TiVo is sunsetting the standalone Fan TV app for mobile devices and the web, as many of the search and recommendation capabilities housed there have been integrated into the new TiVo Experience 4 platform for retail devices and its MVPD partnerships.
TiVo will be notifying Fan TV users of the decision in stages over the next 24 hours, and expects to remove the apps in the mid-April timeframe, according to Chris Thun, TiVo’s vice president of product.
TiVo doesn’t disclose active users for Fan TV, but said the Fan TV app has been downloaded millions of times during the years.
Rovi, which merged with TiVo in September 2016, acquired Fanhattan, the company behind the Fan TV product/platform, about two years earlier for about $12 million. In addition to the standalone app, Fanhattan, for a brief period, also developed partnerships with Cox Communications and Time Warner Cable by which the Fan TV user interface and experience was built into IP streaming devices and a touch-based remote control.
The Fan TV app enables users to browse from more than 1 million shows while also guiding them to the sources of that content, including pay TV providers, programmer-run apps as well as pure OTT services such as Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, making recommendations, and enabling users to build personalized watch lists.
TiVo, which is in the process of evaluating options that could lead to the company going private or into M&A-related activities, was not monetizing Fan TV through advertising or other means, but it has been serving as an important research tool as TiVo’s been gleaning value from usage data and incorporating those learnings into its new Experience 4 platform.
Along those lines, TiVo in January introduced a device-agnostic, app-centric platform for MVPDs that will bring the TiVo experience to a wide range of retail streaming client devices and help those pay TV partners move ahead with their IPTV transitions.
The timing of the transition to the new TiVo platform, which includes voice-based navigation, is up to the individual MVPDs, but that work is already underway, Michael Hawkey, TiVo’s SVP and GM, UX, said.
There’s a “common vision and functionality” between that new, more cloud-driven TiVo product and the Fan TV app, Thun said, noting that much of the rework done for the new platform’s graphical user interface can be traced back to Fan TV.
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