Amazon May Have Sped Up TiVo's Demise


TiVo is an application device which allows user to record desired tv show / Photo by: via Flickr


TiVo, one of the original devices that allow you to record your favorite TV shows whenever you can’t watch them on time, may be running out of options. With Amazon coming out to make their own DVR product to record live TV programming, interested buyers of TiVo products and IP portfolio, and its 22 million subscribers may have dwindled significantly.

TiVo recently announced that it will no longer manufacture their own set-top boxes, going for contracts instead to an unnamed third party. And while there will still be TiVo products that are available on their website as well as on Amazon and Best Buy, the CEO and ex-president of TiVo, Enrique Rodriguez, declared that the company was in the process of exiting the hardware side of their business and focusing more on being a distribution channel instead. He went on to say that TiVo will be going through a more thorough review with a focus on selling the company.

When TiVo recently announced their second-quarter earnings just last month, they looked to still have potential buyers. But that was before Amazon’s pronouncement that it is going into the DVR business.

Amazon’s device, called Frank, would let viewers use the same technology that lets them connect their Fire TV box to the Echo speakers. It also can record live television, something that is lacking in Amazon’s current boxes.

This particular DVR will have physical storage and the capability to stream content to different devices like a smartphone, laptop, tablet, or smart TV so the user can watch it at a later time, something similar to what TiVo DVRs could do. The main difference is that Frank will connect via Wi-Fi rather than being directly plugged into the device, making it more convenient for the user.

By being able to control the entire television process, Amazon can gather important data about the users’ viewing habits that can then be used to better marketing purposes, in terms of programming as well as specific retail products.