Tivo "bundles" itself with telcos

In reporting their recent financial results, some telecom companies have said that their sector could become "softened" in 2008 thanks to the struggling US economy. One way telcos have tried to create stickier relationships and differentiate themselves has been to bundle multiple services, whether it be TV, broadband Internet, home phone or wireless services. Telcos market bundles as being more convenient (one bill), less expensive (volume discount) and complimentary (TV integrates with broadband, etc.). These messages appear to be resonating with consumers. Since July 2007, online interest in bundles at the major telcos increased by over 30%.

  • Fluctuations at AT&T are mostly due to integrating the sites of their acquired properties onto one platform
  • Verizon‘s solid increase is partially credited to its consistent marketing and rollout of its FiOS products & services
  • Despite lower absolute interest, Comcast and TW‘s interest grew a healthy 20%

One company looking to get in on the bundle action is DVR provider TiVo. TiVo only receives about 300K unique visitors to its website every month, but in Q4 2007 bundle shoppers on a telco website were 4X more likely to visit tivo.com than the average online consumer (data gathered using Behavior Match). Consumers may be looking to see if TiVo is compatible with their existing telco services and/or purchasable as part of a bundle. TiVo is now leveraging this into a mass distribution strategy involving partnerships with major telcos. Comcast and Cox will be among the first to sell TiVo DVR subscriptions as part of their telco bundles. This could be a very smart move for TiVo because consumers seem to be actively seeking out the service during their shopping experience, and can now bundle TiVo with other telco offerings.

These insights are part of an in-depth look at telco bundles in this month’s Telecom & Media Vantage newsletter. If you’d like to read more, please click here or sign up for our monthly mailing.

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