Virgin Media is examining how to deliver its TiVo service across its footprint, even amongst those customers that may initially be unwilling to part with the £5 (€6.4) monthly fee required to take the advanced set-top box.
In an investor call CEO Neil Berkett said the company continued to review the advantages of using TiVo as its single middleware. Virgin’s low-end boxes continue to use the former Liberate middleware, known as TV Navigator, and owned in Europe by Seachange.
Already Virgin Media has increased the monthly supplement to £5 from £3 and Berkett said there were other measures that could be deployed, such as adjusting the installation fee, to test price elasticity.
“What we do know is that in the last quarter we had an extremely high compliance rate of the £5 in the 90s. We had an installation rate of somewhere in the 20 or 30s because of the competitive market place for new customers, higher than that for existing customers and we sold 262,000 installations.”
The dilemma for Virgin is whether a switch to TiVo would be rewarded by higher ARPU and customer advocacy. One solution would be for these customers to be offered a lesser specified product.
“We are already exploring non Cisco/Samsung devices at circa £100 to rollout elements of our middleware. We’re launching in the fourth quarter a companion app on the iPad and that will ultimately move to a full app across multiple devices,” said Berkett. “As we go further out in time I predict there will be more efficient ways of delivering TiVo to customers that is not a DVR box.”