Mixed Results for TiVo’s Finances and Subscription Levels

30 August 2004

As digital video recorder manufacturer TiVo revealed itself well on track to meet its target of three million subscriptions by the end of next January, the news was tempered by the company's reported reliance on DirecTV for new customers.

Despite analysts' fears, TiVo's $50 million (€41.4m; £27.8m) investment in advertising and DVR purchasing incentives looks to have paid off as it announced a rise in subscriptions from 703,000 last year to 1.9m for the quarter ended July 31.

However, the figures mask the dependence on DirectTV's own marketing, which leads to 58% of all new TiVo subscriptions.

More disappointment came in the number of paid subscribers for this quarter which (at 63,000) fell short of the expected 65,000, triggering a revenue shortfall.

The company blamed Toshiba's latest DVR/DVD player for poor subscription numbers. The new product offers a limited version of licensed TiVo software which can be upgraded for a fee payable to TiVo. However, not all consumers are opting for the upgrade.

Despite a 49% rise in revenue to $39.8m for the quarter, the company suffered a $10.8m net loss and a recent slump in sales prices. Ceo Mike Ramsay nevertheless tried to remain upbeat, claiming: "We're now into the most exciting period of growth."

Data sourced from: USA Today; additional content by WARC staff