TiVo reaches 3m subscriber milestone

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US personal video recorder (PVR) pioneer TiVo has passed the 3m-subscriber milestone. The company added 698,000 new customers in the three months to the end of January 31, the bulk - 447,000 - via satellite broadcaster DirecTV.

Hailing the achievement, TiVo chairman and chief executive Mike Ramsay said: "Last year, we launched an aggressive growth plan that included increasing our subscription acquisition spending to grow our base, strengthen our market position, and fuel our recurring revenue model."

Last month Ramsay - who has led the company since co-founding it in 1997 - announced he was stepping down as CEO. The announcement was followed by news that company president Marty Yudkovitz was also leaving the company.

The resignations fuelled investor concerns over TiVo's business model, and long-term future.

TiVo has relied on its relationship with DirecTV to grow subscribers. But DirecTV recently announced a compelling personal video strategy of its own, and now US cable operators are giving away PVRs to customers, further challenging TiVo's business.

TiVo executive vice president Brodie Keast told the Washington Post that TiVo did not depend on News Corporation-controlled DirecTV.

"We're fully prepared for life without DirecTV should it come to that; we're not naive about that," he said.

Keast said he believed TiVo could also "co-exist" with cable operators and new players such as telecoms companies, deploying Microsoft software offering similar features to that of the TiVo product.

"It's not one of those things where there's going to be absolute winners and absolute losers. It's going to be a vast market," he added.

Lovelacemedia  |  21.02.2005

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