Creating a seamless user interface is important for cable MSOs but increasingly, operators are looking beyond UIs and into ways to better manage content in a cloud-based, TV Everywhere world as they look to differentiate with new features and increased personalization across devices, TiVo pres/CEO Tom Rogers said during Citi’s investor conference Tues. That’s why TiVo is moving more services to the cloud. As Rogers put it, “UI is just one piece” of the video pie and having “a broader cloud-based video system” is what matters.
In fact, much of the TiVo service is already in the cloud, including features such as search and the TiVo recommendation engine, Rogers noted. In addition to moving TiVo’s advanced DVR service Roamio to the cloud, the company’s cloud platform is looking to allow MSOs and programmers to manage content rights, create multiple tiers of DVR features and enable multiscreen policies that can potentially accelerate cable’s transition to an all-IP world, Rogers said. The goal? Recreating the music experience in the TV world. “The music world has extensive consumer experience and TV is catching up,” Rogers said. The TV industry hasn’t been able to do what the music industry has done for consumers: “pretty much anything you want whenever you want and wherever you want it,” he said.
Meanwhile, if Liberty Global’s acquisition of Virgin Media is any indication of what cable consolidation means for TiVo, the company isn’t concerned about potential M&A activities in the US, Rogers said. Post-deal, Virgin Media signed more TiVo customers and the companies made a pact to make Netflix an app on TiVo platform, making the OTT player a part of the MSO’s set-top based pay-TV service rather than a competitor. Through the Virgin Media collaboration, TiVo has grown a strong relationship with Liberty Global and the 2 are looking to broaden the relationship, Rogers said. The trend is that though some of the major cable MSOs have their own proprietary video platforms, they don’t want to restrict access, Rogers said, noting TiVo’s partnership with Comcast, which allows subs to access TiVo as an alternative to Comcast’s own platform. The big cable players would want to allow options for consumers, he said.
According to Rogers, the MSOs that TiVo is actively engaged with today cover about 10 million subs and the company is about 25% penetrated of those 10mln subs. “We have a ways to go,” he said. The company demonstrated a Network DVR cloud solution at CES Tues. It’s expected to enable consumers to easily find, consume and socially share cloud delivered content through the TiVo user interface.