TiVo on the slide; is this a death spiral?

In TiVo Swings to a Profit posted by The New York Times, it is clear the TiVo continues to shrink. It is a sad day for the small technology brand that could. Subscribers are now at 3.5 million from a peak of 4.4 million. Net subscriber additions are down and have been shrinking all year long.

Net Adds for TiVo Service as reported by tvbythenumbers.com
Net Adds for TiVo Service as reported by tvbythenumbers.com

The cable companies are the major immediate threat and have been, but in the larger context Apple (iTunes), Hulu, YouTube and other similar services are changing the consumption behavior for video content.

See my last post Netflix & TiVo join forces, it does not seem TiVo is positioned well even in the strategies they are employing to get out of this tough spot. It is time to rethink the business model.

The Bottom Line:

TiVo needs to pull themselves out of this death spiral, but it will take grand action not incrementalism. They could become a software and information services provider for the competition (cable and satellite TV providers). Cable companies love to outsource this type of thing and they have been on a whirlwind of deals to work together in wireless communications, advertising networks, and interactive TV initiatives.

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