Netflix on demand through your TiVo

The TiVo and Netflix logos

TEXT OF STORY

Kai Ryssdal:
Today might have brought us one step closer to the living room of the future.
For our purposes we're going to define that as being able to sit on your couch and watch almost anything you can think of without having to get up.
The movie delivery service Netflix and TiVo, the original digital video recorder company, announced a deal today.
Marketplace's Stacey Vanek-Smith explains it's all about synergy and major advertising potential too.


Stacey Vanek-Smith:
Consumers with TiVo's newest box and an Internet connection will be able to download movies and shows from Netflix directly onto their TV at broadband speed. TiVo user Sharon Fibelkorn says she's sold.

Sharon Fibelkorn: Currently if you want to get a movie through TiVo, I have to take out a phone cord, I have to stretch it across the living room, which just makes me crazy.

And probably a lot of other people too, says brand strategist Jeff Gregory. He says unlike some previous attempts at marrying TV with Internet, this one is fast and easy to use.

Jeff Gregory: For someone who they're VCR is still blinking 12:00, they're going to love having something like this that's just plug and play.

Gregory says this is an important move for both companies, which have been struggling.

Gregory: Both of them have been losing market share individually, but now you have product coupled with content.

And that could be advertising gold, says Josh Martin, an analyst with the Yankee group. Netflix already has distribution deals with Xbox and Internet-connected DVD players like Samsung and LG. Martin says Netflix is going to have a lot of valuable information.

Josh Martin: If they're going to be on all these different devices, they're going to have a lot of insight on what people are watching, how they want to watch it, where they want to watch it.

TiVo has its own spate of deals. But Martin says its challenge will be to get consumers to go TiVo again.

Martin: It's just tough to sell you a box for a couple hundred dollars when your pay TV provider will sell it to you for free.

The deal with Netflix may add an incentive. TiVo has just a couple million subscribers, Netflix has more than 8.5 million.

I'm Stacey Vanek-Smith for Marketplace.

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