In the case of the latter, T-Commerce, or Television Commerce, the ability to click a remote and buy something that has appeared on television has seen its fair share of restarts over the last two to three decades. Big players from Time Warner to Barry Diller have tried it and failed. Forrester’s Josh Bernoff once called the concept buying “Jennifer Aniston’s sweater.”
Now digital video recorder technology maker TiVo and online retailer Amazon.com are the latest to give it a go. The idea is the same — Watch, Click, Buy. The experience might even be easier this time around. For starters, consumers are starting to get comfortable with the idea of interacting with on-screen cues, like clicking on ads on TiVo to watch, say, a longer BMW commercial. Consumers are also pretty comfortable with shopping on Amazon these days.
Making all this work this time around could be the conversations advertisers have with program producers. Branded entertainment or product placement — Ford sponsoring NBC’s “Knight Rider”, for example – is commonplace these days. It’s not hard to see how collaboration among TiVo, advertisers and programmers could make this work.
Enabling screen overlays during a program to hawk what’s on the show would require nothing more than a deeper conversation between advertisers, programmers and networks, TiVo’s director of broadband services Evan Young tells us. These conversations are going on, he says.