To win big TiVo must be more than just a premium feature offered by Comcast and other distributors. TiVo needs a new way to stand out. Being better than Brand X (like Apple) gives them a niche, but to really be a power they must be more than just a better box, or another feature offered by Comcast and other distributors. CoTiVo is a new way to extend Tivo's Tahiti strategy beyond their proprietary set-top/media center boxes, into profitable waters in which the cable and satellite guys will be out of their depth.
TiVo began with a classic "blue ocean strategy" that created a new market space based on a new user value proposition ("TV your way") in which competition was largeley irrelevant. But the competition is now out in force. TiVo needs to change the game again, to find a new blue ocean.
They have a half step to this in their Tahiti strategy, which they say provides "an easy way to find and control content from any broadcast or broadband source." "TiVo's product and service platform will offer consumers broader choice in programming and the convenience to take their favorite shows with them to enjoy anywhere they choose." This could be a brilliant start toward what Joe Uva (President of ad giant OMD, and a TiVo board member) calls "the media concierge."
What is missing is removing this concierge from dependence on the TiVo/set-top box, and making it platform agnostic -- a distributed, Web-centered service, that can serve all users, with any kind of set-top boxes (STBs), and for all of their media. This ties in with the kind of cross-device TV+PC/Web services that I have described as coactive TV -- thus "CoTiVo."
Such a CoTiVo service could reach a mass market far beyond any realistic hope for TiVo boxes, or for TiVo software on other people's STBs -- and could move TiVo into a central and highly profitable role as the media concierge service for all of our boxes. (It could also enhance the market for TiVo boxes or TiVo STB software as a preferred device for all users of CoTiVo services.) By moving beyond the set-top box into a Web-based, cross-platform media concierge business, TiVo could sail away from the battle of the boxes (and a distributor-dominated margin squeeze) into a large blue ocean of services that cable and satellite companies are poorly equipped to compete in or put pressure on.
Tags: Media New Media TV Web/Tech Internet Entertainment Technology Media Technology Coactive TV Coactive Media Media Concierge Tivo DVRs