Today, TiVo reported that they lost thousands of subscribers, bringing their total customer base down to 3.6 million, compared to the 4.2 million customers they had just last year. However, amidst the dwindling subscriber base, the company did manage to achieve a 4% revenue gain, and an 88% increase in hardware sales, making their report a mixed bag.
TiVo remains certain that they can continue to stay profitable with changing business model, shifting the focus off hardware, and onto both licensing their own software, and getting other partners, such as YouTube and Entertainment Weekly into the fray. It has seemed as if TiVo was on its last legs for quite some time now, and the move to licensing the TiVo operating system was the one thing many spectators championed when they were dropped from Direct TV.
I can personally attribute the decline in customers to a few key issues. Naturally, the pressure from increased competition with cable providers has impeded the company’s ability to retain their customers, and the advent of affordable, multi-room DVRs already integrated with customers’ cable service hasn’t exactly helped their efforts. But, above all, I believe loyal customers are annoyed with the creeping introduction of ads, the buggy and non-existent timely software updates, and the lack of software support (especially for OS X) has left many with a bad taste in their mouth.
Lots of people are leaving TiVo. We’ll find out roughly how many when the company reports second-quarter results this afternoon. By a couple estimates, TiVo lost anywhere from 100,000 to 142,000 subscribers last quarter alone, which leaves the company with a subscriber base of around 3. million.