Now that the Xperi merger has closed, TiVo’s 6th CEO in 5 years has weighed in on the future of the consumer business. And, while it was clear the (former) company had pinned its hopes on the TiVo Stream 4K, we now know that the Android TV streaming dongle is merely the first salvo in a three year battle as TiVo attempts to claw its way into the crowded connected TV market (and is content with a clean break from the legacy DVR platform). But can they successfully replicate the Roku playbook?
The second phase of this footprint expansion will come from the launch of Stream as an embedded search and discovery application for smart TVs expected to arrive in Products in late 2021 or early 2022. In the third phase, we will deliver Stream as a comprehensive smart TV platform connecting content from all sources and leveraging our search and discovery and monetization tools to fully exploit the TiVo content experience. This is one of the merger-related revenue synergies we are most excited about as we unite the TiVo Stream product with Xperi’s very strong OEM relationships and TV footprint.
Few probably realize this won’t be TiVo’s first foray into Smart TV (assuming they don’t pull the plug, or spin off the business, and successfully sign partners). Way, way back in 2011, Best Buy launched a TiVo television under their Insignia brand… that didn’t sell. As with the TiVo Stream platform, there were no native DVR capabilities. In fact, the packaging featured a big, red disclaimer “DVR NOT INCLUDED.” Beyond the requisite TiVo interface and a smattering of their own apps augmenting the Chumby platform (!?), the basic sales pitch seems to remain the same in collocating all our entertainment — but this time they mean it, within the content-unifying TiVo Stream experience. We’ll see.