PayPal eyes TV shopping with Comcast, Tivo

June 12, 2012

PayPal, eBay’s online payments business, is online, heading offline and hopes to be on your TV soon.

PayPal announced partnerships with Comcast and Tivo on Tuesday that aim to get viewers shopping during commercial breaks, pauses and at the end of shows. The projects are in development stages right now, but the goal is to have the services up and running later this year.

“The living room, in particular the TV set and the DVR, is the last leg of the stool,” said Scott Dunlap, vice president of emerging opportunities at PayPal.

The Comcast partnership is developing small banner ads that will pop up near the bottom of the TV screen that will let viewers use their PayPal accounts to donate to a non-profit, contribute to a political campaign or get coupons for discounts at retailers.

When viewers click on the ads, they will be prompted to log in to their PayPal accounts to complete the transactions. In the case of the retailer coupon, the discount will be automatically dropped into users’ PayPal accounts and taken off their next purchase, Dunlap explained.

Tivo users will see interactive ads that pop up when they pause a recorded show or finish watching a show. The ads will highlight products that viewers will be able to buy with PayPal and have the items shipped to the address associated with their PayPal accounts.  

While TV shopping is a new initiative for PayPal, eBay has already dipped its toe into this area. Last year, the company launched a “Watch With eBay” feature on the eBay for iPad app that lets viewers browse and buy items related to the TV shows they are watching.

PayPal’s Dunlap said the “holy grail” is technology that lets viewers pause TV shows and highlight every product on the screen and buy them.

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