Blog Post

TiVo Subscriber Numbers Keep Tanking

TiVo (s TIVO) released its third quarter results today, and while the company reported a profit (thank you, EchoStar for that $105 million patent violation payment) the DVR maker lost 163,000 subscribers, dragging its total number of subscribers down to 3.46 million — the lowest it’s been since the spring of 2005.

TV by the Numbers has been tracking TiVo’s subscriber freefall and has a comprehensive and pretty chart (well, pretty if you’re not a TiVo employee or shareholder). Bill Gorman over there writes:

TiVo may have a valuable intellectual property portfolio, but its hardware selling business is over. For the most recent quarter, it sold fewer than 500 TiVo DVRs a day.

TiVo reported net income of $100.6 million ($0.98 a share). Last year at this time, the company reported a net loss of $8.3 million ($0.08 per share). Revenue for this latest quarter slipped to $64.5 million from $75.5 million with non-hardware revenue from its service and technology groups dropping 11 percent to $51.7 million.

And the company doesn’t expect its fortunes to change much this quarter. TiVo said the down economy will put the kibosh on sales this holiday season. TiVo made it known through a regulatory filing last week that it was laying off staff and taking a $1 million pretax charge for severance charges and outplacement.

10 Responses to “TiVo Subscriber Numbers Keep Tanking”

  1. Why pay extra for a TiVo? Well your not really paying extra and if you are it’s something you’re using. The $12-20/month you spend on that DVR from them adds up. Cable card rental is only ~$2/month. $300/onetime lifetime TiVo program guide fee, which I have a problem paying for, but do so because TiVo does rock. No sense in paying the monthly, it’s outrageous. $200/onetime cost to purchase a refurb TiVo HD, which will soon support Netflix streaming from your unlimited account.

    TiVo maybe a closed system, but it’s still more open and feature rich than anything you get from the satellite, cable companies.

    Imagine all the time you will save being able to skip forward and backwards, not old-school fast-forward/rewind. Actually being able to skip whole commercials with a single button press.
    Why pay extra?

  2. You really don’t need a tivo anymore you can get a dvr from your cable tv provider. So why pay the extra for a tivo.
    Also remember if you get your tv via an Antenna all your old tivos will be useless. So even more people will be dropping tivo.
    Streaming video services, Netflix, torrents all of these kind of cut out the usefulness of tivo.

  3. Of course not all TiVo subs are created equal. Most of those defections are DirecTV subscribers – hardware that hasn’t been produced, sold, or marketed in a few years. And it probably won’t be another year until new DirecTV+TiVo hardware is available. Long term, the cable and satellite cos still have a lock on this industry.