TiVo introducing “product purchase” feature with Amazon

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by mtchamp, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. Jul 21, 2008 #1 of 197
    mtchamp

    mtchamp New Member

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/22/technology/22tivo.html?ref=business

    TiVo and Amazon Team Up
    By BRAD STONE
    Published: July 22, 2008
    SAN FRANCISCO — TiVo, the Silicon Valley company that introduced millions to the joy of skipping television commercials, is trying to crack a decades-old media dream. It wants to turn the television remote control into a tool for buying the products being advertised and promoted on commercials and talk shows.

    The company, based in Alviso, Calif., will introduce a “product purchase” feature on Tuesday in partnership with the Internet retailer Amazon.com. Owners of TiVo video recorders will see, in TiVo’s various onscreen menus, links to buy products like CDs, DVDs and books that guests are promoting on talk shows like “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “The Late Show With David Letterman” and “The Daily Show.”

    In the months ahead, TiVo plans to begin offering this feature to advertisers and programmers, so that the chance to buy products and have them delivered will be presented to viewers during commercials and even alongside product placements during live shows.

    The move highlights TiVo’s attempt to shift from being a creator of set-top boxes, competing with copycat devices, to being an advertising innovator that is trying to develop advertising technologies for the television industry.

    “Just a few years ago, we were viewed with great paranoia as the disruptor,” said Thomas S. Rogers, chief executive of TiVo. “Our goal now is to work with the media industry to come up with ways to resist the downward pressure of less advertising viewing and create a way for advertising on TV to become more effective, more engaging and closer to the sale.”

    “What we are trying to do is to create all the underpinnings of a future business model for television,” he said.

    For years, interactive advertising on television has been characterized by risky experiments and high-profile failures. Most famously, Time Warner took a shot at the concept with its pioneering but expensive Qube box trial in Ohio in the late 1970s.

    One problem with all previous experiments in this area, Mr. Rogers said, was that buying a product through the television took the viewer out of the experience they had actually settled in for — watching a program.

    But on TiVo, if a viewer chooses to buy an advertised item during a broadcast, TiVo records the rest of the program so the viewer can easily return to it after the purchase. TiVo users will also be able to save their intended purchases in their Amazon account and return to the site later to complete the transaction.

    TiVo and Amazon, based in Seattle, have an existing relationship. Since last year, owners of broadband-connected TiVos have been able to download movies and televisions shows to their set-top boxes from Amazon’s digital video store, now called Amazon Video on Demand. The two companies have not disclosed the financial details of their newest deal, but in general Amazon’s affiliates get a 15 percent slice of a sale when a customer they referred makes a purchase on the site.

    But the media world may not be so quick to jump at TiVo’s new buy-it-now feature. More than a decade after it altered the fundamental experience of watching television, TiVo’s base of users remains relatively small.

    TiVo’s purchase feature “is a harbinger of what television ultimately should become,” said Timothy Hanlon, senior vice president for Denuo, the media futures division of the Publicis Groupe. “But TiVo is only in around four million plus homes. From a national advertising perspective, if it doesn’t get beyond that base it remains nothing more than a curiosity.”

    TiVo knows that, which is why the company is trying to branch out of the set-top box business and into building software that it can license to much larger media companies. For the last three years, TiVo has been working with the cable operators Comcast and Cox to put its user-friendly software in their set-top boxes. Both of those efforts are still in trials.

    Mr. Rogers also said TiVo’s deal with Comcast includes a provision for TiVo to provide its interactive ad technology for the cable company’s other, non-TiVo digital video recorders. Though Mr. Rogers says “this is not our focus today,” becoming a broker for the next generation of interactive ads may be TiVo’s ultimate goal.

    Possible customers for its interactive ad technology include the cable and satellite companies and their consortiums, like Project Canoe, a joint effort by six cable operators to create a technology platform to sell customized and interactive ads.

    To publicize TiVo’s efforts at creating this new advertising model for television, Mr. Rogers is not above sowing a little fear about some of the grim trends in the business, which TiVo itself helped to unleash.

    As DVRs get more popular, “the majority of commercials in home will be fast-forwarded through,” he said. “It is critical that there be a form of advertising and a transactional solution that underpins the DVR, or the economics of television are going to be substantially undermined.”
     
  2. Jul 21, 2008 #2 of 197
    RoyK

    RoyK New Member

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    Crap!
     
  3. Jul 21, 2008 #3 of 197
    pdhenry

    pdhenry Ruthless

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    Nah. Useful. But only with an opt in/opt out feature - as in, a means not to see the ad onscreen during the programming.
     
  4. Jul 21, 2008 #4 of 197
    CuriousMark

    CuriousMark Forum Denizen

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    Maybe it will be a thumbs up that jumps to an HME or something like what we have already seen. Those aren't optionable now, so I suspect that will remain the case.
     
