LG Ads Preps New Smart Television OS; With TiVo In Tow?

TiVo clearly has their sights set on Smart TV, yet at the same time partnered with LG Ads… a company that’s just unveiled a new smart television platform. And “River OS” seems to share a lot of similarities with TiVo’s approach:

River OS delivers seamless and highly personalized search, discovery, recommendations and viewing across live linear and on-demand sources.  Through advanced machine learning, individual preferences are matched to the vast world of content available across the television universe, to present each viewer the programming that is most appealing to their tastes.

As with Xperi’s stated 2023-24 TiVo goals, LG Ads pitches a smart television OS to hardware manufacturers as a means of those companies generating additional and ongoing ad revenue beyond set sales. Except LG Ads is launching their platform in 2021 (India) and 2022 (US). So 2-3 years earlier than TiVo, with a number of identified OEM partners:

Our current OEM partners include LG, Sharp, Hisense, Toshiba, Seiki, Skyworth, Tivo, and Sling Media, with over 10 more OEMs committed to joining us in 2021.

With limited detail beyond the name drop, we’re forced to speculate on the nature of the LG Ads & TiVo relationship. As reflected in the comments below, it could be specific to aggregating viewership metrics vs actively partnering on hardware — which would be a curious move. In that scenario, the best case may be TiVo once again relying on a 3rd party to power their solution, a la TiVo Stream 4K (riding Google’s Android TV). But worse case may be TiVo actively competing against themselves by licensing a variety of TiVo and Rovi patents and approaches.

13 thoughts on “LG Ads Preps New Smart Television OS; With TiVo In Tow?”

  1. Has anyone actually let the OS of their TV be the determining factor in their choice? You buy the TV for either the price or the quality and use a streaming stick/device for streaming.

  2. I suspect The partnership may be more around ad sales than the operating system itself. If Tivo & LG can standardize the consumer data (cohorts) and ad
    placement standards (format, ID, persistence, etc…) they will both have a much better chance of succeeding against Roku, Google, and others that have a big head start.

  3. That could be a solid strategic move, alexz. Or still competing against themselves, as the Toshibas and Hisenses would be their targets as well. We shall see. Although with this sort of dealio, we may not actually see. And I have doubts TiVo will actually be able to or choose to execute their Roku playbook vision.

    Update 11:30AM EST: In digging deeper, it does seem the relationship may be specific to aggregating metrics and whatnot. “LG Ads curates its best-in-class TV viewership data in partnership with many major smart TV and connected TV device makers. his makes LG Ads the industry frontrunner in delivering the most diverse, most representative, TV data set for planning, targeting activation, measurement, and attribution.” I revised the post to reflect the more tenuous connection to Smart TV.

    I’d inquire with TiVo themselves, however the current regime doesn’t field questions.

  4. Dave,
    When I saw “LG Ads”, the first thing that came to mind was WebOS but you didn’t mention it in your article. Is River OS its successor?

    Thanks for the update,

  5. Larry, I wondered the same thing about WebOS. Has LG abandoned that, is this a successor, or is it just an advertising component of WebOS?

  6. Hmmm… that’s quite a connection/speculation, without much substance. I don’t read this having anything to do to TiVo OS or the solution for TVs.

    Also, the comments on here show the disconnect or lack of understanding between basic products and solutions, which further creates additional confusion and creates a cycle bad info

  7. The TiVo/LG Ads partnership was highlighted in the source article, linked above, and referenced in the LG Ads River OS press release. Given alexz’s input, I dug deeper and shared what I found. Original point stands: A TiVo partner intends to launch a competing platform. As to LG’s post-Alphonso acquisition branding challenges, I dunno.

  8. TiVo needs to get their original DVR interface into a television by using cloud storage and ditching hard drives altogether. A TiVo device using Android is not a TiVo device and doesn’t differentiate it from any other.

  9. Kevin,
    Philo TV stores subscriber’s copies in the cloud. That is convenient but there is a time limit of thirty days, I believe. I prefer having my copies stored locally for when the network is down or other reasons your cloud storage is no longer available to you. That is why I have Channels and Plex as well as a TiVo.

  10. The reasoning behind using the Cloud was that the hard drive was and is the Achilles Heel of the TiVo recorder. A spinning hard drive is simply too unreliable to use inside a television. SSD’s are a solution, but at too high a price point. The cloud could also provide revenue streams as users needs for storage increase.
    I suppose my greater point is that there is nothing that competes with the original TIVO OS, at least in my view. Trying to attach the TiVo brand to other platforms (i.e. Android) will only hasten its demise. Licensing the original, reasonably priced, TiVo OS to TV manufacturers is the only solution that will keep the company viable.

  11. This is why I’ll never let my LG TV connect to the internet. I like my TV without Ad delivery or volume rocker button Ads. I finally cancelled cable and looking to offload my TiVo gear (20 yr user). TiVo exists in name only. It’s name will be eventually thrown on junk TV electronics like RCA has for years.

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