Wednesday, November 24, 2004

TiVo's quarterly results call

Engadget has a post that details the views of a listener to TiVo's Quarterly results call yesterday.  Here are some of the highlights from that post:

  • TiVo to Go should be out before the end of this year.  Certainly much more quickly than I expected it.
  • The TiVo/Netflix partnership on demand video service should be out in the next 12 months.  I am sure that TiVo is hoping they'll still have enough subscribers to utilize this service.
  • 80% of TiVo users have broadband in their home.  That's extremely interesting.  Now why can't you set up a TiVo over the internet?  Why do you have to plug it into a land-based hone line for initial set up?  I guess this ties into the bullet above regarding video on demand: it will obviously be coming through the boradband pipe.
  • TiVo receives ad revenue from both their stand alone and DirecTiVo units.  Not surprising and I am sure that they will receive even more revenue from their banner advertising.

Some items directly from the listener:

  1. TiVo seems to be placing a great hope in the future of the TiVo/DVD recorder combo. Personally I think that this hope is misplaced. Although it’s a nice feature, ultimately with a 4.7 gig maximum storage space on a DVD you’re limited. I don’t think people really care about this and I think the longer-term sales numbers will be disappointing. Of course TiVo had to mention this as it is important to a number of their hardware partners.
  2. A more interesting area is the whole concept of TiVo to Go. TiVo to Go will allow users to get content off of their TiVo boxes (although I’d imagine not off of the HDTV DirecTV unit) and transfer the file to a PC or a laptop for remote viewing. The exciting thing that came out of the conference call was that CEO Mike Ramsey said to expect before this before the end of this year. Yikes! That’ s coming up quick. I’m looking forward to seeing this roll out.
  3. My personal favorite - the standalone HDTV TiVo DVR. In Ramsey’s words, they have seen “huge” demand for the DirecTV HDTV unit currently on market. This demand is causing TiVo to reconsider coming to market with a standalone HDTV DVR. Not exactly an announcement but it’s nice to know that they are thinking about this.
  4. Broadband content delivery. Ramsey said that the Netflix deal is real and not just a general agreement or hype. He said to expect a rollout of this deal within the next 12 months and sees this as the starting point of a longer initiative of delivering content via broadband. TiVo envisions a living room that has content inputs from both broadband and broadcasts and wants to own the machine in the living room (as does Microsoft of course).
  5. Although not as pressing of a priority right now, the last priority mentioned was continued development of the cable card.

Suspiciously absent from this is any mention of the banner advertising.  of course, that could be due to this:

. . . it’s really only selected analysts that get approved to ask the questions on these calls and they were pitched some fairly easy balls by their analyst friends today.

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