30 seconds is way too long. On the TiVo, we’re fast-forwarding through the commercials and other boring bits. We’re still watching as we fast-forward (we get the brand-impression, just more quickly and without sound).
Same with podcasts. As I’ve mentioned earlier, we’re not skipping the ads, just getting through them more quickly. I know one of the podcasts I listen to is sponsored by Earthlink. The host mentions it the moment before I start fast-forwarding. I don’t need to hear Earthlink themselves waste my time – the host already told me everything I need to know. Using 3 words – “sponsored by Earthlink”.
Likewise, television advertisers need to embraces the fast-forward and create media entertaining at both speeds. Something akin to the Levi’s ads from the 80s – a big logo taking up most of the screen surrounded by entertaining animations. This would scale to smaller video devices like the iPod, PSP, and Archos while giving TiVo viewers a reason to replay.