TiVo’s desperate bid to stay alive


About three months ago when I started to look into the whole television/PVR model, it became obvious that consumers love the technology but the pioneers were on a losing streak. TiVo/Replay are fine devices – but the companies are in poor shape. The barrage of email which followed has the same self righteousness as those of Apple owners. Full Disclosure – I am in love with my TiBook 1 GHz! Anyway now comes the news that TiVo will boost its lifetime membership charges to $299 from $249. But I don’t think that will be enough to save the company. Peter Ausnit, an analyst with investment bank Deutsche Bank Securities according to Richard Shim of CNet News.Com in a note noted: “TiVo is trying to reduce lifetime subscriptions to favor more lucrative monthly pricing. As the mix (of subscribers) shifts toward monthly subscribers, the aggregate value of the installed base increases.”

Peter Rojas of Gizmodo has a better suggestion for TiVo management. “Honestly, they should copying the cellular carriers, and sell the boxes for next to nothing, charge $20 a month for listings, and lock people into two or three year contracts. You can bet that if a TiVo box cost $29 with a three year service plan, lots more people would be buying them.” writes Rojas.

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