×

Tivo Plans to Launch Android TV Dongle, Tivo+ Curation App

DVR maker Tivo is getting ready to release a new device that may not record television at all: The company plans to launch a $50 Roku-like TV dongle early next year, its new CEO Dave Shull revealed in a conversation with CNN this week.

The new device will be powered by Google’s Android TV platform, Shull said. It will offer access to streaming services, and also make content recommendations based on Tivo’s curation software, but likely not include a TV tuner necessary to record broadcast or cable programming. Shull told CNN that he hoped to double Tivo’s customer base to 50 million with the help of the TV dongle.

In addition to launching new hardware, Tivo is also looking to unveil a new curation service next month. Dubbed Tivo+, the new service is meant to curate and aggregate content from a variety of publishers, similar to the way Roku does it with its Roku Channel. Tivo+ is expected to be free at launch, but we shouldn’t be too surprised to see the company move towards selling third-party subscription services through the app at some point as well.

Speaking of advertising: Tivo has also been testing advertising on its existing DVRs, playing video ad prerolls before consumers can watch their TV recordings, according to Zatznotfunny.com. This is a somewhat ironic move, since the company has been offering users ways to skip ad breaks within their TV recordings for some time.

Tivo is currently in the midst of its latest round of restructuring: The company is splitting up its patent licensing business and its Tivo business line into two separate entities, with Shull telling CNN that this process should conclude next year.

All of these changes — new hardware, a new focus on ad-supported content and a new corporate structure — are responses to a series of business challenges. Tivo’s retail business has been on a decline for years, as consumers move to replace DVRs with cheaper streaming devices that don’t require monthly usage fees. The company’s operator business in the U.S. has also cooled, with most of Tivo’s recent revenue growth coming from international operators.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Katie Couric Sheryl Sandberg

    Katie Couric Steamrolls Sheryl Sandberg in Roving Vanity Fair Summit Interview

    Sending a jolt through a luxurious and excessively polite afternoon in Beverly Hills, veteran journalist Katie Couric delivered a relentless series of hardball questions to Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg on Tuesday. Speaking in conversation at the sixth annual Vanity Fair New Establishment summit at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Couric’s [...]

  • Parker Posey

    Parker Posey Stars in 'Hunted,' First Podcast From Dick Wolf and Endeavor Audio (EXCLUSIVE)

    Parker Posey will star in prison-break thriller “Hunted,” the first podcast from Endeavor Audio and Dick Wolf’s Wolf Entertainment. Posey (“Dazed and Confused,” “Scream 3,” “Superman Returns”) will star in the scripted podcast series alongside Brandon Scott (“13 Reasons Why,” “Dead to Me,” “Grey’s Anatomy”). In the eight-episode show, U.S. Deputy Marshal Emily Barnes (Posey) [...]

  • Snapchat

    Snapchat Grows to 210 Million Daily Users, Surpasses Q3 Revenue Expectations

    Snapchat is growing again, and getting better at monetizing all those eyeballs: The service ended its fiscal third quarter with 210 million daily active users, compared to 203 million at the end of Q2, its corporate parent Snap Inc. revealed as part of its earnings release Tuesday afternoon. Snap Inc. generated some $446 million revenue [...]

  • Fire TV News

    Amazon Launches Ad-Supported News Video App

    Amazon officially announced its long-rumored ad-supported news video service Tuesday. The new service will be available on Fire TV devices as well as Fire tablets, and rely on videos from publishers including CBS News, Reuters, Huffington Post, Bloomberg, People, Cheddar and others. News coverage served up through the app includes livestreams as well as on-demand [...]

  • Marvel-SiriusXM-podcasts

    Marvel Creating 'Substantial' Number of Exclusive Podcasts for SiriusXM

    Marvel’s Wolverine, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Star-Lord — and potentially more characters down the road — are getting their own podcasts on SiriusXM and Pandora. SiriusXM and Marvel Entertainment announced a multiyear pact under which Marvel will create a “substantial amount” of exclusive podcasts for SiriusXM and Pandora, including both scripted and unscripted series and [...]

  • Polygon

    Quibi Orders Daily Gaming-News Series From Vox Media’s Polygon

    Quibi latest idea about “essential” daily programming? A hopped-up, rapid-fire dispatch about video games and gamer culture. The mobile subscription-video startup, led by founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman, ordered a daily culture and gaming news show from Vox Media’s Polygon. The yet-to-be-titled series will span headlines, trend deep-dives, first-look previews of new game [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content