  5. Jul 21, 2008 #5 of 197
    RoyK

    RoyK New Member

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    Just what the viewing public will love - a constant barrage of "Press Thumbs Up to Purchase" icons blinking as they watch programs. When word of this gets out TiVo will be lucky if they can give away their subscriptions. The competition will have a field day.

    Oops, I guess the word has gotten out, hasn't it!
     
  6. Jul 21, 2008 #6 of 197
    CuriousMark

    CuriousMark Forum Denizen

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    You know, it could just as easily be the line on the save or delete screen at the end of a program that takes you there, so until we know more it is probably premature to get out the pitchforks and torches.
     
  7. Jul 21, 2008 #7 of 197
    RoyK

    RoyK New Member

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    I don't read .."even alongside product placements during live shows".... that way. Do you?
     
  8. Jul 21, 2008 #8 of 197
    CuriousMark

    CuriousMark Forum Denizen

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    No, but I think we should give them a chance to try to keep it to a civilized level.
     
  9. Jul 21, 2008 #9 of 197
    20TIL6

    20TIL6 BaDoop BaDoop BaDoop

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    I like the idea. I have bought books after seeing authors interviewed on The Daily Show. Now I could do it while watching the show rather than remembering to make the purchase later. I would use this.
     
  10. Jul 21, 2008 #10 of 197
    samo

    samo New Member

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    "Slippery slope" in action. Will this finally convince TiVo fan boys club that "TiVo needs to make profit" is the wrong excuse for arguing about increasing presence of unwanted advertisement on TiVo?
     
  11. Jul 21, 2008 #11 of 197
    scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    It's a bad idea as far as I'm concerned. Even if I want to buy that book or gizmo being discussed on a TV show, I'm not going to just buy it from the vendor that happens to be available right there on the spot. I'm going to shop for the best price.
     
  12. Jul 21, 2008 #12 of 197
    RoyK

    RoyK New Member

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    I just emailed the following to Amazon.

     
  13. Jul 21, 2008 #13 of 197
    aadam101

    aadam101 Tell me a joke

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    I kinda like the idea. Tivo has already pioneered an entire industry and they may be about to pioneer another.
     
  14. Jul 22, 2008 #14 of 197
    RoyK

    RoyK New Member

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    I bought mine to enjoy watching TV, not to have it turned in to a damned vending machine.
     
  15. Jul 22, 2008 #15 of 197
    tevoisseur

    tevoisseur Tivoisseur

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    Exactly, is there some sort of incentive to buy it from Amazon through Tivo?

     
  16. Jul 22, 2008 #16 of 197
    yunlin12

    yunlin12 Tivonation Citizen

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    I do most of my shopping online now, and I find that more often then not, Amazon gives me the best or close to the best price, especially for music, DVD's, and I imagine books. If I buy an expensive item like a computer I may look at Dell or HP for sales, but for smaller stuff, from shoes, to batteries, to grill thermostats, I'd rather save the time and go straight to Amazon. Having bought from Amazon before, I trust buying from them, and appreciate the convenience. Not saying you should buy stuff from Amazon like I do, just saying try it, see if it's useful to you, before you bury it.
     
  17. Jul 22, 2008 #17 of 197
    danieljanderson

    danieljanderson Proud to preach TiVo

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    I cannot -for even a a moment- imagine that an add will pop up during a show asking me if I'm interested in purchasing.
    Let's wait and see how this works.
     
  18. Jul 22, 2008 #18 of 197
    Einselen

    Einselen ɹǝsn pǝɹǝʇsıƃǝɹ

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    Agreed here with the thumbs up to buy from Amazon idea is bad unless you can opt in/out and in this case I would highly recommend the opt in route as people are too stupid (not here but in general) to find out about opting out and the call centers will be flooded with cancellation calls. I was also the one who was fine with the stars at the delete screen and bottom of the groups folder (still am) but this is too far (again if it goes that way, we will have to see)
     
  19. Jul 22, 2008 #19 of 197
    scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    And how do you know what kind of deal you are getting from Amazon? Could it be because you are shopping around? That's my point.
     
  20. Jul 22, 2008 #20 of 197
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Other than for groceries, so do I, BUT ONLY WHEN I WANT TO BE SHOPPING. I don't appreciate any vendor interrupting me when I want to be doing something else. One of my main duties is deciding what materials to purchase and from whom in order to deliver service to our customers, to the tune of several million dollars a year. Obviously, lots of vendors would like a piece of that pie, and many sales reps vie for my spending decisions. Any sales rep who sends me unsolicited material or tries to contact me without my requesting it is automatically and immediately black-listed by me after only 1 warning.
     

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