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Big article on Tivo Future/Supporters LA Times

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Anonymous
February 21, 2005 2:04:04 AM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

tivo's problem in 2 words? bad advertising. it's 2005 and the VAST
majority of people that i talk to don't even KNOW what tivo is...forget
about them thinking about buying one. from day one, tivo's commercial
and ads have been pathetic. they have always stressed that it pauses
live tv and not much more. people aren't going to pay a subscription
fee if they think that is all they are getting. i own a little bit of
tivo stock. weird that they could never do a decent commercial.


http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-tivo20feb20,1,756...

TiVo Looks to Devoted Fans to Help Keep It in the Picture

As the video-recording innovator struggles with competition, it needs
its faithful more than ever.
By Alex Pham
Times Staff Writer

February 20, 2005

Joshua Rafofsky and TiVo Inc. can't live without each other.

Rafofsky, a 33-year-old technology consultant from Hancock Park, owns
three TiVo digital video recorders ‹ two to record multiple shows that
might be on at the same time, and another just to tinker with.

"I know it sounds weird," Rafofsky said, "but TiVo's almost become a
member of my family."

TiVo executives feel much the same way about Rafofsky, though they have
never met him.

"The one thing we have is our customers," said TiVo board member Randy
Komisar. "They love us, which is why we're still alive."

Throughout TiVo's precarious existence, enthusiastic ‹ some would say
evangelical ‹ customers like Rafofsky have kept the company afloat in
the face of repeated predictions that it would fold. That devotion
matters more than ever as the Alviso, Calif.-based company struggles
anew to convince investors, potential partners and new customers that it
can compete in a DVR market it helped create.

Since January, TiVo has lost a key partnership and reshuffled its
executive ranks as well- financed competitors have gained market share.
TiVo has never had a profitable quarter, and its stock has fallen 37%
since the beginning of the year.

"They've really taken a beating," said Alan Bezoza, cable analyst with
Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co., an investment firm based in Arlington,
Va. "Clearly their long-term fundamentals are deteriorating."

TiVo, founded in 1997, helped introduce a new category of consumer
electronics: hard-disk-based video recorders that allow viewers to pause
and rewind live television as well as tailor recording schedules to
their personal tastes.

A Box ‹ and a Verb

Among its fans, "TiVo" quickly gained currency as a verb like "Xerox"
and later "Google." Outgoing Federal Communications Commission Chairman
Michael K. Powell spoke for many when he called TiVo "God's machine."

More than 3 million households have TiVo's particular brand of religion.
Another 3 million more have similar but less expensive recorders
provided by cable and satellite companies. Those companies, once thought
to be TiVo's strongest potential allies, are now its biggest threat ‹
with the deep pockets and wide subscriber bases that TiVo lacks.

Its only ally in this field of giants, DirecTV Group Inc., appeared to
turn its back on TiVo by declaring in January that it planned to start
distributing a rival digital video recorder this year. Days after that
announcement, TiVo co-founder Mike Ramsay said he would step down as
chief executive but remain chairman. Then TiVo President Martin
Yudkovitz resigned amid grumblings about the company's inability to seal
a distribution deal with cable powerhouse Comcast Corp.

"TiVo is a little guy. We're loved, but we have no power," said board
member Komisar. "We try to deliver the control of entertainment back to
the consumer. But to do that, we have to cut across the domains of very
powerful, very complex businesses ‹ all of whom have really sharp elbows
and the ability to say no to us."

Despite that, Komisar and other TiVo executives say they believe the
company can stick it out. They point to the 94% of U.S. households
without a digital video recorder as a wide-open market. They also
believe that the company can survive just fine on subscription revenue;
TiVo charges $12.95 a month.

TiVo has always had a precarious existence. When Ramsay and Jim Barton
founded the company, few understood its concept of pausing live TV,
recording shows on a hard drive and fast-forwarding through commercials.
Ramsay recalled that people thought it was just a fancy videocassette
recorder.

"People spent a lifetime putting up with the limitations of TV," said
TiVo Executive Vice President Brodie Keast. "It was TV by appointment.
And while consumers said they often felt it conflicted with their lives,
they didn't see it as a problem that needed solving."

Competitive Pressures

Eventually, Ramsay and Barton broke through the initial skepticism and
got enough funding to start selling boxes in 1999. By then, TiVo wasn't
alone. ReplayTV, another Silicon Valley company that had simultaneously
developed a digital video recorder, released a product days before TiVo
did.

The two jostled for the attention of consumers and investors.

ReplayTV relied on sales of its hardware to make money. TiVo took a
different route and offered a subscription option that let buyers pay
either a monthly fee or a single lifetime fee. TiVo used the fees to
lower the upfront price of the box, making it seem substantially less
costly. The gambit paid off ‹ consumers took to the lower price, handing
TiVo the first round.

Then in 2001, Microsoft Corp. introduced UltimateTV, a device that
boasted numerous features not available on TiVo's box, such as a second
TV tuner that allowed users to watch one channel while recording
another. TiVo seemed hopelessly outgunned.

Consumers once again rode to TiVo's rescue by embracing its simple
design over Microsoft's feature-rich but complex device. Microsoft
stopped marketing UltimateTV a year later.

TiVo survived a second round with ReplayTV in 2002. Determined to offer
a superior device, ReplayTV relaunched with two new features: the
ability to skip commercials without having to fast-forward through them
and the ability to send recorded TV shows to other ReplayTV owners over
the Internet.

