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Summary:

TiVo is making it obviously plain that it wants to become a big player in the Internet (video) download service, having signed a deal with the Independent Film Channel. The trials are supposed to start soon. Akimbo, on the other hand has already finished its trials, […]

TiVo is making it obviously plain that it wants to become a big player in the Internet (video) download service, having signed a deal with the Independent Film Channel. The trials are supposed to start soon. Akimbo, on the other hand has already finished its trials, and has been able to sign-up a lot of content partners including A&E, Food Network, Wine TV, and House & Garden. It has also developed content that would allow video blogs to be downloaded to the Akimbo box. I am not sure how much of technology match is there between the two platforms, but the content partnerships should be of primary attraction to TiVo. Akimbo’s problem is getting enough big enough footprint to become a legitimate force in the Internet download business. On the surface, this one should make sense!

  1. Om,

    You could not be more on target. Having spoken with Akimbo a number of times over the last year about providing content for their platform, it has become clear to me that their issue of scale (or viewer size) is their largest problem. Tivo could benefit from Akimbo’s thrist for blazing new trails in the open media space and hunger for mastering the long tail. Akimbo having access to the TiVO faithful would give their revenue model that one chance in “hell” that it need to ever deliver profits.

    The one issue that might make such a union close to impossible is the fact that Akimbo is deeply invested in a Microsoft platform ( as of the last time I spoke with them at CES); I would hope that TIVO would be bright enough to develop a more open platform.

    I would look from Akimbo to a strong player in the XBOX 360 Media Center space. If Akimbo could bypass the retail, shipping boxes, stuff and piggyback on the 360 (to the tune of 10 or 20 million units over the next 2 or 3 years) they will trump TIVO hands down.

    James

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  2. I am not sure that tivo needs akimbo. Tivo has enough muscle that they can create similar relationships (probably much better) than akimbo will ever be able to offer. There is no question that akimbo NEEDS a tivo-like partner/acquirer, but there I don’t see much value (unless tivo can scoop up akimbo ) in akimbo.

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  3. brandon, good points you make, but clearly it means saving time, and rolling out money generating service faster for tivo/ if you look at their financials, and the recent end-of-relationship with directv, they need to do something fairly quick. akimbo might not cost them as much money.

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  4. There is no question that akimbo could probably be taken for very little… I guess I just don’t really see why they deserve the credit for coming up with something useless (keep in mind they just recently stumbled into vlogs, etc – which *should* be shortlived anyhow) – And all it would take for Tivo is a one-man bus/dev team and a bit more energy in the engineering dept. to replicate (unless there are some patents i’m not aware of). Akimbo has no brand equity (so there’s no value there) and I would assume mid-to-low 5-figure subscriber base (no value there).

    Keep in mind, I just have a qualm with one of their backers… So this is biased.

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  5. Mittal Monani Sunday, August 14, 2005

    Besides, Akimbo and Tivo are based on two frundamentally different platforms, so I don’t think there’s anything for Tivo from a technological standpoint. IIRC, Akimbo is based on DRM’d Windows while Tivo is a Linux box. It’ll be a nightmare for Tivo to integrate such an acquisition : don’t think Tivo’s hacker-friendly ethos would transfer very well on the Akimbo box.

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  6. i agree they are two different platforms. But content deals could help speed things up a tad. I think akimbo has good back end as well

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  7. Akimbo’s strength is in it’s back end. I’ve left the comment here several times, but Akimbo does not want to be in the hardware business. Tivo is based on Linux, but honestly if they wanted to offer Windows Media capable software, since it’s an embedded device I bet Microsoft would be happy to help them make it run. It’s a locked box whether the base in Open Source or not.

    Tivo hasn’t done anything innovative that has worked since they’ve released their initial product. Honestly, Tivo is being commoditized, although they still have the best interface. The only thing Tivo has left is it’s brand. Akimbo is the only company out there attempting to play the long tail, and I think Tivo’s offering is likely to be as poor as Tivo2Go.

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  8. TiVo Shareholders Still in Denial

    The value of TiVo’s shares declined over 6% in heavy trading last Thursday, after Reuters reported that DirecTV CEO Chase Carey had said that his company would cease marketing and promoting TiVo’s DVR service as soon as it launches a DVR of its own l…

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  9. I think TiVo should move on quicker because other service providers may offer a better and cheaper solution. Check nubatv.com (I think they are still in beta).

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