As part of an initiative to revive its brand, TiVo has named indie agency Olson its agency of record after a review.
Founded in 1997, TiVo was the first company to offer a digital device that let consumers record shows and skip through ads. At its inception it was highly popular, but in recent years TiVo has struggled as more consumers have recorded TV shows on DVRs offered by cable providers, and as consumers increasingly switch to viewing TV through Hulu and other brands of that ilk. The company also has a fresh set of competitors like Roku and Apple and nascent models that offer programming via the cloud.
But now Tivo is looking to rejoin the fray with new products, such as the TiVo mini, a small device that came out last month that lets users watch live TV or recordings in a second room outside of the main TiVo's locale, and TiVo stream, which lets users watch recordings on an iPhone or iPad.
Minneapolis-based Olson is expected to create marketing around these and other new TiVo products. The agency will be handling advertising, digital, media, PR and social media for the DVR pioneer. TiVo previously handled advertising and digital in-house, but worked with Allison & Partners for consumer PR. TiVo will continue to work with Sloane & Co. on corporate PR. There was no consultant on the review.
"We were impressed by the depth and breadth of Olson's ideas and their ability to seamlessly integrate the multiple aspects of our market differentiation and bold plans for the future," said Doug Bieter, TiVo's VP-consumer sales and marketing. By retaining an agency of Olson's stature, we are consolidating best-in-class advertising, digital and PR strategies that will be a tremendous asset as we build our brand and spread the word about the distinct value of the TiVo experience."
Despite some difficulties in recent years, TiVo last year saw some encouraging signs. The company in its fiscal 2013 saw its highest ever revenue for its service and technology segments, which grew 24% over the prior year. Total revenues were up 27.6%, and total subscriptions topped three million, showing 38% growth over the prior year. At its height, TiVo had about 4.4 million subscribers in 2007. TiVo is a small measured media spender-it spent about $5 million last year, down from $8.8 million the prior year-but it's believed that the company will invest more in marketing this year.
TiVo has been shopping around for acquisitions as it is expands itself into a more all-purpose media hub. It's primarily interested in buying companies with data capabilities that can measure advertising effectiveness or develop new ways for advertisers to market their brands.