Although Hydra was just deployed about a year ago and remains a work in progress, TiVo has announced development of yet another new interface — intended to better aggregate linear cable content alongside streaming video… to generate revenue. From the Seeking Alpha transcript of TiVo’s quarterly call:
we began investing in a new opportunity that combines our expertise in Pay TV and OTT to build unique entertainment discovery platform for the Internet age.
With the proliferation of content from multiple sources around the world that is delivered through broadcast, TV, OTT, on-demand and internet streaming, TiVo offers a powerful platform to engage audiences through a single, unified content discovery experience. The platform will enable end-users to experience content from leading digital brands integrated with live, recorded and OTT streaming titles. We are re-imagining the guide as one integrated content network that allows you to access all of the content you want to watch seamlessly. We believe this product has the potential to change how you watch TV again.
In addition, this unified discovery experience and content network will enable multiple high CPM targeted advertising opportunities for TiVo. These include sponsored discovery, content merchandising, display promotions, in-stream advertising, DVR ad replacement et cetera.
we’re going to create the guide for the Internet age and create content network precisely to be able to enable digital content and linear content to be commingled and integrated and create a seamless discovery experience. So the content aggregators as well as digital brands are really interested in getting the content exposed to mainstream TV viewers and enabling the easy access without having to be discovered through a separate application or a separate streaming device. Now TiVo provides the ideal platform for them to be able to do that. And what we’re trying to do is integrate streaming with live TV and be able to create a very compelling experience. The advantage also for us is that we can introduce digital ads in that Sponsored Discovery, merchandising of content, and creates a number of opportunities for us to be able to increase revenues and growth for TiVo.
One example is content merchandising. Recently we did a test with our consumer base. We ran the test for about two weeks. We promoted content essentially for about three free streaming movies. We targeted about 900,000 retail and MSO devices. And the click-through response when we promoted this – these movies was about 12%, almost 100,000 devices. And very importantly, what it did was generate about 1.75 streaming hours per responding device. That’s really significant and this kind of uplift is what content providers look for and that’s why when I was asked the earlier question I said with this solution that we are trying to build we can create some unique capabilities and monetization potential. And so it will be giving us revenue growth through advertising.
Of course, advertising is nothing new in this business and has been a mainstay going back decades… although TiVo’s prior forays were mixed-to-poor as far as I can tell – both in sales and consumer uptake. However, Roku’s proven the model and advertising has been their biggest business several years running. As an aside, Comcast’s similar aggregation disclosure preempting TiVo is quite curious… given the ongoing litigation between the companies.