Saturday, January 29, 2011

TiVo's Best Strategy? Cord Cutters

Unfortunately, Tom Rogers and his team don't seem to think so.  This recent article on TiVo's struggles gives a clear picture of the challenges TiVo is facing.  Major cable providers have no reason to partner with TiVo.  They all have their own DVR's and TiVo would probably only confuse customers and cannibalize the cable provider revenue.

Tom Rogers
If you read the quotes from Rogers, he really sounds a little desperate.  (Sorry to say it, Tom, but that's the impression I got.)  He is quick to criticize Apple TV and Google TV, while he is still working hard to forge relationships with cable providers.  The problem is they don't want what he is selling, and TiVo Tom isn't getting the message.

At the same time, there are a growing number of people who are dumping their cable service -- the cord cutters.  They would love to have better technology to manage and record their broadband programming.  TiVo is in a great position to deliver that with their TiVo Premiere service.  It might take a little repricing and positioning, but it could easily become the hardware of choice for cord cutters.

But Rogers apparently thinks that market is too small and isn't really chasing it.  It's a real mistake.  By the time that market is large, all of those people will have implemented other solutions.  He can criticize Apple and Google all he wants, but they will both probably be doing a lot of business that could have belonged to TiVo.

As I mentioned a few posts back, TiVo seems too focused on exploiting technology rather than building a business.  There seems to be no real forward thinking strategy there at all.  The company seems content to just pick up the scraps instead of fighting for a place at the table.

TiVo was a visionary company a few years back, and now I think they've squandered it and the entire industry is passing them by.  I honestly hate to be so critical of any company or executive, but I just don't see any passion or vision there.  Maybe I'm just not getting it....


absarforex said...

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Tom said...

This is another case of a poor plan. 43 Million people are expected to cut the cable cord over the next 4 years. Thats plenty of market for Tivo, apparently they prefer to slowly fade away.

Roger Goff said...

Thanks for the comments. I appreciate it.

On TiVo, it seems that some companies get so focused on their technology, they forget to run their business. It still might work out for them if they win some lawsuits, but at that point, they should probably just shut the doors and give the money back to the shareholders. If they don't have a plan for serving some market, then they shouldn't spend money on it. Again, perhaps I'm being a bit harsh, and I apologize for that, but it's frustrating to watch a once great company as it fades away.

cable companies in my area said...

TiVo, the pioneering digital video recorder offering a simple way to record television shows for watching later. But the company's hot-and-cold relationships with cable providers is complicating the fate of TiVo's digital recording and video-on-demand services. I think it means Tivo will be pushed as your cable companies set top box with VOD and less as a standalone DVR. I think it also means they will push internet VOD sales via search results ALOT more. Overall, I think it means Tivo will do anything to rake in more money.

Roger Goff said...

I think that's right. As it's playing out, I think TiVo ultimately becomes a bundle of software and technology that is licensed to other companies as a means of delivering content management services to consumers. Actually, not a bad model. There are plenty of companies (Dolby, THX, DTS, etc.) that make a lot of profit by licensing technology that enhances content delivery.