You know a product is failing when it loses its all important “verb replacement” status. For example, in the fledgling days of inclusive DVR cable packages, we would still say we were Tivo-ing something. Tivo’s emergence as a verb was a combination of a good product name, good marketing (for the opposite of this, see Hulu) and a rooting interest in the ingenuity of a small-ish company stealing thunder from the cable giants.
Since its methodical destruction by the cable giants (wait, you mean I don’t have to connect this awkwardly to a land line, I don’t need another box, and I don’t have to pay a large upfront fee for the box?) the fickle TV-viewing public acquiesced, and begrudgingly de-verbed Tivo. Now that the cable giants got us all hooked in on the cheap paying an extra monthly sub fee, they’re starting to raise rates accordingly, and we “DVR” our favorite shows.
Tivo is taking a hit today, down almost 10%, based on the following, from Seeking Alpha:
There are several factors at work in today’s slide. For one thing, revenue came up short of expectations - and so did guidance for the fiscal third quarter. For another, the company took an unexpected $11.2 million inventory writedown for standard definition DVRs, a casualty of its shift to a focus on high-definition DVRs. The company also suffered a net loss of 19,00 “TiVo owned” subscribers, disappointing investors who had expected to see at least a modest increase in subs.
There is some potential sunshine amidst the Tivo gloom - with the comapny's new focus on HD-DVR and a Comcast New England deal expected to start rolling out in September. For now, the bears are feeding.
It’s almost always a smart play to bet on verbs. You knew Google reached ubiquity when people started using Google as a verb, and this happened well before the IPO. Yahoo never became a verb, and is trying desperately to reposition itself in the tech space. Facebook has been annointed verb status, while leaving behind MySpace in the predicate race. Clearly the long bet is on facebook. Also – does anyone say they “Xeroxed” something still? It seems the world has quietly gone back to saying they “copy” things again.
TiVo Slides on Weak Revenue, Subscriber Losses [Seeking Alpha]