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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Openivo: a managed network of MythTV PCs

A significant cost of consumer goods and services is marketing.
1. The cost of gathering information about your customers
2. The cost of getting information about your products and services to the customer.
The more accurate and reliable the information, the better return on investment for the seller, and the more value for the buyer.

The value of delivery of marketing information has been the primary method of financing television programming, through television commercials. Cable and satellite providers have found that most viewers are also willing to pay additional costs for improved reception and a wider variety of programming.

The set-top box has been identified as an excellent source of marketing information. Information for the seller (viewer demographics, interests, etc.) and information for the viewer, in the form of targeted or addressable advertising. Several different systems are in various stages of implementation to use set-top box data to target tv commercials to particular geographic and demographic market segments.

If the set-top box is owned by the viewer, and if the box is such a valuable source and transmitter of marketing data, how can that value be captured by the viewer, instead of the satellite, cable, or TV network?

The Openivo system is a managed network of internet-connected personal computers with TV tuners running DVR software. The DVR control data (shows watched, shows recorded, commercials watched, skipped, etc.) would be uploaded to the network via the internet connection. No personally identifiable information (PII) would be collected. The data would be analyzed and commercial video files would be downloaded to the set-top PC. Extra commercials targeted to the needs and interests of the viewer would be added to the usual commercial breaks. These commercials could also be skipped/FFWed, but many viewers will prefer to watch them, since they are tailored to their particular interests.

The marketing value to the advertisers should be in the range of $200 to $500 per year per subscriber. This should be enough to completely finance the hardware, software, and monthly service with no fees to the subscriber. In fact, a monthly rebate should be available to the subscriber

A free computer-DVR and free DVR service in return for access to marketing data and some extra skip-able commercials. Is it possible to give away that much value and run a large computing service on marketing and advertising? Think Google.

Of course, Openivo could not just have a giveaway of millions of dollars of computers. A plan with an initial fee for the cost of the hardware, with a rebate on installation and monthly rebate with use would be better.

By participating in this forum I hope:

1. To bounce my ideas off a bunch of smart people.

2. To find at least one skilled developer who shares the vision and is willing to devote time and energy to a cool project for some cash and possible equity in a new venture, all consistent with the GPL.


Marc Allan Feldman
Director and Owner
Openivo, Inc.
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1 comment:

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