When I made my post about all Virgin Media customers having TiVo in 4-5 years just about an hour ago I forgot that Virgin was announcing their latest financials. Well, they did and the news is good, especially in relation to TiVo:
Strong TiVo growth in the quarter; 162,900 TiVo customers at quarter-end
- 127,200 net adds, around one third of which are new to Virgin Media
- 222,000 TiVo customers as at 26th October
Note that the quarter ended September 30th with 162,900 TiVo customers and they now have 222,000. That means they’ve added 59,100 TiVo customers in just the past 26 days! I can see why they feel the need to add Samsung as a second hardware supplier. And if one third of those customers are new to Virgin Media, TiVo is clearly a major sales driver for them. I can certainly understand why they’ve been so bullish on TiVo since the launch if it is driving those kind of numbers. Even among existing subscribers TiVo is an upsell, so that’s good for business.
This reinforces what I’ve said before, TiVo’s future is going to hinge on MSO deals with retail being a secondary, niche market. We’re already seeing that with the TiVo Premiere Elite, which was clearly designed primarily to address the needs of cable MSOs (as the TiVo Premiere Q) with digital-cable only tuners and MoCA, with the same hardware brought to retail as a premium niche product. And the forthcoming TiVo Preview streaming unit, which as of yet still has no known retail plans but will be coming to MSOs. There is just more volume in MSO deals. With Virgin Media’s apparent runaway success marketing TiVo in the UK I wouldn’t be surprised to see more MSOs signing on with TiVo in the coming months.