DVR pioneer TiVo stands out in the burgeoning device space because its subscribers can get "everything" on a single device, CEO Tom Rogers told investors at a Miami conference, including online video content in the wake of TiVo's recent deals with cable operators including Suddenlink and Grande Communications to provide access to Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX) through their set-top boxes.
"There's a huge amount of noise" in the device market, Rogers said, noting that the launch of Amazon's (NASDAQ: AMZN) Fire TV added to an increasingly full shelf of streaming devices such as Roku's players, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Chromecast and Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) TV. "Everyone has a solution for the future of television," he said during a presentation at the Jefferies 2014 Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference on Tuesday.
"Amazon Fire is the most recent addition to the things you just listed," Rogers responded to an analyst question about competition from streaming devices. "Both (The New York Times and Wall Street Journal) reviewers noted that Amazon Fire is pretty good, but if you really want a great TV product all you need is a TiVo Roamio. Quite frankly, to have the reviewers mention that in the context of a review of a product coming out from a company like Amazon, I think speaks volumes as to the differentiation."
Roku's streaming devices, while leading that segment, are limited to just over-the-top content, Rogers said.
"Roku is a way of getting merely OTT content but doesn't touch most of the television that still represents 95 percent of all content. You can say the same of Apple TV, of Google TV and of the new entry from Amazon. That is the core distinction between us and the other products."
He compared TiVo's ability to get viewers the content they want, all in one device, to the way digital technologies changed how consumers accessed music. Devices like the MP3 player made getting consumers all the music they wanted easy. "The digital onslaught … crushed most music models … but what emerged from that was a terrific consumer experience," Rogers said.
While noting that the rise of digital did not affect the television world in the same way, "the consumer models that resulted really don't look all that different: a lot of silos, a lot of individual ways to get different video products."
Meaning, Rogers said, that a comprehensive way for consumers to find and access any video product they want through a single device, and then personalize their experience, has not emerged. "That is what we do. We try to get as close as we can to that music model for the television world, by combining all the linear channels coming in through the operator, the video on demand element, the TV Everywhere element, the over the top content .. and put that together in a single way so somebody only has to have one single approach to getting all their video content."
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