3 Reasons Why TiVo Is Dying (and doesn't know it)

The other day I was telling a friend that The Killers were going to be playing on a late-night talk show. He’s a big fan so I thought I’d let him know. I knew he wouldn’t be up that late but since he’s a TiVo guy he could record it to watch later. I saw him the next day and he made an interesting statement about his thought process to see the show. Even though he could have easily TiVoed it his first thought was actually, “I’ll just find it on YouTube tomorrow.” As we discussed this it became apparent to both of us that TiVo is dying and might not even know it yet. Here are three things that lead to that conclusion:

  • YouTube – You can literally find video clips of a million things on YouTube. It (and other online video sites) are becoming the repository of video.
  • Network TV Websites – If you haven’t noticed, the TV companies have realized there’s really something with online video. You can now see many of ABC’s shows in their entirety on ABC’s website. The same goes with some NBC and CBS programs.
  • iTunes/iTV – Why TiVo when you can own it AND have it with you at all times? That’s what iTunes allows. Also, with the Apple media center (iTV) coming out in the near future this will further marginalize TiVo.
Ultimately the big shift here is toward viewing “TV” from a computer. Whether it is directly from an Internet connection or indirectly (via download) the shift seems inevitable. As more people get broadband and broadband gets more people we’ll see this shift further still. Next week I'll talk about three ways TiVo can survive the digital video revolution.


Joe Suh said...

I like the provocative title :) My first reaction was that Youtube created a culture of short clips, not entire shows. But seeing what the networks and Itunes are doing gives your argument a lot of weight. I'm sure the DVR industry isn't going to stand idly by... although Tivo's innovation hasn't been very impressive the past couple years. Looking forward to your follow-up!

Michael said...

I agree with your take on Tivo. We considered buying a Tivo last year but we were also in the market for a new computer so we killed two birds with one stone by purchasing a PC with XP Media Center. When you coop Media Center with a Xbox 360 you can view the saved videos on your television and it also allows for pausing and rewinding live television. XPMC also offers a guide which updates online and allows you many recording preferences such as recording one show or an entire series. Did I mention the service is FREE!