Too Much Free Time

by Mike Masnick

TiVo Goes The Tupperware Route To Get New Customers

from the we're-having-a-party dept

One of the biggest problems TiVo had in the early years was convincing non-customers of the value of the device. Current customers quickly became converts to the religion of time shifting, with many talking about how it changed the way they watched television completely. While TiVo has become a lot more popular since then, with many more customers using either TiVo or other competing DVR solutions, apparently the company is still trying to come up with creative ideas to get more non-customers to recognize what a TiVo lets them do. To that end, apparently they're taking a page out of the Tupperware playbook, convincing over a thousand current customers to host TiVo parties, to show off TiVo's features to unsuspecting guests. Apparently the company will even be putting on special programming to help party hosts show off the features. This isn't the first time that TiVo has tried using parties as a marketing gimmick, though, in the past they've been held by TiVo itself. It's not clear if the current TiVo owners get any special reward for hosting a party on TiVo's behalf. It's definitely a creative idea that probably costs TiVo very little. It simply builds on the incredible loyalty of many of its current customers.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Tek'a, Sep 29th, 2006 @ 2:15am


    they had better at least send a tshirt. a coupon? anything? if my memory of a time long ago (just after cavemen defeated dinosaurs) the ol' tupperware party was half sales pitch for the hostess and half membership drive.
    didnt all those charming homemakers get a discount to what they sold their neighbors, or some kinda commision?

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

  2. identicon
    Kathy, Sep 29th, 2006 @ 3:29am


    Tek'a, your memory is better than mine. I only remembered the sales part.... but your post has reminded me of the "pleading" part of the "parties."

    There HAS to be some kind of "reward" for party hosts. I mean, come on.... how else do you get someone who attends your party to host their own party if not for the fabulous prizes offered on BOTH sides.

    The lack of this information in the press release leads me to believe that Tivo has "hired" people to hold the parties so there won't be the "membership drive" or "party pleading" going on. Just 100% time share condo sales pitch, baby!

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

  3. identicon
    leroy, Sep 29th, 2006 @ 5:11am

    tivo or not tivo

    any company, like the parents of TIVO that has put forth as much effort to force the users to watch commercials, as I have heard they are working towards, would not be welcome in my home. My home is my castle and I will employ any means necessary to avoid all the marketing forced at me, on TV, DVD's, satellite, junk mail, telemarketers. I will never own a tivo. Home party's or not, no TIVO will darken my front door.

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

  4. identicon
    Sundog, Sep 29th, 2006 @ 5:38am

    Re: tivo or not tivo

    But you're not bitter...

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

  5. identicon
    xtrmist, Sep 29th, 2006 @ 5:41am


    What are you talking about leroy? How does TIVO force one to watch commecials?!

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

  6. identicon
    Drama2Sell, Sep 29th, 2006 @ 5:48am


    Quote from the article from a TIVO exec:

    "For years we've heard from our TiVo subscribers that they were hosting TiVo parties on their own. "

    Um, really, a "tivo-party"? Or we they just inviting friends over to watch the game.

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

  7. identicon
    goodtobegin, Sep 29th, 2006 @ 6:30am

    Tivo was a great service to begin with, but then they quickly feel behind with innovation and building actual physical improvements into their outstanding GUI.

    Their interface is one of the best, if not the best I've ever seen on a DVR. It is so easy to use my 3 year old at the time could record, watch and pause her shows by herself.

    However, I now own a Dish DVR, which although inferior on the GUI side offers two tuners, build in satelite receiver and let's me watch TV on a second set without another box.

    Tivo should have done a better job at licensing their software and may be they'll still be able to save their sinking ship pursuing such a licensing agreement, before someone like MS or Apple marches in and buys them for pennies on the dollar.

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

  8. identicon
    The Original Just Me, Sep 29th, 2006 @ 6:54am

    When you pry it from my cold dead hands

    Love TiVo, LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT. I own two and have puchased them for family members as well. I've also talked it up to my coworkers for years. Anything I can do to make it successful will mean that the service continues, so that's a bonus for me.

