Make it a threesome. On Thursday, WPP Group
Financials details weren't disclosed, but it's a good bet that TiVo stands to make millions from the arrangement. Advertising, after all, is a multibillion-dollar industry, and some of the world's largest firms have cast their lot with TiVo, including Sony
But this deal is less about revenue and more about obtaining a competitive advantage. Seriously, do you think it will be long before French ad firm PublicisGroupe
If not, then what's the alternative? Answer: There isn't one. TiVo boasts a fat patent portfolio that includes protection for advertising on a DVR. With EchoStar
Frankly, my biggest fear with TiVo has nothing to do with copycats or the courts. Nope, my biggest fear is Nielsen, which in November plans to roll out new boxes for rating ads. They'll also be able to track ad viewership for prerecorded shows, which, in turn, will provide the first real data on the so-called "TiVo effect," which has been blamed for a prolonged malaise in TV advertising.
If Nielsen's data reduces the "TiVo effect" to myth, look out -- the business and the stock could fall apart quickly. But I don't expect that to occur. Advertisers, after all, have ways of finding out what works, with or without the aid of technology. If three of the biggest ad firms are willing to spend millions to hedge their bets, as they have with TiVo, you'd better believe TiVo has developed something worth worrying about. Better stay tuned.
Pause for related Foolishness:
- Watch TiVo bulk up.
- TiVo was already ad-ing it up in August.
- Suddenly, the DVR maker is the popular kid.
TiVo is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor selection. Ask for us anall-access pass, and you'll get a backstage look at all of the stocks that are helping David and Tom Gardner beat the S&P 500 by more than 41% as of this writing. It's free for 30 days.
Fool contributor Tim Beyers still thinks TiVo is the best thing ever to happen to TV. Tim owns shares of Interpublic. Find a complete list of his holdings by checking Tim's Fool profile . Kraft is a Motley Fool Income Investor pick. The Motley Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy .