Over the past four weeks, TiVo has been using its second-by-second audience measurement to determine which AMERICAN IDOL performers had the highest and lowest viewership.
It turns out, this information, especially among viewers who are watching on a time shifted basis, is highly predictive of which contestant will be voted off. Viewers tend to rewind and watch their favorite performances multiple times, while fast-forwarding through the ones they don’t like. Not surprisingly, these viewing preferences correlate with voting patterns (for each week TiVo has measured). And as a result, TiVo is predicting that Syesha Mercado will be sent packing tonight.
Now, this TV Addict is all for TiVo using its second-by-second audience measurement to determine harmless things like who may-or-may not win AMERICAN IDOL. But imagine what would happen [in this purely hypothetical situation] should YOUR viewing habits fall into the wrong hands!
Consider this. The current gas crisis has lead you to the realization that it’s food on the table or your TiVo. After debating between the two for the better part of an hour, you make a real-life “Sophie’s Choice” and choose food, calling TiVo to cancel your service. Five minutes later, the phone rings.
“Are you sure you want to cancel your TiVo subscription?” says the muffled voice on the other line.
“Do what?” you say surprisingly.
“You heard me, cancel your TiVo subscription.”
“I love my TiVO,” you say defensively. “But it’s TV or Food!”
“Point taken. But consider this, we know what you watch!”.
“What do you mean?”
“We’ve got second-by-second audience measurement technology. One wrong move and the entire world finds out your viewing habits… HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL… HANNAH MONTANA… ACCORDING TO JIM… Do you really want your friends to know how many times you’ve time-shifted ANNA NICOLE SMITH’S E! TRUE HOLLYWOOD STORY… Do You… Do You?” [Cue maniacal laugh!]