Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

TiVo's Tom Rogers Speaks!

Oh, it has been kind of easy to write off the digital video recording icon, hasn’t it, as cute as bouncy little TiVo guy is and as much as you’ve gotten to secretly like that “doink” noise it makes?

tivo

But, as it has turned out, TiVo has been on a bit of a tear lately for a has-been, with a series of new partnerships and innovations that have created a stir around the long-struggling company.

So, BoomTown thought it was time for a video check-in with CEO Tom Rogers, which took place yesterday near TiVo’s Alviso, Calif., HQ:

Of course, a stir is exactly the thing the very concept of time-shifting of television caused when TiVo was created in the first Internet growth spurt in the late 1990s.

With its powerful premise, the company was seen as a danger to network television with its fast-forwarding ability that threatened the watching of commercials.

It was an image TiVo even relished, including once releasing television commercials where network executives got defenestrated.

But this kind of chin-leading behavior–coupled with the difficulty of being a standalone DVR company and having to sell its boxes commercially–proved a daunting challenge for TiVo, which struggled at making a dent in the consumer market, despite a name that soon became a verb.

But more recently, under former televison exec Rogers’ leadership, TiVo has been slowly marching forward by striking a series of deals strengthening Web, photo and music-serving capabilities of its service, licensing of its software to cable giants and offering important audience behavioral data to once-hostile television networks.

His goal for the new TiVo? To be a content and data hub of the television-watching experience in whatever way it can.

Also a plus: TiVo has recently won a potentially lucrative patent lawsuit over the use of its technology.

As a result, its losses are down and its stock is up to yearly highs of late.

What’s next is anybody’s guess, but it will surely be must-see (on our own schedule, of course) TV.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald