Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Wednesday, September 08, 2021

I’ve noted before that Tivo is at a do-or-die juncture, as cable and satellite providers are poised to overtake the DVR market with their own equipment and subscriber bases. In response, the pioneering company has rolled out aggressive pricing structure, and, more significantly, forged a partnership with Netflix to deliver movies-on-demand through their boxes.

My first reaction to this news was that it was a smart move by Tivo. More than anything, offering movies allows them to define the DVR as more than just a fancied-up VCR (which, to the average consumer, is still all a DVR is). It’s a step toward presenting Tivo as a digital media hub.

The more I thought about it, though, it occurred to me: Tivo can’t play this game. Because cable and satellite providers can point to their existing on-demand offerings, and can quite easily ramp them up to match this development. What’s more, they can tack it all onto the same combined cable bill, thus making the cost easier to swallow.

I even suspect that Netflix is using Tivo as a guinea pig for this service. If it’s proven to be successful, they can point to it during negotiations with cable providers to for a partnership (that’s assuming the cable and satellite industry doesn’t set up its own movie subscription service in the meantime, perhaps with Blockbuster’s help).

It’s good to see Tivo being so nimble as it tries to secure its future, but I don’t think this will do it. I still see the company disappearing inside of two years.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 09/08/2021 10:28:28 PM
Category: Media, Tech, Business | Permalink |

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  1. I really hope Tivo succeeds, not as a provider of hardware, but by licensing its excellent technology to the cable companies. The ’season pass’ feature and Tivo picks, based on programs you’ve watched really define the Tivo service, and it completely transcends the hardware aspect.

    Unfortunately it will probably be all or nothing. When they go under, they will probably take the bag of tricks with them and sue when the cable companies try to violate their patents.

    Im just glad I didn’t buy the lifetime service when I had mine.

    Comment by The Belt — 09/09/2021 @ 08:40:11 PM

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