Tivo and Amazon Rival 'The Shopping Network' with New Deal

Dennis Faas's picture

Tivo has made a deal with Amazon that could genuinely revolutionize how TV advertising works. Viewers will now be able to order products mentioned in shows with a click of their remote.

The system will initially involve chat shows such as Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres and the Colbert Report. Whenever a guest talks about a product, such as an author publicising a book, viewers will see a link in the corner of their screens. Clicking on it will either allow them to order it instantly by typing in a PIN code, or to put the item in their Amazon shopping basket to examine on a computer later on.

At first the product links will be based on automated guesswork, likely from the TV listings data. Eventually, show producers will be offered the chance to decide which products are featured. The system should work straight away on Series 2 Tivos because it uses the same technology employed for a recent update that successfully added YouTube access. (Source: betanews.com)

The financial details are being kept quiet, though many media sources speculate that Tivo will get a 15% cut, similar to the amount offered to websites in Amazon's affiliate scheme.

It's not the first time the two firms have worked together: Tivo customers who bought content from Amazon's Unboxed video download service were able to watch it through their Tivo rather than having to use a separate media streaming device. That deal is in question now, though, with Amazon seemingly replacing Unboxed with its new service by which customers watch downloads through their web browsers rather than on TV sets. (Source: arstechnica.com)

It's a pretty ironic move given that one of Tivo's main (if un-stated) selling points is the ability to skip through traditional commercials.

Of course, the biggest danger now is that it's become one step easier to watch the boob tube after a few beers and find yourself ordering a nine-disc collection of TV's Greatest Theme Tunes.

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