Although that won ReplayTV customers, it also attracted lawsuits from
Hollywood studios, which contended that the company was violating
copyright laws by letting viewers share shows.

Already burdened by debt, ReplayTV's owner, Sonicblue Inc., filed for
bankruptcy protection in 2003 and sold the division to D&M Holdings
Inc.'s Digital Networks North America, which agreed to remove the
program-sharing feature from new models.

TiVo avoided ReplayTV's fate. Its fast-forward button lets users zip
through commercials but not skip them altogether.

"That met customer needs while still being respectful of [the TV
networks'] business models," Keast said. "The question for us was, did
we want to spend money on a fight we know we'd lose? Or did we want to
live to fight another day?"

The Next Battle

Now TiVo is facing what is perhaps its greatest challenge yet.

Cable and satellite TV companies are starting to roll out competing
digital video recorders built into their set-top boxes.

Unlike ReplayTV or Microsoft, cable companies have the means to install
boxes into millions of homes easily and fairly quickly. In addition,
cable companies are luring subscribers by giving away the boxes and
charging a lower monthly fee than TiVo does.

Comcast, the nation's largest cable company, with 21.5 million
households subscribing, charges $9.95 a month and no upfront fee for the
device. TiVo, on the other hand, charges $99.99 for a basic recorder
(after a $100 rebate) and $12.95 a month for the service.

"The key question for TiVo is, now that DVR is available on virtually
every cable system, why do people need to buy TiVos?" said Josh Bernoff,
an analyst at Forrester Research.

In a recent Forrester survey, 588 DVR users were asked to rate how much
effect their devices had on their TV-watching experience, on a scale of
1 to 5, with 5 being the biggest effect. TiVo owners registered 4.6.

"There are not that many products that make users that happy," Bernoff
said. But users of cable DVRs scored 4.4 ‹ not far behind.

"It's the difference between deliriously happy and really, really,
really happy," he said. "The difference between a DVR supplied by a
cable company and TiVo is not that great."

TiVo has been aware of this threat for years. That's why it has
continually been in talks with Comcast and others to distribute its
software and services on cable and satellite set-top boxes.

So far, its only success is DirecTV, which signed a deal in 1999 to
distribute TiVo to its customers until February 2007. As of Jan. 31, the
El Segundo satellite TV company accounted for 62% of TiVo's 3 million
subscribers. But DirecTV last month said it would begin to market its
own DVR this year, not just the TiVo box.

TiVo's vulnerability was further highlighted when Yudkovitz, its
president, resigned a few weeks later. The former NBC executive was
recruited in 2003 to help TiVo secure licensing and distribution
partnerships with cable and satellite companies.

Then word got out last fall that TiVo was close to striking a deal with
Comcast. TiVo would piggyback on Comcast's reach into one-fifth of U.S.
households, while Comcast would take advantage of TiVo's brand.

The deal fell through, with each side pointing a finger at the other.
TiVo "reneged," said a Comcast executive who asked not to be named. TiVo
Chairman Ramsay denied backing out of any agreement. A Comcast
spokeswoman declined to comment.

The squabble left even longtime TiVo supporters spooked.

"TiVo is really facing a final showdown," said Gary Arlen, an
independent technology consultant and TiVo stockholder. "And it doesn't
look to be a winning battle."

TiVo executives disagree.

"Since we don't have a deal with cable now and we're doing just fine,
I'd have to say that we're not dependent on cable for our success,"
Ramsay said.

Instead, the company unveiled a strategy to tightly integrate the TiVo
box with broadband Internet through a home network. That would pave the
way for TiVo to deliver movies, video clips or music on demand to the TV
via the Internet ‹ whether it's piped in by cable companies or by phone
companies.

TiVo also aims to bring content to other devices, such as laptops,
hand-held movie players or cellphones. It took a step in that direction
last month by announcing an alliance with an old foe, Microsoft. The
deal creates a free service, dubbed TiVoToGo, that lets people transfer
recorded TV shows from their TiVo to their laptops or other devices
running Microsoft's Windows operating system.

Those tactics won a mixed response.

"I have TiVo, so from the standpoint of an early technology adopter, I
think it's very interesting," said Rob Sanderson, an analyst with
American Technology Research. "As an analyst trying to determine whether
this will help TiVo overcome its challenges, I don't think it will.

"This will make hard-core TiVo users very happy. But their problem is
not preserving that recurring revenue stream. Their problem is in
growing that base into the mainstream. This will not help them get those
mainstream folks who just care about the basic DVR functions."

Wooing Advertisers

TiVo also is working hard to recruit advertisers. Though TiVo doesn't
have the reach of traditional TV, it does have the ability to gauge how
effective the ads are by tracking how many viewers watch them and for
how long. And it can play with the advertising format in ways
traditional TV cannot. For example, it can store ads of longer duration,
say five or 10 minutes, on the device's hard drive.

"We're starting to see some industry acceptance of DVR as an ad
vehicle," said Tim Hanlon, senior vice president of Starcom MediaVest in
Chicago, a subsidiary of Paris advertising agency Publicis Groupe. "And
TiVo gets full marks for creating some of the most innovative
advertising platforms."

At the same time, TiVo still lacks the broad reach advertisers seek.

"Scale brings you to the table," Hanlon said. "Right now, they're a
niche company."

But TiVo has an advantage ‹ a small army of fans.

