Just because your brand is a verb, it doesn’t mean you can charge a massive premium, and flush away a large part of your audience with provider lock-in. Yep, the exciting TiVo boxes will be available in New Zealand come November. But only if you have $900 spare (or $200 + $30/mth for 2 years). And they’ll be largely crippled unless you’re a Telecom broadband subscriber. That’s right. Unless you use Telecom broadband, you’ll be paying for bandwidth to view the program guide and any on-demand movies your TiVo won’t have a program guide, rendering it effectively useless.
If you put barriers like that in front of your potential customers, they’re just going to turn away. There’s plenty of decent Freeview DVR’s in the market, not to mention MySky.
The slightly shiny side on this – quite frankly – turd of a product release is the fact that if you are a Telecom subscriber then all your TiVo data, including locked-up DRM movies, is free.
So here we have two near-monopolies (Telecom and TVNZ), collaborating to lock-up one of the more exciting consumer electronics released in New Zealand this year. Good Times! Look for a $8m write-down from TVNZ in a couple of years when they fail to make any money whatsoever from their TiVo investment.
Update: on a re-read, I see I’m putting up a bunch of complaints with no suggestions. Here are my suggestions:
- Lower the price of the box. I’m surprised TVNZ is planning on making money on advertising with the box and haven’t even considered loss-leading.
- The zero-rated data is a brilliant idea, and very attractive to Telecom subscribers. How about a peering arrangement with other ISP’s (a-la Orcon’s O-zone – which you might be surprised to see TVNZ on). More options = more users = more revenue. Perhaps share the bandwidth cost in exchange for a cut of advertising.
Any other ideas?