Wednesday, August 8, 2007

8 or 9 years with a DVR

Mike Bloxham over at wrote a very thought-provoking piece: DVR Divide?

I don't know whether I agree with all the numbers he cites or not, but it doesn't matter because either way there is a divide and adoption hasn't been swift. I believe adoption will accelerate over the next 5 years and that the cable & satellite companies will be heavily promoting DVRs. However, there will be a divide and I might be wrong when it comes to adoption.

I can’t remember exactly when I got my first Tivo, I was one of the first 100,000 subscribers. I found out about it because I had some meeting while I worked at Schwab with Stewart Alsop and if I remember correctly the VC he was working for had backed Tivo. Alsop’s sales pitch sold me immediately – a completely digital VCR and also the ability to pause live TV. I had to have one. Whether that was this time in 1998 or 1999, it has been a good long while now.

I still have that series 1 Tivo. It’s collecting dust. I probably ought to have some type of contest to give it away ( it comes with a lifetime program guide!). Whether 20% or 33% of homes have a DVR doesn’t matter. The adoption curve has not been steep.

The people who love their DVRs make a significant difference on the viewership of many shows according to Nielsen (with as many as 8 million viewers coming from DVR viewership for some shows). Mike’s point was regardless of the numbers there is a difference of behavior between DVR users and those who watch everything live, and that behavioral difference must be understood.

Here, I disagree. Even though it is true that every single DVR viewer will eventually watch some commercials, they will not watch most of the commercials most of the time. If that EVER changes, no matter what kind of behavioral studies are done, I for one will be shocked.

1 comment:

AgendaMan said...

You memory is correct, in my case. I worked for NEA, which co-invested with IVP (the predecessor to Redpoint) in the first round of funding for what became TiVo. I'm long gone from the board and am now "merely" a user. But I remain a TiVo user, rather than the generic cable-company or satellite-company DVR that comes for free or a small fee. TiVo's features way outrank those others, but who would know!?