Can TiVo Stay Ahead?

from the working-on-it dept

The number of "can TiVo survive?" articles is getting ridiculous, but they keep on coming. The company whose name has become generic-ized to the entire PVR/DVR market hasn't been at the top of that market for a while, and all of the big deals with cable providers seem to be going elsewhere (Digeo, for example, seems to be doing quite well in signing up cable partners for their Moxi offering). Still, TiVo has always found a way to keep going (having lots of cash doesn't hurt), and one thing they've been able to do is stay ahead of the competition in terms of features. They're hoping to build on this feature lead while attempting to build up alternate channels and business models. For example, they're focusing on integrating their software with DVD players - which has proven popular with some (though, it's still a small market - and may run into trouble if everyone gets a DVR from their cable provider). However, their alternate business models may be more interesting. While they've taken some flak for storing data on how people use their TiVos, it's likely that data is quite valuable to marketing folks as a more modern, more accurate Nielsen ratings for early adopters. Meanwhile, their ongoing creative advertising ideas that are much more focused on producing non-intrusive advertising that people want to see, could turn into quite a business in itself.

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  • identicon
    Galley, 12 May 2004 @ 7:59am

    prices

    I have a feeling that most folks don't understand why they must pay a $12.95 monthly fee. That high price would certainly dissuade me. Since my TiVo is a DirecTV/TiVo combo, the service is a reasonable $4.95.
    Also, if TiVo wants to get in better with cable companies, then they must be aggressive in pricing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Director Mitch, 12 May 2004 @ 8:59am

      Another Apple?

      I am a Tivo user and like them, but I have a feeling they may become another Apple: an innovator and tech leader with a core base of fans and a profitable business, but not the market or revenue leader.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Permanent4, 12 May 2004 @ 2:02pm

        Re: Another Apple?

        At this point, I doubt that TiVo would mind becoming another Apple. Being a boutique brand has its advantages -- the biggest one being you can charge more for ease of use features, perceived or otherwise.

        I own a TiVo, but I had to disconnect it when the modem died. Now I've got a SciAtlanta box from Time Warner Cable. It does the job, but it's definitely not as user-friendly.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Oliver Wendell Jones, 13 May 2004 @ 7:48am

      Re: prices

      I pay an extra $7 per month for the DVR through my cable company.

      I did not have to buy a box for at least $200, I don't need to hook up a phone line to receive the guide - it comes over the cable signal.

      I do not get the extra Tivo functionality of having the box pick out shows I might like and record them when I'm away from my TV, but I can set it to record all my favorite weekly shows, play them back when I want and skip the commercials, plus pause and rewind live TV, and that's all I really need my DVR to do.

      I could add a second DVR for only slightly more than the monthly cost of Tivo.

      If Tivo wants to survive they need to closely examine their pricing structure.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Griffon, 12 May 2004 @ 11:49am

    Tivo

    I am hoping that Tivo will get off their bottom and start to innovate in ways that consumers want (picture/music integration, commercial skipping, file transfer to/from pc's etc) instead of their blatant pandering to whatever they think might score them points with networks. Dosn't help that 3 year old technology with a twist like the HD Tivo only has hardware innovation and no software updates. Also D*TV refuses to let Tivo patch of correct issues with sets they own and are tied to D*TV service intruding a obnoxious amount of lag to updates. Tivo may night survive purely because they want their bread buttered on all sides.
    Having to pay an additional guild fee to D*TV for boxes they services is also BS IMO. It's a shame Sonic Blue did not survive they clearly understood what consumers wanted. The harsh dtreament by the broadcasters clearly shows they where on the right track.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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