Putting his hand on the proverbial Bible, Todd Juenger, a VP at TiVo, swears blind that the digital video recording company is not archiving and selling inidivual subscriber’s data.
TiVo is, however, through its StopWatch initative offering ad agencies and television networks the opportunity to receive real time data concerning which programs TiVo subscribers are watching and which ads they are skipping.
Talking with the San Francisco Chronicle, Todd said that StopWatch only delivers a random, anonymous sampling of what their user base is watching.
Inherently as an advocate of the attention economy I find nothing wrong or alarming in what TiVo is doing. However, there is a slippery slope effect and it is up to users to determine their level of confidence in particular companies…do you trust companies like TiVo…will they continue to anonymise your data?
The latest venture funding activity includes:
* Heavy.com, an online video site for 18-34 year old males, which has closed a $20m financing from Polaris Venture Partners. The funding (which comes on top of $10m provided by Polaris in early 2006) will be used to expand Heavy’s network internationally. According to Mike Hirshland, a partner at Polaris, “Heavy is building a true 21st century media company, which combines internally developed content with great consumer generated content and with a sustainable revenue model. As advertisers expand their online video budgets in 2007, they are looking to work with the few online brands that can effectively deliver audience in scale.”
* With technology developed in Israel, San Francisco based Amobee has developed a telco grade adserving solution for mobile operators, which enables them to ad-fund non-voice related apps and services. The company has raised further funding from Sequoia and Accel (they raised $5m in 2005).
On the M&A side, Colorado-based Digitalglobe, which provides high resolution commercial satellite imagery and geospatial information products has acquired GlobeXplorer, a geographic data integration and publishing company from Stewart REI. GlobeXplorer’s web-based search and delivery apps will augment Digitalglobe’s Quickbird satellite system. The company’s images power GoogleEarth and they anticipate launching two new satellites in 07/08.