TiVo, 20th Century Fox Ink Marketing Pact

TiVo said on Thursday that it signed a deal with 20th Century Fox to market five Fox Studios films on its TiVo Showcase section this year.

The marketing pact, financial details of which were not disclosed, will give TiVo’s 510,000 subscribers the opportunity to see movie trailers, behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with movies’ stars, and music videos from the films’ soundtracks.

“Companies that know entertainments understand that TiVo Showcases offer a rich, creative promotional opportunity that does more than advertise,” said Brodie Keast, TiVo’s senior vice president and general manager. “The unique capabilities of the TiVo Showcase let marketers build deeper relationships with viewers.”

On Monday, TiVo Showcase will begin promoting the first of the five films, the much-anticipated action movie “Daredevil,” starring Ben Affleck and Jessica Garner. The movie is slated for theatrical release on Feb. 14.

Advertisers had a rocky early relationship with TiVo, which allows users to digitally store up to 80 hours of TV programming and skip commercials. However, some advertisers began to slowly experiment with TiVo as a vehicle for branded entertainment when the company launched its advertainment unit last year.

Best Buy has run three campaigns on TiVo Showcase, most recently sponsoring a 30-minute film. Earlier, the consumer electronics retailer ran campaigns pushing its James Bond DVD set and a Sheryl Crow album.

Best Buy has been encouraged by the results. The Bond promotion was viewed by half of TiVo subscribers and the Sheryl Crow preview drew 63 percent. On average, the company said viewers were spending over three minutes.

Other promotions have fared even better. A New Line promotion for Austin Powers: Goldmember attracted more than two-thirds of TiVo users and an average viewing time topping six minutes.

TiVo subscriber numbers continue to increase. The company has said it will pass the 1 million mark this year and researcher Screen Digest predicts 15 million U.S. households with have a DVR in 2006. With a burgeoning subscriber base, it hopes to carve a niche with advertisers hoping to engage consumers’ increasingly short attention spans with interactive campaigns.

The extra revenue could help TiVo’s difficult financial position: it expects to lose $52 million this year and might not turn a profit until 2005.

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