Xperi to Use TiVo Brand to Squeeze into TVOS Market with Purchase of Vewd Manufacturer
Despite it already being an incredibly crowded space, it looks like the smart TV market is getting another major player as Xperi — the American tech company behind TiVo — purchased the bankrupt Norwegian TV software company Vewd this week.
Looking to populate a struggling smart TV OS landscape, Xperi hopes to work with smaller companies to add its third-party streaming software to their products. Major players including Google and Amazon are unlikely to turn to other OS suppliers, though their lesser-known competitors may still be looking for stable platforms that will work with all of their devices. Some manufacturers such as Hisense use six different TVOSs across their entire product line.
Vewd is a leading provider of over-the-top (OTT) and hybrid TVs globally, shipping more than 30 million devices each year. The buyout also gives Xperi access to over 15 million devices already established overseas. Using the recognizable TiVo name, Xperi’s strategy lets original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) have more control over their own products without the branding commonly associated with such deals. An OEM will have the power of a fully integrated TiVo-based operating system without it being a “TiVo TV.”
One of the major benefits to OEMs to a deal like this is that when they partner with a company like Roku to use their TVOS, it is Roku who controls all of the user’s data and monetization. That means that manufacturer is ceding very valuable revenue opportunities to outside companies. However, incorporating Xperi’s operating system will allow manufacturers the ability to maintain control of those assets.
The smart TV market, while seemingly oversaturated, is a growing one. A Convivia report in February found that smart TV viewership is on the rise, while second-hand devices are losing their allure. Consumer desires are moving away from streaming via dongles or additional equipment to fully integrated smart TVs.
As streaming becomes a more popular option, smart TVs can simplify the process by incorporating access to all of a viewer’s streamers into a single menu. Google TV’s latest update shows signs of doing just that, even downloading and signing into apps automatically.
While recent studies suggest that smart TVs do not greatly influence viewing habits, the move away from “dumb” or unintegrated devices is certain. If Xperi can leverage its new acquisition to become the most viable third-party TVOS in the market, it may be able to take on some of the world’s biggest tech giants after all.