Interview with Lisette Preston-Barnes

NEM: What challenges and/or opportunities appeared for TiVo during the recent COVID-19 situation?

Lisette Preston-Barnes: The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly had a huge influence on all our lives this year but one thing that has remained constant is the growth of streaming media has been unstoppable. Obviously helped by various lockdowns overall media consumption continues to grow. Our recently released TiVo Video Trends Report showed a 58 percent increase in viewership overall with the average household subscribing to 6.9 video services. That said, consumers tell us they are becoming overwhelmed by choice in a hyper-competitive streaming market. This overwhelming choice may result in content chaos for consumers, which in a post-pandemic world may generate tune out and churn. This presents an opportunity for our two new streaming solutions TiVo+ and TiVo Stream 4k which we launched in North America mid-COVID and quickly became our fastest selling device ever.

Also, during this time, we saw consumer confidence in both streaming and pay TV recommendations rise 10% over the same period last year. This presents a greater opportunity for our Personalised Content Discovery (PCD) platform. Apart from offering a best-in-class Search & Recommendation solution for service providers with a superior NLU voice search feature, TiVo’s PCD platform offers a unique and seamless monetization opportunity for operators, called Sponsored Discovery.


NEM: Tivo is a well-known product in the UK, but what about the rest of Europe? Are there any plans for the CEE region?

Lisette Preston-Barnes: Actually, TiVo’s UX and Discovery solutions are embedded throughout other European territories including the CEE region. We have long-time partnerships with some of the biggest service operator groups with presence in Ireland, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Hungary, Greece, Czech Republic, and farther afield. Our aim is to expand our UX, Discovery and Streaming solutions throughout Europe and CEE.


NEM: With Sponsored Content Discovery you tackled the issue with content saturation. Tell us more about this solution and how it helps the viewers and content providers.

Lisette Preston-Barnes: Similar to online paid searches, Sponsored Discovery is data-activated solution that dynamically inserts a tile into a recommendation carousel and promotes specific entertainment titles to households that meet specific (genre) target criteria. The tool uses suggestive algorithms to promote only relevant content, more prominently & pervasively than predictive algorithmic recommendations would normally appear. This increases the likelihood of more tune-in to the promoted program or movie. The beauty of this feature is twofold …1) Operators can leverage the in-UI S&R tile inventory to unlock new revenues from paid content promotions; and 2) Broadcasters can break through the content clutter and reach the right audiences.


NEM: All the tech and data innovations are great for advertisers, but what about the viewers? Where should we draw the line when it comes to delivering ads on a platform such as TiVo?

Lisette Preston-Barnes: We’re finding that consumers are more receptive to relevant ads or promotions. In fact, when promoted content and/or ads are more personalised, it only enhances viewer engagement and therefore, helps promote greater consumer satisfaction and reduce subscriber churn. We’re also seeing a rise in the usage of AVOD or advertiser funded VOD services. As consumers see a squeeze on their income, they’re choosing to come back to services that feature advertising – where that advertising is personalised it’s a win-win situation.


NEM: Did TiVo change its focus for the business development considering the recent situation? What can we expect next from you?

Lisette Preston-Barnes: At TiVo we’ve successfully completed a merger in June and we’re now part of Xperi. Making entertainment more entertaining is at the core of Xperi’s value proposition. From the IPG, DVR and enhanced audio in cinemas, cars and home to today’s streaming solutions, our focus has always been and continues to be…to deliver best-in class quality consumer entertainment experiences. The TiVo brand promise is to make it easy for consumers to find, watch and enjoy the content they love. Xperi now offers DTS, IMAX Enhanced, and TiVo branded solutions that make entertainment more entertaining. TiVo has a proven, industry leading content discovery platform for music, movies and media while DTS has made core investments in audio, imaging and machine learning solutions that enhance the end user experience.

You can expect more from us in the next few years. As consumer content consumption continues to grow across connected media platforms, there remains a big challenge for consumers – how to seamlessly find the content they want. We see our primary opportunity as an open content discovery and experience platform embedded within consumer electronics brands.

Over the past few years, and more recently during Covid, we saw consumer demand towards simplification and convenience…According to our recent Video Trends report…
• 84% of respondents are interested in the ability to view, browse and search all available content unified in a single experience or user interface.
• 77% of consumers are interested in the ability to pay for all their video services from a single source.
These are good indication that we’re headed in the right direction with our IPTV Platform, TiVo+ and TiVo Stream 4K solutions.