Wednesday, March 10, 2010

TiVo Subscriber Losses Accelerate In 2009

I loved my Tivo! Yes past tense. As cable companies converted to all digital and scrambled each cable channel signal, my Tivo Series 2 lost its value. I thought about upgrading, especially since we had just put an HD set into the same room. But talking to the CSR at the cable company, getting a CableCARD seemed out of her vocabulary and I wasn't about to buy a Tivo till I knew they could support it. And finally, our household enjoys both DVR and VOD and I wasn't about to put both a cable DVR box and a Tivo box on the same HD TV. Hence my dilemma, my Sophie's Choice, so to speak.

But having used the cable DVR, I miss the functionality, convenience, ease, and other benefits of my Tivo. It is a superior product forced to work with its dysfunctional cousin. If only the two could play more effortlessly together. But it is that issue that primarily hurts consumers from putting a Tivo into a cable home.

One hope is that the release of their latest version solves that problem. "The company last week launched Premiere, TiVo's next generation of set-top boxes that have a 16:9 interface optimized for HD displays. RCN plans to release the TiVo Premiere as its primary DVR in the second quarter, with the ability to access content from broadband sources as well as VOD." And that is the key; to successfully market this product by simply work WITH the cable company. For Tivo, close those cable deals! Market in their newsletters, guides, triple play offers, and such. Run cross channel showing the ease of replacing a Tivo with the current box and that all functionality not only remains, but is improved. Gaining cable company partnerships and marketing alongside their messaging will grow the Tivo subscriber base!

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