Rafofsky has persuaded dozens of people to get TiVo, including his
father, his sister, a niece, two stepbrothers, his in-laws and five
buddies from high school.

He has received glossy fliers from Comcast, his cable company,
advertising cheaper DVRs. Each time, he said, he tosses them in the
trash.

"To some degree," he said, "I'd feel like I'd be selling my soul if I
switched.

-end

More about : big article tivo future supporters times

Anonymous
February 21, 2005 11:28:13 AM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

in article robin-347E04.23040420022005@news-50.dca.giganews.com, robin rules
at robin@rules.com wrote on 2/20/05 11:04 PM:

> tivo's problem in 2 words? bad advertising. it's 2005 and the VAST
> majority of people that i talk to don't even KNOW what tivo is...forget
> about them thinking about buying one. from day one, tivo's commercial
> and ads have been pathetic. they have always stressed that it pauses
> live tv and not much more. people aren't going to pay a subscription
> fee if they think that is all they are getting. i own a little bit of
> tivo stock. weird that they could never do a decent commercial.

When your company name becomes a commonly accepted verb, it's usually not a
sign that you're failing to advertise.

The vast majority of people who know must be under-rock people;)

I'll agree though that most people don't know what TiVo is capable of, but
conveying that in simple ads is very hard and very expensive. TiVo did a
first class job of branding and providing positive experiences that
capitalized on word of mouth.

What TiVo has never done well is biz-dev.

It's mind blowing to think they couldn't keep DirectTV, or be the provider
for Comcast. Likewise, it's just amazing that they haven't *yet* been sold
to a company like Apple.
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 11:28:14 AM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

MR_ED_of_Course wrote:
> in article robin-347E04.23040420022005@news-50.dca.giganews.com, robin rules
> at robin@rules.com wrote on 2/20/05 11:04 PM:
>
>
> What TiVo has never done well is biz-dev.
>
> It's mind blowing to think they couldn't keep DirectTV, or be the provider
> for Comcast. Likewise, it's just amazing that they haven't *yet* been sold
> to a company like Apple.
>


Tivo is a product I use but a company I probably would never invest in.
I think that the big hurdle for most people is the monthly subscription
fee. Most people are not going to get $12.95 a month of value from the
tivo. I do, but I'm not most people.

I think most people can program their vcr's, but most don't. If a
program is important enough for them to watch, they will choose to watch
it live. Busier people who could use a tivo probably place less value
on watching tv. Most of the people I know choose to channel surf rather
than plan out their viewing habits.

Tivo doesn't work well in a family environment with multiple users of
the tv. People who don't buy into the tivo concept will reject having to
use the tivo remote.

I think it is a niche product. A good niche product, but a niche product
nevertheless. If I were tivo, I would forget about changing the way
everyone watches tv. I would try to find the people who really would buy
into the tivo concept and aggressively market to them.

Don Vito Vicino
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 1:59:21 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

