TiVo and Best Buy Announce Broad (and Vague) DVR Partnership

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DVR pioneer TiVo and consumer electronics retailer Best Buy have announced a broad partnership agreement that will see Best Buy promoting TiVo products heavily in its stores, while TiVo will look into rolling a special version of the TiVo platform just for Best Buy, along with working with Best Buy brands (like Insignia and Dynex) to integrate TiVo technology. The deal will also see Best Buy using TiVo technology to market Best Buy services and product offerings directly to customers, along with consumer education tips and insights.

Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed, nor did the companies outline any specific product plans or timetables for new tandem offerings—although it’s reasonable to assume both companies would like to have initial products and services ready to roll for the end-of-year holiday buying season.

“We also could not be more gratified by Best Buy’s recognition that TiVo is not simply another consumer electronics offering, but an ongoing service experience that can ultimately deliver on the goal of giving viewers anything they want, whenever they want it, through their television sets,” said TiVo CEO and president Tom Rogers, in a statement. “Best Buy will have the opportunity to both greatly expand the digital options and features available to its TV customers while also simplifying them at the same time.”

Under the deal, Best Buy will work to significantly increase TiVo’s distribution and sales via substantially increased levels of marketing and promotion—an aspect that’s no doubt especially welcome to TiVo as it tries to compete with non-TiVo DVR devices pushed into homes by cable and satellite operators. TiVo also plans to work with Best Buy to develop Best Buy-specific TiVo features that will let Best Buy more easily reach out to its customers with unique content offerings and, of course, marketing exhortations; Best Buy and TiVo will also work together to develop new features and integrate TiVo technology into Best Buy’s house brand (like Dynex and Insignia) where appropriate. Best Buy will also get a spot on the TiVo Showcase, increasing the retailer’s exposure to all TiVo subscribers.

The upside of the deal for TiVo appears to be mainly increased marketing and visibility in North America’s leading electronics retailer—no small thing, considering Best Buy’s retail reach. The upshot for Best Buy seems to be associating with what remains the foremost name in DVR technology, as well as the opportunity to create a captive audience of Best Buy customers who not only purchase DVR and media center technology through the retailer, but also buy into a marketing channel Best Buy can use to promote its own (and presumably its partners’) products and services right on customers’ living room televisions.

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