to delivering value and driving sustainable growth.”

Omnichannel gets more ‘omni’

The in-car element is still very new. DTS AutoStage launched back in 2020, and the Video Service component, which brings a smart-TV like streaming interface onto the AutoStage media platform, was released just last year. So far inventory will necessarily be limited – BMW is the only partner publicly announced by Xperi to adopt the TiVo-powered platform, rolling it out in selected markets within specific car models.

But Xperi and some analysts see a big opportunity in in-car entertainment. Accenture released a report a few years back profiling the evolution of cars into “extended living spaces”, where people are likely to spend more time watching TV, gaming, and working. This is likely to grow if and when driverless technology goes mainstream. And wherever there is entertainment, there’s an opportunity for advertisers.

Should in-car entertainment grow into a mainstream advertising channel, it will create yet more fragmentation for advertisers running video campaigns. Thus as is the case with TiVo, media owners will likely want to integrate this inventory into cross-screen services, making it easier to add onto a media plan and reducing frustrations around targeting and measurement.

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About the Author:

Tim Cross is Assistant Editor at VideoWeek.
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