Rovi buys TiVo for $1.1 billion

Adriene Hill Apr 29, 2016
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An TiVo remote circa 2007. Eric/Flickr

Rovi buys TiVo for $1.1 billion

Adriene Hill Apr 29, 2016
An TiVo remote circa 2007. Eric/Flickr
HTML EMBED:
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There was a time, not that long ago, when TiVo was so cutting edge that it was a verb. As in: “I TiVo’d the Janet Jackson Super Bowl halftime show.” 

“It’s remarkable how quickly the TV upstart, TiVo, is now no longer relevant,” said James McQuivey, a media analyst at Forrester Research. “And, it’s simply because television is being rethought.”

The service may no longer be relevant to viewers, but the company’s patents are still very valuable, McQuivey added, regardless of the future of the set top box. TiVo’s patents cover things like user analytics,  moving and storing digital content. Rovi, which announced Friday that it will buy TiVo for more than $1 billion, holds significant television patents related to online TV guides, metadata, and user experience. The combined TiVo/Rovi will be called TiVo, and will have more than 6,000 issued or pending patents. 

It could create technology that is hyper-personalized, said IHS research director Tom Morrod, and takes into account “where you are, what amount of time you have to view something, and what particular thing you might want to watch in that particular circumstance.”

Morrod said the future viewing experience is less about about what it’ll let the viewer do, and more about what it will do for the view, on all screens.

“It’s almost like a close friend controlling the TV,  or your video, your experiences, your entertainment on your behalf. So you don’t have to do anything,” he said.

Creepy? Maybe.

But that’s part of the vision behind the tie-up, and a vision that a whole lot of other companies — like cable, Netflix, and Hulu — are working on at the same time.

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