Tivo, the increasingly popular programmable television recorder, has just launched Tivo Stop||Watch. This is a new spying service that will allow its corporate subscribers to know in fine demographic detail exactly who is watching what shows and ads, on a second-by-second basis. Tivo promises its corporate clients: “TiVo enables clients to track not only when a specific spot was viewed, but also whether variances in ad exposure can be correlated with changes in all kinds of consumption behavior….By observing variances in ratings based on these variables, it is possible to clearly determine how each influenced the effectiveness of the campaign and optimize the future return on similar investments.”
None of this, of course, is disclosed to the users of Tivo boxes. That would spur avoidance and resistance, and is utterly forbidden.
Remember this completely logical and predictable and normal development the next time you hear the phrase “the free market.” Cats everywhere are laughing their asses off.