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

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2006 @ 7:27am

    I hate monthly subscriptions

    The problem with Tivo is the monthly cost. Its ridiculous. In a time when people are paying 80+ dollars for programming they probably don't watch, but are forced to buy through "package" deals Tivo insults them by making them pay a premium for a schedule line up. If you're a Tivo user wake up and smell the coffee burning... they are ripping you off! I use MCE right now, but thinking of moving to Myth because I don't like the stance Microsoft is taking with DRM. If you like the cute little Tivo UI, by all means take out your check book every month... heck have a Tivo party and submit your friends to yet another montly payment.

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

  10. identicon
    Murdock, Sep 29th, 2006 @ 7:39am

    I signed up to host a party...

    Thinking yea, TiVo would reward us cool people for donig that... nope! I didn't even know what kind of special programing there was going to be until 3 days before the event. Needless to say, I am NOT hosting the party.

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

  11. identicon
    Mick, Sep 29th, 2006 @ 8:08am

    Re: tivo or not tivo

    Take a deep breath, relax. You are somewhat misinformed about Tivo and its value. I have been a Tivo owner for a couple of years now and will never go back to regular TV. I was a person who couldn't stand to be tied to the TV at a certain time on a certain day just to see a certain show. I felt like a pig lining up at the trough to get my network tv scraps. Never again! Tivo lets me lead my life how I want AND see the shows I like. In addition, the ability to skip past commercials saves loads of time (have you ever watched EVERY play of a NFL or college football game in just one hour). Regular half hour sitcoms only end up being 20 -25 minutes. I can watch almost three an hour once I leave out all the marketing you so despise. You sound like someone who needs a Tivo more than most people.

    PS - A Tivo party sounds lame but everytime I have people over, they always marvel at the shows I have at my disposal, the photos and music I can display from my home computer on the Tivo, or my ability to dowload a show to my computer from Tivo and burn them a DVD to take home.

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

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2006 @ 8:12am

    Re: I hate monthly subscriptions

    Actually, I find that having a Tivo allows me to watch MORE of the programming I'm paying for that I typically wouldn't know about. Once you start rating programs the Tivo software automatically records shows it matches to those you give good ratings to. This means that while I may not remember to check all of the channels I hardly watch, I'll quite often find a show I've never seen but like recorded from one of those channels at a time when I'm working or out.

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

  13. identicon
    James, Sep 29th, 2006 @ 8:24am

    Host a party? Are you kidding?

    If they gave me one, AND a lifetime subscription... yeh ok, fine. Tivo reminds of Apple's iPod too many things built into it that I don't want to encourage by giving them money. If you have to ask what they are you are either blind, or don't care.

    If I recall, when Tivo came out, you could buy a lifetime subscription for about $300, expensive, but at least you've capped the expense. The monthly subscription is total bs.

    About 2 years ago I bought a replayTV because it had advanced features and I didn't feel like the company was in bed w/the media companies (can we say automatic commerical skip boys and girls?). I can attest to the power a DVR gives you over TV and it is wonderful. But, I feel Tivo asks too much of its users and has taken too long to update their equipment to ever buy one.

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

  14. identicon
    Lasy Person, Sep 29th, 2006 @ 9:46am

    Why is Tivo so great?

    Why is Tivo so great?

    Why is there a subscription for recording video?

    If it's what I think, can't the same thing be done with a computer and knowing when a show is scheduled? Then use something like a Task Scheduler to record?

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

  15. identicon
    Wizard Prang, Sep 29th, 2006 @ 10:02am


    "have you ever watched EVERY play of a NFL or college football game in just one hour"

    Sad but true. It seems that most of our sports have been designed - or redesigned - around the almighty commercial break

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

  16. identicon
    cycle003, Sep 29th, 2006 @ 10:05am

    Your reward may be a **AA lawsuit

    Don't be surprised to be slapped with a lawsuit by the MPAA (or even a different greedy organization, like MLB, for that matter) for showing an "unauthorized" program. It sounds like they're going to provide the programming for the party, which is ridiculous. It's absurd to take a one-size-fits-all approach to selling an idea like TiVo. Do you think your sports fanatic friends will be convinced if you show previews for a bunch of sappy movies? Of course not, they want to know that they can pause a game with all bases loaded at the bottom of the ninth to answer the door for the pizza guy or whatever.

    I think they must be looking for a free or cheap way of advertising. They're targetting TV viewers who can't fast forward commercials, so why not just make a frickin' commercial?

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

  17. identicon
    Wizard Prang, Sep 29th, 2006 @ 10:13am

    Re: Why is Tivo so great?

