The Critical 'I'

Read. React. Repeat.

Sunday, August 24, 2003

I've said that 2003 would be the year when digital video recorders would take off, and it appears the big cable companies have gotten the religion.

I find it interesting how the cable companies are positioning their new product/service offering. Rather than using the DVRs to deliver more targeted advertising to their subscribers, they're merely using them as enticements to keep people from switching over to satellite service. It seems short-sighted; while I appreciate the refrain from building up personal profiles from their subscriber households, I can't believe they're not venturing into what could be a lucrative revenue stream. It's not like the majority of consumers are going to object, because they generally don't care (as long as the result isn't overly obtrusive).

Thanks to the cable companies' general marketing ineptness, I get the feeling that DVR penetration will take off despite the efforts of Time Warner, Cox and all the others. They just can't seem to get the message across on why these new devices are worth having; comparing them to VCRs is a pretty dumb way to do it.