"robin rules" <robin@rules.com> wrote in message
news:robin-347E04.23040420022005@news-50.dca.giganews.com...
> tivo's problem in 2 words? bad advertising. it's 2005 and the VAST
> majority of people that i talk to don't even KNOW what tivo is...forget
> about them thinking about buying one. from day one, tivo's commercial
> and ads have been pathetic. they have always stressed that it pauses
> live tv and not much more. people aren't going to pay a subscription
> fee if they think that is all they are getting. i own a little bit of
> tivo stock. weird that they could never do a decent commercial.
>
>
> http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-tivo20feb20,1,756...
>
> TiVo Looks to Devoted Fans to Help Keep It in the Picture
>
> As the video-recording innovator struggles with competition, it needs
> its faithful more than ever.
> By Alex Pham
> Times Staff Writer
>
> February 20, 2005
>
> Joshua Rafofsky and TiVo Inc. can't live without each other.
>
> Rafofsky, a 33-year-old technology consultant from Hancock Park, owns
> three TiVo digital video recorders < two to record multiple shows that
> might be on at the same time, and another just to tinker with.
>
> "I know it sounds weird," Rafofsky said, "but TiVo's almost become a
> member of my family."
>
> TiVo executives feel much the same way about Rafofsky, though they have
> never met him.
>
> "The one thing we have is our customers," said TiVo board member Randy
> Komisar. "They love us, which is why we're still alive."
>
> Throughout TiVo's precarious existence, enthusiastic < some would say
> evangelical < customers like Rafofsky have kept the company afloat in
> the face of repeated predictions that it would fold. That devotion
> matters more than ever as the Alviso, Calif.-based company struggles
> anew to convince investors, potential partners and new customers that it
> can compete in a DVR market it helped create.
>
> Since January, TiVo has lost a key partnership and reshuffled its
> executive ranks as well- financed competitors have gained market share.
> TiVo has never had a profitable quarter, and its stock has fallen 37%
> since the beginning of the year.
>
> "They've really taken a beating," said Alan Bezoza, cable analyst with
> Friedman, Billings, Ramsey & Co., an investment firm based in Arlington,
> Va. "Clearly their long-term fundamentals are deteriorating."
>
> TiVo, founded in 1997, helped introduce a new category of consumer
> electronics: hard-disk-based video recorders that allow viewers to pause
> and rewind live television as well as tailor recording schedules to
> their personal tastes.
>
> A Box < and a Verb
>
> Among its fans, "TiVo" quickly gained currency as a verb like "Xerox"
> and later "Google." Outgoing Federal Communications Commission Chairman
> Michael K. Powell spoke for many when he called TiVo "God's machine."
>
> More than 3 million households have TiVo's particular brand of religion.
> Another 3 million more have similar but less expensive recorders
> provided by cable and satellite companies. Those companies, once thought
> to be TiVo's strongest potential allies, are now its biggest threat <
> with the deep pockets and wide subscriber bases that TiVo lacks.
>
> Its only ally in this field of giants, DirecTV Group Inc., appeared to
> turn its back on TiVo by declaring in January that it planned to start
> distributing a rival digital video recorder this year. Days after that
> announcement, TiVo co-founder Mike Ramsay said he would step down as
> chief executive but remain chairman. Then TiVo President Martin
> Yudkovitz resigned amid grumblings about the company's inability to seal
> a distribution deal with cable powerhouse Comcast Corp.
>
> "TiVo is a little guy. We're loved, but we have no power," said board
> member Komisar. "We try to deliver the control of entertainment back to
> the consumer. But to do that, we have to cut across the domains of very
> powerful, very complex businesses < all of whom have really sharp elbows
> and the ability to say no to us."
>
> Despite that, Komisar and other TiVo executives say they believe the
> company can stick it out. They point to the 94% of U.S. households
> without a digital video recorder as a wide-open market. They also
> believe that the company can survive just fine on subscription revenue;
> TiVo charges $12.95 a month.
>
> TiVo has always had a precarious existence. When Ramsay and Jim Barton
> founded the company, few understood its concept of pausing live TV,
> recording shows on a hard drive and fast-forwarding through commercials.
> Ramsay recalled that people thought it was just a fancy videocassette
> recorder.
>
> "People spent a lifetime putting up with the limitations of TV," said
> TiVo Executive Vice President Brodie Keast. "It was TV by appointment.
> And while consumers said they often felt it conflicted with their lives,
> they didn't see it as a problem that needed solving."
>
> Competitive Pressures
>
> Eventually, Ramsay and Barton broke through the initial skepticism and
> got enough funding to start selling boxes in 1999. By then, TiVo wasn't
> alone. ReplayTV, another Silicon Valley company that had simultaneously
> developed a digital video recorder, released a product days before TiVo
> did.
>
> The two jostled for the attention of consumers and investors.
>
> ReplayTV relied on sales of its hardware to make money. TiVo took a
> different route and offered a subscription option that let buyers pay
> either a monthly fee or a single lifetime fee. TiVo used the fees to
> lower the upfront price of the box, making it seem substantially less
> costly. The gambit paid off < consumers took to the lower price, handing
> TiVo the first round.
>
> Then in 2001, Microsoft Corp. introduced UltimateTV, a device that
> boasted numerous features not available on TiVo's box, such as a second
> TV tuner that allowed users to watch one channel while recording
> another. TiVo seemed hopelessly outgunned.
>
> Consumers once again rode to TiVo's rescue by embracing its simple
> design over Microsoft's feature-rich but complex device. Microsoft
> stopped marketing UltimateTV a year later.
>
> TiVo survived a second round with ReplayTV in 2002. Determined to offer
> a superior device, ReplayTV relaunched with two new features: the
> ability to skip commercials without having to fast-forward through them
> and the ability to send recorded TV shows to other ReplayTV owners over
> the Internet.
>
> Although that won ReplayTV customers, it also attracted lawsuits from
