Wednesday, August 27, 2008

TiVo to allow automatic recording of shows picked by Entertainment Weekly

TiVo hopes to make it easier for people to watch top television shows by recording programs recommended by Entertainment Weekly magazine.

The partnership is part of a growing push by TiVo to differentiate itself from DVRs offered by cable and satellite companies, which have managed to find a bigger audience even though they lack many of TiVo's features.

The deal could also help create a more direct connection between one of the most popular print magazines devoted to chronicling the ins-and-outs of entertainment and access to that entertainment. The publication has a weekly circulation of 1.8 million. Entertainment Weekly will update its recommendations for TiVo subscribers weekly.

TiVo will also allow its users to download videos that Entertainment Weekly is already featuring on its Website, including a regular series of interviews with losing contestants from "American Idol." The service won't carry an additional fee above the $12.95 a month TiVo users pay.

Tom Rogers, CEO of TiVo, said the company plans to expand TV recommendations from "authoritative sources" like Entertainment Weekly that make it easier to record programs. TiVo also lets users follow suggestions for recording kid-friendly programming from the nonprofit organization Common Sense Media.

TiVo in recent years has also cut deals that let users download TV shows and movies from and stream music from Rhapsody. But such features haven't helped TiVo to keep pace with the growth of cable and satellite operators.

The company, which pioneered DVRs a decade ago, has only 1.7 million subscribers out of an estimated 26 million DVRs in the US at the end of the first quarter of 2008. (info from The Wall Street Journal)

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