June 13th, 2012

Gizmo Lovers

TiVo And PayPal Team For Remote Control Purchasing

TiVo Logo I’ve been saying for years that TiVo should add a way to make purchases right from the system. For years they’ve had product Showcases, advertisements in the UI, Interactive Tags during ads, etc. They’ve dabbled in direct product purchasing through Amazon, and there have been trials such as ordering from Domino’s Pizza, but most of these have been limited in scope and duration. But this looks like a serious effort, with PayPal involved.

I’m not really a big fan of PayPal myself, I only use it when I have to, but there is no denying they’re the 800 pound gorilla in the online payments arena. PayPal is a name known and trusted by most consumers, a strong brand accepted by a multitude of merchants. Like them or not, there really isn’t a better payments processor for TiVo to partner with. Someone like Amazon Payments or Google Wallet just wouldn’t give them the scope of PayPal. And there certainly seems to be a lot of potential, given the data shared by PayPal:

According to a survey conducted by PayPal in October 2011, half of TV subscribers (49%) show an interest in purchasing goods and services linked to the content they’re watching on TV, either directly from their television through their remote control, or on a companion device (smartphone or tablet). In addition, nearly 30% of those same TV subscribers said they would use PayPal to make those purchases. In fact, 89% of respondents knew about PayPal as an online payment service with 61% of them having used it in the last 12 months. Furthermore, according to research done by Nielsen, consumers who watch traditional television are engaged approximately 5.1 hours a day, whereas consumers who surf the Internet are engaged less than an hour a day.

TiVo and their agency partners will be working to bring PayPal-enabled ads to consumers in time for the fall 2012 TV season. It sounds like purchasing capabilities will be available to advertisers across TiVo’s ad placement offerings – Interactive Tags, Showcases, etc. I think that’s a good first step, but I think the real potential is integration with shopping channels. As well as the possibility of enhanced TV. How about watching a cooking show and being able to call up an onscreen display to order the host’s cookbook or their branded products? Or watching a fashion-based program and being able to order the clothing seen on the show? It’ll also be interesting to see if the payment system is part of the new SDK TiVo is preparing, to allow purchases via third party apps.

PayPal is also looking to expand this beyond TiVo, as they stated in their blog they’re also working with Comcast:

We’re excited to announce that we’re collaborating with industry leader Comcast Cable to explore opportunities that include enabling consumers to make purchases or donations related to the content they’re watching on television either directly through their TV using the remote control, or on a companion device such as a smartphone or tablet. We are also exploring opportunities for enabling consumers to accept coupons directly into their PayPal online wallet during television advertisements.

Though it sounds like their plans with Comcast are much less concrete than what was announced with TiVo today.

There is one thing about this announcement I could really do without – the term ‘t-commerce’. Yes, a ‘clever’ play on e-commerce and TV. Oh well, marketing, what can you do?

The press release is below:

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Mirrored from Gizmo Lovers Blog.