Now selling at the clearance-level price of $29.99, the streaming device appears to be exiting its previous go-to retail hub, Walmart, and is now taking up shop at Target.
Last week, Wolfpoint Group, a company that helps retailers including Target launch new wares, announced that its client is launching the “TiVo 4K streamer product.” The TiVo Stream 4K is currently available at Target for $29.99, discounted from its previous $49.99 MSRP.
(This announcement surfaced when influential technology writer David Zatz, a longtime TiVo observer, noticed that the TiVo Stream 4K seems to be getting phased out of Walmart and Best Buy, drawing the ire of a Wolfpoint Group rep.)
Featured in prime Walmart “endcap” in-store locations last year, shortly after its April 2020 launch, the TiVo Stream 4K does seem to be getting superseded at America’s biggest big box store by Walmart’s own, new Onn-branded Android TV streaming device, which is also priced to move at $30. And the Stream 4K isn't even available at Best Buy, a longtime go-to destination for TiVo DVRs. (A TiVo rep told Next TV Thursday that the company is still selling products at Best Buy, but it is "in the process of switching from a third-party vendor to a direct sales relationship.")
The Target announcement comes amid overall confusion over TiVo Stream 4K’s fate.
In early May, TiVo’s new parent company, Xperi, said that it was pivoting away from Android TV, the software that TiVo Stream 4K is based on, with Google now also planning to use the OS as a foundation for its own search-and-recommendation UX overlay software, Google TV.
Xperi said its plan now is to deploy the TiVo Stream 4K software, sans Android TV, as a smart TV OEM operating system, competing with Roku and Google TV.
“What has changed is last fall, Google came out and said that they intend to go beyond their core OS level offering and really get into the UX business, and in so doing, it eclipses one’s ability to think [they can] reasonably be an alternative that might otherwise live on their lower level platform,” said Xperi CEO John Kirchner to equity research analysts during Xperi’s first-quarter earnings call on May 5.
A number of folks in the tech media interpreted that to mean that Xperi is pivoting away from its TiVo Stream 4K HDMI dongle—a read certainly not undermined when Xperi cut the price of existing inventory by 40%.
Xperi reps didn’t immediately respond to Next TV’s inquiry for clarity on the TiVo Stream 4K go-to-market strategy. However, the company told TechHive last month that new iterations of the TiVo Stream 4K device are on the way, and that Xperi is still making TiVo Stream 4K hardware “and will continue to do so.”
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