    Want to watch what you want, when you want?
    Want to watch an hour-long episode in forty minutes?
    Want to pause live TV?

    Yes, you can do something like this with cheap/free components, but it is TiVo's software that makes the difference. Networks are famous for moving shows around, doing two-episodes back-to-back etc. TiVo phones home, gets the updates and takes care of business. All you have to do is sit down and watch.

    TiVo's software also allows gives you "season pass" (record all episodes of your favorite program), wishlist (record by title, keyword or name) etc.

    There are some who whine and moan at the $13/month price tag. For me it is worth it; I guess it depends on your priorities and how you value your time. Paradoxically, many of these people happily pay $50+/month to yap-yap-rabbit-rabbit on their cellphones all day long. Now THAT, to me is a waste of money.

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

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2006 @ 11:09am

    Re: Why is Tivo so great?

    Tivo does more then simply record shows for you at times you schedule. The software picks shows it thinks you may like and records those for you as well. Also as mentioned you can get season passes to all your shows, that way you can record only new episodes and ignore the repeats. From personal experience I'd just like to say while the monthly fee tends to keep some people from buying, once you jump in and use it you'll find that it's more then worth $12/month.

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

  19. identicon
    Wisconsingod, Sep 29th, 2006 @ 11:17am

    Why Subscribe?

    Many of you ask why you pay for a subscription to just record tv. TIVO is more than a DVR (your computer recording a show). Why do people pay for TV guide, when they can just watch the TV guide channel or look in the newspaper. It's a convenience you pay for. What you are paying for is intelligent guides system, where you can search for anything related to the show. You have a favorite actor, tell TIVO to record any show he/she is on, as well as any guest apperances on talk shows, etc. That would take hours of research to program that using any other resorce. You can do online scheduling. Forget to setup your tv to program the big game before going to your in-laws for thanksgiving? Just jump online and tell your Tivo to record it.

    You are paying for those and many other services offered for their software intellegence.... and what's more, you can buy a lifetime subscription, so it's not constant money down a hole.

    I personally don't own a TIVO, I don't get cable, I don't watch much TV. Yes I'm a TV generationer (24 yrs old), but I'm not one to pay for something that helps me waste time when i won't use 99% of it. I get CBS over my bunny ears plugged into my Media Center PC. I have friends who love their TIVO, and it is a great tool for those who can't miss an episode ever....

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

  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 29th, 2006 @ 11:50am

    another idea

    This idea just came to me... what if I missed (didn't dvr it) or I want to see the pilot episode of a show in its 3rd season? It would be cool if tivo used some sort of p2p technology so you could queue up old shows if "someone" out there had saved (not deleted) it on their tivo. Of course there are a whole onslaught of issues with this that I'm not going to get into... but that would be awesome.

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

  21. identicon
    ElCuervo, Sep 29th, 2006 @ 11:53am


    I just read this entire thread, and the reason I'm LMAO is that I remember hearing myself make every one of the same objections, and now I would make any of the same arguments for owning (and paying subscription fees to) TiVo. If you admit to yourself that you love TV (it's okay with me if you can't), you will love TiVo - if you don't already. The "TiVo party" makes some sense to me, because you really have to get the experience to appeciate that box. Unfortunately, it really takes more time than just one "party".

    Reminds me of 25 years ago, saying "What the heck do I want a computer for?" :~)

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

  22. identicon
    Lay Person, Sep 29th, 2006 @ 12:55pm

    Re: another idea

    Yeah file sharing...what a concept!

    Too bad the data Nazis would gas us if put to (legitimate) use.

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

  23. identicon
    24 Year Old Joe Blow, Sep 29th, 2006 @ 5:49pm

    13 bucks

    Who the crap really cares about 13 bucks a month? I probably loose 13 bucks a month in change. Tivo kick butt! Everyone who whines about 13 bucks a month just reminds me of a newscast I saw about how some dude wouldn't be able to have a vacation now that he has to pay and extra 10 bucks a week on gas. Sob Sob Sob. Here is a thought! Get a freakin education. Clean your dirty a** up and get a job!

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

  24. identicon
    Tas Tupperware, Jan 9th, 2014 @ 2:25am

    Tas Tupperware

    I think this blog displays some very useful information, so I can absorb this information and use it. I menantingan subsequent shipments.
    Greetings from: Tas Tupperware

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

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