TiVo’s chief new consumer-grade streaming device, the TiVo Stream 4K, should hit the market in “the next few weeks,” according to the company’s chief revenue officer, Matt Milne.
Speaking at Future Media’s Virtual Spring TV Week online conference, Milne said TiVo product developers have been working at home amid the pandemic to get the Android TV-based OTT device ready for the market.
“It’s a testament to our whole team that we’ve been able conduct the necessary product test and will have high quality product we can launch to market,” Milne said.
The TiVo 4K Stream will have access to all the apps available in the Google Play Store via Android TV. What will make it different from other OTT devices, Milne said, is its ability to tap TiVo’s sizable search and discover resources.
“We’re investing well over $100 million a year at a foundational level to help people with discovery,” he said. “This is a product built for the streaming wars. It’s built to bring all that content together.”
Users of streaming services, Milne said, spend an average of 11 minutes searching among—also on average—seven SVoD, AVoD and other OTT programming sources for a movie, TV show, news or sports event.
The TiVo 4K Stream will allow users to navigate their apps through the traditional “Gemstar grid,” Milne said. But it will also offer a separate UI based on TiVo’s proprietary search and discovery interface.
TiVo, he said, will become a “neutral third party,” with SVoD and AVoD platforms available to, in turn, anonymously monitor app usage through TiVo.
TiVo isn’t totally neutral—it recently launched its own AVoD platform, TiVo Plus. Milne didn’t say whether or not TiVo Plus has any kind of priority status in terms of what search and discovery results users might get on TiVo Stream 4K.
“We see this as a merchandiser opportunity,” Milne said. “How do we connect the consumer to the content?”