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.