TiVo reported Monday a net loss of $26.4 million, or 33 cents per share, on revenue of $38.3 million for the third quarter ended Oct. 31. Its subscriber base has more than doubled from a year ago to about 2.3 million, but roughly 61 percent of subscribers come through satellite operator DirecTV, which is expected to offer a competing DVR soon. TiVo is also fighting an onslaught of competitors, including cable operators, who now offer digital video recorder-equipped set-top boxes of their own. TiVo officials contend that the new (ad-oriented) features they’ll be installing in the set top boxes will not be any more intrusive than the “thumbs-up” icons that already appear during some commercials and shows. But to some customers, the impending advertising changes smack of betrayal from the innovators whose hard drive-based gizmo lets TV viewers record programs, fast-forward through ads and pause at will.
TiVi made itself a hit being an off-center “Apple” of sorts. Now we get to see if it becomes rotten to the corps.