> Hollywood studios, which contended that the company was violating
> copyright laws by letting viewers share shows.
>
> Already burdened by debt, ReplayTV's owner, Sonicblue Inc., filed for
> bankruptcy protection in 2003 and sold the division to D&M Holdings
> Inc.'s Digital Networks North America, which agreed to remove the
> program-sharing feature from new models.
>
> TiVo avoided ReplayTV's fate. Its fast-forward button lets users zip
> through commercials but not skip them altogether.
>
> "That met customer needs while still being respectful of [the TV
> networks'] business models," Keast said. "The question for us was, did
> we want to spend money on a fight we know we'd lose? Or did we want to
> live to fight another day?"
>
> The Next Battle
>
> Now TiVo is facing what is perhaps its greatest challenge yet.
>
> Cable and satellite TV companies are starting to roll out competing
> digital video recorders built into their set-top boxes.
>
> Unlike ReplayTV or Microsoft, cable companies have the means to install
> boxes into millions of homes easily and fairly quickly. In addition,
> cable companies are luring subscribers by giving away the boxes and
> charging a lower monthly fee than TiVo does.
>
> Comcast, the nation's largest cable company, with 21.5 million
> households subscribing, charges $9.95 a month and no upfront fee for the
> device. TiVo, on the other hand, charges $99.99 for a basic recorder
> (after a $100 rebate) and $12.95 a month for the service.
>
> "The key question for TiVo is, now that DVR is available on virtually
> every cable system, why do people need to buy TiVos?" said Josh Bernoff,
> an analyst at Forrester Research.
>
> In a recent Forrester survey, 588 DVR users were asked to rate how much
> effect their devices had on their TV-watching experience, on a scale of
> 1 to 5, with 5 being the biggest effect. TiVo owners registered 4.6.
>
> "There are not that many products that make users that happy," Bernoff
> said. But users of cable DVRs scored 4.4 < not far behind.
>
> "It's the difference between deliriously happy and really, really,
> really happy," he said. "The difference between a DVR supplied by a
> cable company and TiVo is not that great."
>
> TiVo has been aware of this threat for years. That's why it has
> continually been in talks with Comcast and others to distribute its
> software and services on cable and satellite set-top boxes.
>
> So far, its only success is DirecTV, which signed a deal in 1999 to
> distribute TiVo to its customers until February 2007. As of Jan. 31, the
> El Segundo satellite TV company accounted for 62% of TiVo's 3 million
> subscribers. But DirecTV last month said it would begin to market its
> own DVR this year, not just the TiVo box.
>
> TiVo's vulnerability was further highlighted when Yudkovitz, its
> president, resigned a few weeks later. The former NBC executive was
> recruited in 2003 to help TiVo secure licensing and distribution
> partnerships with cable and satellite companies.
>
> Then word got out last fall that TiVo was close to striking a deal with
> Comcast. TiVo would piggyback on Comcast's reach into one-fifth of U.S.
> households, while Comcast would take advantage of TiVo's brand.
>
> The deal fell through, with each side pointing a finger at the other.
> TiVo "reneged," said a Comcast executive who asked not to be named. TiVo
> Chairman Ramsay denied backing out of any agreement. A Comcast
> spokeswoman declined to comment.
>
> The squabble left even longtime TiVo supporters spooked.
>
> "TiVo is really facing a final showdown," said Gary Arlen, an
> independent technology consultant and TiVo stockholder. "And it doesn't
> look to be a winning battle."
>
> TiVo executives disagree.
>
> "Since we don't have a deal with cable now and we're doing just fine,
> I'd have to say that we're not dependent on cable for our success,"
> Ramsay said.
>
> Instead, the company unveiled a strategy to tightly integrate the TiVo
> box with broadband Internet through a home network. That would pave the
> way for TiVo to deliver movies, video clips or music on demand to the TV
> via the Internet < whether it's piped in by cable companies or by phone
> companies.
>
> TiVo also aims to bring content to other devices, such as laptops,
> hand-held movie players or cellphones. It took a step in that direction
> last month by announcing an alliance with an old foe, Microsoft. The
> deal creates a free service, dubbed TiVoToGo, that lets people transfer
> recorded TV shows from their TiVo to their laptops or other devices
> running Microsoft's Windows operating system.
>
> Those tactics won a mixed response.
>
> "I have TiVo, so from the standpoint of an early technology adopter, I
> think it's very interesting," said Rob Sanderson, an analyst with
> American Technology Research. "As an analyst trying to determine whether
> this will help TiVo overcome its challenges, I don't think it will.
>
> "This will make hard-core TiVo users very happy. But their problem is
> not preserving that recurring revenue stream. Their problem is in
> growing that base into the mainstream. This will not help them get those
> mainstream folks who just care about the basic DVR functions."
>
> Wooing Advertisers
>
> TiVo also is working hard to recruit advertisers. Though TiVo doesn't
> have the reach of traditional TV, it does have the ability to gauge how
> effective the ads are by tracking how many viewers watch them and for
> how long. And it can play with the advertising format in ways
> traditional TV cannot. For example, it can store ads of longer duration,
> say five or 10 minutes, on the device's hard drive.
>
> "We're starting to see some industry acceptance of DVR as an ad
> vehicle," said Tim Hanlon, senior vice president of Starcom MediaVest in
> Chicago, a subsidiary of Paris advertising agency Publicis Groupe. "And
> TiVo gets full marks for creating some of the most innovative
> advertising platforms."
>
> At the same time, TiVo still lacks the broad reach advertisers seek.
>
> "Scale brings you to the table," Hanlon said. "Right now, they're a
> niche company."
>
> But TiVo has an advantage < a small army of fans.
>
> Rafofsky has persuaded dozens of people to get TiVo, including his
> father, his sister, a niece, two stepbrothers, his in-laws and five
> buddies from high school.
>
> He has received glossy fliers from Comcast, his cable company,
> advertising cheaper DVRs. Each time, he said, he tosses them in the
> trash.
>
> "To some degree," he said, "I'd feel like I'd be selling my soul if I
> switched.
>
> -end

I think there is something hard to describe about a dvr, tivo in
particular. I've tried to explain why I like it to other people, they just
look blank. I was in the same fog when I got mine, now my whole family loves
it. We go crazy when we have to watch live tv, when there are 2 shows on at
the same time. Just got another one today.
Most folks are so used to live tv, with all the comercials, that they just
don't realize how nice it is to skip them. They also can't envision how easy
a tivo is to use, since they can't program their vcrs. Tivo needs to convey
this to people.

Rick
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 1:59:22 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

"Rick S." <rsemo51@hotmail.com> wrote:
>SNIP<
> They also can't envision how easy
> a tivo is to use, since they can't program their vcrs.

Exactly. The flashing 12:00

> Tivo needs to convey
> this to people.

Too little, too late? They used to have half hour infomericals but most
people aren't going to bother with that either. Over the years, their
30 second and 60 second commercials did nothing to convey the magic of a
tivo.
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 4:21:06 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

"Rick S." <rsemo51@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:iKWdnc2bzfzBjoffRVn-oQ@centurytel.net...

> I think there is something hard to describe about a dvr, tivo in
> particular. I've tried to explain why I like it to other people, they just
> look blank. I was in the same fog when I got mine, now my whole family
> loves it. We go crazy when we have to watch live tv, when there are 2
> shows on at the same time. Just got another one today.
> Most folks are so used to live tv, with all the comercials, that they just
> don't realize how nice it is to skip them. They also can't envision how
> easy a tivo is to use, since they can't program their vcrs. Tivo needs to
> convey this to people.

The sort of commercials built around a series of tag-lines might do better
than what we've seen so far. The opposite of those IBM commercials where
people say things like "I want my hard drive to melt down."

[assume ethnic diversity]

Grandma: "I never miss an episode of my favorite shows."

Busy Executive: "I can watch four shows in the time it takes most people to
watch three."

Teenager: "I can watch my favorite singers every time they're on TV - even
if I didn't know they were going to be on!"

Mom in the Kitchen: "I can pause live TV to take an important phone call -
and then pick up where I left off."

Guys in front of TV football game: "We can do our own instant replays!"

Announcer: This is the world of TiVo, where TV fits into your life, your
way. Tell TiVo about your favorite shows, performers, or subjects, and TiVo
will record them whenever they're on, on any channel you receive. Watch your
shows at the press of a button using simple on-screen menus; no tapes to
sort and rewind.

Grandpa: "Everything on TV is a show I like! And I don't miss anything when
I have to get up and go pee!"

RichC
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 4:21:07 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

Those are pretty much the kind of commercials they were doing and they
were god-awful/worthless in my opinion. It's kind of like telling
people how great email is to someone that has never seen a coputer
before? Another example and the other extreme is that I know people
that are very email savvy but don't know about and can't get the notion
of newsgroups.

> [assume ethnic diversity]
>
> Grandma: "I never miss an episode of my favorite shows."
>
> Busy Executive: "I can watch four shows in the time it takes most people to
> watch three."
>
> Teenager: "I can watch my favorite singers every time they're on TV - even
> if I didn't know they were going to be on!"
>
> Mom in the Kitchen: "I can pause live TV to take an important phone call -
> and then pick up where I left off."
>
> Guys in front of TV football game: "We can do our own instant replays!"
>
> Announcer: This is the world of TiVo, where TV fits into your life, your
> way. Tell TiVo about your favorite shows, performers, or subjects, and TiVo
> will record them whenever they're on, on any channel you receive. Watch your
> shows at the press of a button using simple on-screen menus; no tapes to
> sort and rewind.
>
> Grandpa: "Everything on TV is a show I like! And I don't miss anything when
> I have to get up and go pee!"
>
> RichC
>
>
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 4:58:02 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

In article <cvcbge02plf@news2.newsguy.com>,
Don Vito Vicino <donvito@newsguy.com> wrote:

> MR_ED_of_Course wrote:
> > in article robin-347E04.23040420022005@news-50.dca.giganews.com, robin rules
> > at robin@rules.com wrote on 2/20/05 11:04 PM:
> >
> >
> > What TiVo has never done well is biz-dev.
> >
> > It's mind blowing to think they couldn't keep DirectTV, or be the provider
> > for Comcast. Likewise, it's just amazing that they haven't *yet* been sold
> > to a company like Apple.
> >
>
>
> Tivo is a product I use but a company I probably would never invest in.
> I think that the big hurdle for most people is the monthly subscription
> fee. Most people are not going to get $12.95 a month of value from the
> tivo. I do, but I'm not most people.
>
> I think most people can program their vcr's, but most don't. If a
> program is important enough for them to watch, they will choose to watch
> it live. Busier people who could use a tivo probably place less value
> on watching tv. Most of the people I know choose to channel surf rather
> than plan out their viewing habits.
>
> Tivo doesn't work well in a family environment with multiple users of
> the tv. People who don't buy into the tivo concept will reject having to
> use the tivo remote.
>
> I think it is a niche product. A good niche product, but a niche product
> nevertheless. If I were tivo, I would forget about changing the way
> everyone watches tv. I would try to find the people who really would buy
> into the tivo concept and aggressively market to them.

It's a different paradigm. Once you go TiVo, you never want to go back,
you haven't gone over yet, despite owning a TiVo. Folks that fully
utilize a TiVo's functionality save dozens of hours a month, and thats
well worth $12.95.
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 6:18:40 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

Don Vito Vicino (donvito@newsguy.com) wrote in alt.video.ptv.tivo:
> Tivo doesn't work well in a family environment with multiple users of
> the tv. People who don't buy into the tivo concept will reject having to
> use the tivo remote.

I don't use the TiVo remote, but I do use TiVo a lot and "buy into the
concept" (my household owns 3 units).

--
Jeff Rife | "Man, I thought Ultimate Robot Fighting was real,
| like pro wrestling, but it turns out it's fixed,
| like boxing."
| -- Philip J. Fry, "Futurama"
Anonymous
February 21, 2005 6:32:39 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

On Mon, 21 Feb 2005 at 10:00 GMT, <donvito@newsguy.com> wrote:

> Tivo is a product I use but a company I probably would never invest in.
> I think that the big hurdle for most people is the monthly subscription
> fee. Most people are not going to get $12.95 a month of value from the
> tivo. I do, but I'm not most people.

Agreed. "I have to pay for it every month?"

I get the money's worth by not having to carry premium channels, but
that logic doesn't work on everybody.



