TiVo 2007: DVRs and Beyond
Tom Rogers, CEO of TiVo, had placed multiple strategic bets on his company. In September 2007, that strategy was due for a major test. TiVo was a maker of digital video recorder (DVR) products and a distributor of DVR technology. Rogers believed that macro-trends in the home entertainment industry--the convergence of standard television with the delivery of video content via broadband Internet, and the related crisis faced by companies whose business models relied on TV advertising--played to TiVo's unique strengths. Leadership in DVR technology and a TV-centric user interface arguably positioned TiVo to become something more than a consumer electronics company. That was Roger's big bet. Implementing it required making six other bets: continuing to sell stand-alone DVRs in the retail market, despite rapidly eroding market share; distributing TiVo service in partnership with cable and satellite TV providers (which also functioned as TiVo's chief competitors in the DVR market); developing a platform for DVR-based advertising; entering the audience research business; leveraging TiVo's intellectual property both through litigation and in the marketplace; and expanding into non-U.S. markets. In late 2007, a pivotal new product, a major distribution deal with cable operator Comcast, and a key intellectual property lawsuit were all reaching points of critical impact.