There’s been quite a lot of coverage of the TiVo launch down-under in the Australian press, which is good to see. All of that coverage should certainly help with consumer awareness. And the coverage has exposed few more tidbits of data.
Australian IT reports that Seven Network has imported“at least 20,000″ units for the launch later this month. There is one thing that isn’t clear from the coverage – if broadband is required or not. Some of the coverage implies broadband is required, period. But others make more since to me, such as Australian IT“consumers who buy TiVos must connect it to their broadband internet connection to be able to access the full array of services.” That sounds very much like the US where you can use the TiVo with a modem, but you miss out on all of the network-related features. An Amazon Unbox-like movie download service is also coming for Australia:
At this week’s TiVo launch, [TiVo Australia general manager Mark] Hughes said Seven would soon announce a similar arrangement to the Amazon movie service offered by TiVo in the US. “Before that we’ll be pushing some short-form video of maybe five to 10 minutes to the boxes.
‘But within six months, possibly a little longer, I would expect to be providing a movie download service as well.”
We also learned, through The Sydney Morning Herald, that Harvey Norman’s exclusivity period, earlier widely reported as three months (and as one month by a few sources) is actually six weeks. This was confirmed by Harvey Norman executive director, David Ackery. Harvey Norman is predicting that TiVo will expand the Australian DVR market by 50% within a year.
And they may be on to something. When the competition says TiVo has a good chance at selling at least 50,000 units in the next twelve months, that’s good news. Especially when the break-even point for Seven Network is below 50,000 units sold.
The Digital Products Group, which sells a number of different DVR models under the Beyonwiz brand, has seen its business with Harvey Norman crash in recent weeks because of its exclusive deal with TiVo, but its general manager, Jai Kemp, says he will still sell about 25,000 $800-plus DVRs in the next 12 months. He says a target of 50,000 for TiVo in a year is achievable, although 100,000 is not. Seven’s break-even point on TiVo is below 50,000 units.
“Fifty thousand is quite possible,” says Kemp. “They’ve got a lot of marketing dollars behind them and they can run TV commercials all night.”
And then there is an article from The Courier-Mail, which bucks the trend by being fairly negative on TiVo’s prospects. It is also interesting that the article also cites reports that JB Hi-Fi will not be stocking TiVo, even after Harvey Norman’s exclusivity period ends. That’s interesting because those reports were countermanded by additional comments from JB Hi-Fi before this article came out. And the article compares TiVo’s pricing to Foxtel’s iQ2, but leaves out the cost of the Foxtel subscription. But on closer inspection that isn’t too strange, since they’re owned by News Corp. News Corp. also happens to be part owner of Foxtel, the Australian pay TV service who’s iQ2 DVR will be TiVo’s primary competition. iTWire has done a great job of covering, and rebutting, the points raised in The Courier-Mail article, as well as adding some additional coverage.