--
http://cbsrmt.mousetrap.net/RMTdb/ CBS Radio Mystery Theater database
CBSRMT uploads each day in <news:alt.binaries.sounds.radio.cbsrmt>
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February 21, 2005 9:04:23 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

* Don Vito Vicino Wrote in alt.video.ptv.tivo:

> MR_ED_of_Course wrote:
>> in article robin-347E04.23040420022005@news-50.dca.giganews.com,
>> robin rules at robin@rules.com wrote on 2/20/05 11:04 PM:
>>
>>
>> What TiVo has never done well is biz-dev.
>>
>> It's mind blowing to think they couldn't keep DirectTV, or be the
>> provider for Comcast. Likewise, it's just amazing that they
>> haven't *yet* been sold to a company like Apple.
>>
>
>
> Tivo is a product I use but a company I probably would never
> invest in. I think that the big hurdle for most people is the
> monthly subscription fee. Most people are not going to get $12.95
> a month of value from the tivo. I do, but I'm not most people.

But they DO get value out of ~$90 a month Cable bill that they maybe
watch 15% of the offered programming? I think that once its in your
house you'd JUMP at that chance to pay $13 a month for the time Tivo
buys you back! THIS is the problem, there is no way to express that
to people that have never used it.

>
> I think most people can program their vcr's, but most don't. If a
> program is important enough for them to watch, they will choose to
> watch
> it live. Busier people who could use a tivo probably place less
> value
> on watching tv. Most of the people I know choose to channel surf
> rather than plan out their viewing habits.

BUT, if they had ever experienced Tivo, most people QUIT the surfing
and watch ONLY what they want instead of whats on. Weather or not you
watch a lot of TV the intrinsic value seems obvious.

>
> Tivo doesn't work well in a family environment with multiple users
> of the tv. People who don't buy into the tivo concept will reject
> having to use the tivo remote.

Eh? Could you ellaborate that point? Everyone I know that has it in a
family environment would never give it up and who DOSENT use a remote
to watch TV these days?

>
> I think it is a niche product.

Well, then it is soon to be a huge niche.

--
David
February 21, 2005 9:45:17 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

"SINNER" <arcade.master@googlemail.net> wrote in message
news:Xns96047B36BFC9FLouiscypherhellorg@140.99.99.130...
>
> But they DO get value out of ~$90 a month Cable bill that they maybe
> watch 15% of the offered programming?

If I watched my tv 18 hours/day I'd never see more than 2%


> I think that once its in your
> house you'd JUMP at that chance to pay $13 a month for the time Tivo
> buys you back! THIS is the problem, there is no way to express that
> to people that have never used it.
>

because most people can't see it as anything more than a vcr and they
already own one of those that they rarely use.



>>
>> Tivo doesn't work well in a family environment with multiple users
>> of the tv. People who don't buy into the tivo concept will reject
>> having to use the tivo remote.
>
> Eh? Could you ellaborate that point? Everyone I know that has it in a
> family environment would never give it up and who DOSENT use a remote
> to watch TV these days?
>

I think that the point is that more people generally means that there is a
greater likelyhood of conflict. A while back some yahoo posted his
complaint about his tivo (actually the family tivo) recording Oprah and he
doesn't even like it - but his mother does.
February 21, 2005 9:50:50 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

"Cherrybomb" <Cherrybomb@Cherrybomb.com> wrote in message
news:Cherrybomb-1849F4.10324621022005@news-50.dca.giganews.com...

> Another example and the other extreme is that I know people
> that are very email savvy but don't know about and can't get the notion
> of newsgroups.
>

Most people I know merely tolerate my discussions about usenet because the y
don't know what it is, but they think it's chat room stuff.
Anonymous
February 22, 2005 1:19:26 AM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

Jack Zwick <jzwick3@mindspring.com> wrote:

>It's a different paradigm. Once you go TiVo, you never want to go back,
>you haven't gone over yet, despite owning a TiVo. Folks that fully
>utilize a TiVo's functionality save dozens of hours a month, and thats
>well worth $12.95.

For me, it used to consume many more hours than before, and may still
do so. I use to feel like I just had to watch everything it recorded.
The best timesaver I've found is to set all season passes to "firs run
only" and turn off recording suggestions, or at least have a very
well-tuned suggestion set.


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Anonymous
February 22, 2005 4:37:14 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

WOW they interviewing cave dwellers?!?! LOLOL

Just about every program/sitcom/chatshow has a reference to TiVo in the
dialog
at one time or another...

robin rules wrote:

>tivo's problem in 2 words? bad advertising. it's 2005 and the VAST
>majority of people that i talk to don't even KNOW what tivo is...forget
>about them thinking about buying one.
>
>

--
Ric Seyler
Anonymous
February 22, 2005 11:46:28 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

robin rules wrote:

> tivo's problem in 2 words? bad advertising. it's 2005 and the VAST
> majority of people that i talk to don't even KNOW what tivo is...forget
> about them thinking about buying one.



This reminds me of my own story. From 1978 - 1980 I lived in a foreign
country where I owned both Betamax and VHS VCRs. (If I'm not mistaken
the first Sony machines - console units - were sold in 1975.)

In 1980 after my assignment was finished I passed through the USA for
several months before going to live in a third country. I had shipped
my machines with my furniture directly to the next assignment.

I wanted to tape a bunch of US shows during my long US stay and take the
stash of tapes with me on my next assignment. I was willing to borrow,
rent, or even buy a VCR in the US to accomplish this.

