TiVo’s Banking on Analytics in the Cloud

Mari Silbey —  September 17, 2012 — 4 Comments

TiVo’s purchase of TRA this summer was no happy accident. The DVR company sees television analytics as an important part of its future.

At a Multichannel News event I attended last week, Senior Director of Product Marketing Evan Young commented that TiVo views the shift toward cloud TV as a way for TiVo to “leverage information from subscribers to deliver a better service.” Read: TiVo wants to make money from user data.

To be fair, everybody wants to make money from user data. In fact, with TV headed toward an IP future, the software companies are circling, each hoping to swoop in and become the Google of the television world. (Including Google, but that’s another story) TiVo is just one of many with its eye on analytics, customized TV, and ultimately targeted advertising. The shift for TiVo is interesting, however, because of its prior anti-establishment position. Young also made reference to “our MSO partners” at the Multichannel event, making it clear that TiVo knows where its future lies.

There was one other interesting TiVo note at last week’s event too. Young talked about the advantages of network-based DVR for cable subscribers, but also emphasized the headache of trying to wean consumers off boxes at home. Any transition would inevitably mean consumers would lose any previously recorded content unless it could be backed up locally on another hard drive. So, while TiVo sees a lot of benefits to the cloud, it also isn’t planning to do away with hardware any time soon.

4 responses to TiVo’s Banking on Analytics in the Cloud

  1. The shift for TiVo is interesting, however, because of its prior anti-establishment position.

    TiVo made that shift a long time ago.

    It will be interesting to see if TiVo can finally monetize the audience research and advertising arms of the business which to date have contributed very little to the bottom-line.

  2. I always felt stations should have taken tivo viewer info into consideration. To base all tv show audiences on such a small selected user base is crazy and maybe some good shows would stay on tv rather than getting the boot one season in.

  3. Speaking of TiVo:

    In the past day, I saw something I hadn’t believed possible.

    While I was watching a recorded TiVo program, an Emergency Alert System test message interrupted the show. No prob, I thought, I’ll just FF through it, right?

    No, it was a live test alert message that TiVo and CableCARD managed to insert despite the fact that I wasn’t watching the live FIOS feed. (When I went to the live TV buffer and rewound, it had recorded itself over the live feed, as I would’ve expected.)

    Very cool. I didn’t think a TiVo could do that. FWIW, the message was labeling itself as using “EASyPLUS” technology – I strongly suspect the “EAS” part of that comes from “Emergency Alert System”…

  4. “Ironically, the six commercials TiVo is producing in this multimillion dollar initiative are the things we DVR owners like to skip.”

    Clever subliminal marketing to the DVR-less:

    Buy a TiVo and you never have to look at Tim Tebow again…

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