TiVoPraised for its convenience and user experience, TiVo became a household name after going public in 1999. In fact, consumers turned TiVo into a verb to describe the ability to record TV. But as cable and satellite TV companies released their own DVRs, the company got distracted with patent-infringement lawsuits and licensing, and it lost its edge. Fast forward a decade and TiVo continues to plug away with products competitors already offer, like the new TiVo Mini, a small device to pipe recorded video to other rooms. After a major marketing push last year, subscribers are now back to 3 million, which is down from 4.4 million in 2006. "TiVo's lesson of the challenges of stand-alone is one that others continue to repeat ( Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Next), while Netflix was successful by integrating into other devices," said Bruce Leichtman, president of Leichtman Research Group.
At least the company's finally capitalizing on its customer data to help advertisers figure what commercials people really watch -- or skip. Tom Rogers, TiVo's CEO, said in February, the new TiVo Research and Analytics unit "will become a larger contributor to our growth."