I went from Boston to New York and everywhere in between - no one had
ever heard of a VCR, or knew where I could get one. Of course I had
conversations with each and every friend, relative, and salesperson I
came across, and none of them could for the life of them figure out why
any damned fool would wish to spend money on a machine in order to watch
a TV show at any moment other than when it was broadcast. Once I
described to them what this $500 machine could do with its $25 tapes,
they shook their heads and offered the opinion that such a thing would
NEVER catch on and that they for sure would never want such a silly
thing in their home. I don't think any of them ever understood why
anyone would BUY a movie, either.

Doug
February 23, 2005 2:07:19 AM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

In article <Cherrybomb-E671D1.09395221022005@news-50.dca.giganews.com>, Cherrybomb <Cherrybomb@Cherrybomb.com> wrote:
>"Rick S." <rsemo51@hotmail.com> wrote:
>>SNIP<
>> They also can't envision how easy
>> a tivo is to use, since they can't program their vcrs.
>
>Exactly. The flashing 12:00
>
>> Tivo needs to convey
>> this to people.
>
>Too little, too late? They used to have half hour infomericals but most
>people aren't going to bother with that either. Over the years, their
>30 second and 60 second commercials did nothing to convey the magic of a
>tivo.
yup, most people just skipped over them hehehehe!!!
Anonymous
February 23, 2005 11:00:16 AM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

"Doug Ellice" <DouglasSpamNotEllice@Comcast.NotSpam.net> wrote in message
news:3LqdnT4rPIXzfYbfRVn-hQ@comcast.com...
Once I
> described to them what this $500 machine could do with its $25 tapes, they
> shook their heads and offered the opinion that such a thing would NEVER
> catch on and that they for sure would never want such a silly thing in
> their home. I don't think any of them ever understood why anyone would
> BUY a movie, either.

I still don't understand why anyone would buy a movie. I've never watched
one more than twice. There are too many movies I haven't watched once!

Norm Strong
Anonymous
February 24, 2005 12:12:50 AM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

<normanstrong@comcast.net> wrote:

>I still don't understand why anyone would buy a movie. I've never watched
>one more than twice. There are too many movies I haven't watched once!
>
If no one rents it, and it's not to be aired on TV, then buying it is
the only way to see it. (Anime falls in this category.)

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Anonymous
February 25, 2005 1:44:16 AM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

then why hasn't it sold better? most "program/sitcom/chatshow" stuff is
generated from "hollywood". "hollywood" knows about tivo. i still
maintain most average americans (or whatever you want to call them) are
not very familiar with what tivo is.


In article <LPLSd.19910$u87.9494@bignews6.bellsouth.net>,
RicSeyler <ricseyler@SPAMgulf.net> wrote:

> WOW they interviewing cave dwellers?!?! LOLOL
>
> Just about every program/sitcom/chatshow has a reference to TiVo in the
> dialog
> at one time or another...
>
> robin rules wrote:
>
> >tivo's problem in 2 words? bad advertising. it's 2005 and the VAST
> >majority of people that i talk to don't even KNOW what tivo is...forget
> >about them thinking about buying one.
> >
> >
February 25, 2005 7:33:05 PM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

"Cherrybomb" <Cherrybomb@Cherrybomb.com> wrote in message
news:Cherrybomb-C5B82A.22441624022005@news-50.dca.giganews.com...
> then why hasn't it sold better? most "program/sitcom/chatshow" stuff is
> generated from "hollywood". "hollywood" knows about tivo. i still
> maintain most average americans (or whatever you want to call them) are
> not very familiar with what tivo is.

I don't know about "average Americans", but *everyone* I know knows what
TiVo is. My 70-year-old father went out and bought one the other day and
had his 14-year-old grandson set it up for him!

I think most folks know about TiVo, but they see it in the same class as a
plasma TV: something that rich people have and they can't afford, and they
don't see the "business case" that would allow them to spend the money, even
if they have it. My dad was skeptical, too, but has always been interested
in new technology - and now that he has it, he won't give it up ;-)

- John
February 26, 2005 4:10:04 AM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

* Cherrybomb wrote in alt.video.ptv.tivo:
> then why hasn't it sold better? most "program/sitcom/chatshow" stuff is
> generated from "hollywood". "hollywood" knows about tivo. i still
> maintain most average americans (or whatever you want to call them) are
> not very familiar with what tivo is.

Sure they do, they just dont see the need. Most people do not time shift
using their VCR today so convincing them they need a device that
facilitates this better than any VCR ever could is fruitless.

--
David
Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it.
-- Gandhi
Anonymous
February 26, 2005 4:10:05 AM

Archived from groups: alt.video.ptv.tivo (More info?)

"SINNER" <99nesorjd@gates_of_hell.invalid> wrote in message
news:fgu4f2x4c4.ln2@news.gates_of_hell.com...
> * Cherrybomb wrote in alt.video.ptv.tivo:
> > then why hasn't it sold better? most "program/sitcom/chatshow" stuff is
> > generated from "hollywood". "hollywood" knows about tivo. i still
> > maintain most average americans (or whatever you want to call them) are
> > not very familiar with what tivo is.
>
> Sure they do, they just dont see the need. Most people do not time shift
> using their VCR today so convincing them they need a device that
> facilitates this better than any VCR ever could is fruitless.

Most people don't time shift with VCRs because it is a PITA. TiVo makes it
easy, especially with Season Passes. It doesn't take much convincing once
they see it, but I agree it is a difficult concept for many.

Brad H
!