TiVo keeps bleeding money: Q3 was bad, Q4 could be worse

By on November 25, 2010, 1:00 PM
Digital video recorder maker TiVo has reported its earnings for Q3 2010, which ended on October 31, and the news wasn't good, according to The Wall Street Journal. TiVo, whose set-top boxes were the first to pause, rewind, and record live television, now has just 2.3 million subscribers.

The company lost 112,000 subscribers during the quarter, and nearly 500,000 since last year. Its churn rate, the percentage of customers who cancel their subscriptions each month, rose from 1.7 percent to 2 percent.

Q2 2010 revenue was at $42.1 million while Q3 2009 saw $47.1 million, but in Q3 2010, revenue was only $41.3 million. Furthermore, net losses were at $20.6 million, which is more than triple from last year's quarter ($6.4 million).

TiVo is betting big on technology deals with European providers, like Virgin Media in the UK, Ono in Spain, and Canal in Scandinavia. The company hopes to gain more than 7 million new customers. It's also workin on an iPad app, which will let users search, browse, and discover content without interrupting what they're watching on TV.

TiVo is also experimenting with lower up-front prices and higher subscription rates. This results in higher subscription rates and revenue-per-subscriber, but in the short term, it lowers revenue. The company is also spending more on legal fees, fighting with EchoStar and Dish Network, as well as on research and development. In other words, Q4 will be worse than Q3. The company says it expects revenues from $40 million to $42 million and losses from $32 million to $34 million.

Services like Hulu and Netflix are likely helping TiVo's demise. Right now, it doesn't look as if the company has anything planned that could really turn it around.





User Comments: 3

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KG363 KG363 said:

I'll take my AT&T Uverse DVR any day. Record four programs at once from any TV!

Guest said:

TiVo was doomed from the start. Great technology however charging people a monthly service fee to use a DVR is not worth it. You can buy others DVRs (without service fees), setup a computer or use other online services for a better deal.

Tanstar said:

I've kept with Tivo because of the things my Series 2 Tivo does that no one else is doing, even now. Like the Suggested Shows that it automatically records to always stay full. They delete when they need room for new shows, but I've discovered new shows to watch and have used the Thumbs Up rating system to tell it things it should record, but that aren't important enough to schedule. These two things mean there are always lots of options of shows to watch even if I don't want to watch what I programmed it to record yet.

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