Can TiVo make a comeback?

TiVo is now offering a DVR known as the Bolt, but the company’s subscriber base is shrinking and its valuable patents may eventually run out.

Sourced through Scoop.it from: fortune.com

TiVo is now offering a DVR known as the Bolt, but the company’s subscriber base is shrinking and its valuable patents may eventually run out.  TiVo was once a household name and among the leading digital video recorder (DVR) makers in the world. Now, though, it’s a shadow of its former self.  Last month, for instance, TiVo announced that during its second quarter, it lost 3,000 TiVo-owned subscribers. While it was able to add 284,000 subscribers through partnerships with service providers (like RCN and Virgin) TiVo-owned subscriptions now hover at about 941,000. Over the last few years, the company has been hemorrhaging subscribers, losing “a couple hundred thousand” TiVo-owned subscribers in the last few years, CFO Naveen Chopra says.  TiVo-owned subscribers are paying customers the company acquired on its own. TiVo also has subscribers that it obtained through partnerships with pay-TV providers that are separate from its own “TiVo-owned” grouping.  Last month, TiVo revealed its latest product: the Bolt DVR, which allows users to skip commercials. Although the new device is a good idea, it (and others on the market) has only earned TiVo just a sliver of the set-top box market and has done little to reverse a revenue slide in its DVR business.   “[TiVo] has never been able to be the definitive market leader as a result of pay-TV-provider DVRs which dominate consumer adoption,” says Greg Ireland, research director at IDC. “[TiVo has] worked hard to offer products with compelling features sets, yet the barriers to entry—upfront costs, set up, service fees—don’t compare favorably with the ease of adoption of a pay-TV DVR box (even when those boxes offer less compelling interfaces).”

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