July 23rd, 2008

TiVo, Amazon Team Up

By Paul Bond
The Hollywood Reporter

Companies join to allow users to shop from their TVs

The old-fashioned tradition of shopping from your TV set got a booster shot Tuesday when Amazon said it had teamed with TiVo to make the practice easier than ever.

The companies said TiVo subscribers can use their remote controls for the so-called Product Purchase feature to buy from Amazon products they see promoted on TV shows or commercials.

TiVo—which transformed TV commercials skipping into an art form—has been trying to prove its worth to advertisers through several initiatives that include interactive ads, but its Amazon approach is the most direct yet.

TiVo thinks it has a hit on its hands because it solves the problem of having to be distracted from a TV show to buy a product. Instead, someone watching Oprah Winfrey tout her latest favorite book, for example, can buy it without leaving the couch and without missing any programming.

The service works whether shows are being watched live or recorded, though only with TiVo boxes that are broadband connected.

It’s the second time Amazon has teamed with TiVo, the first being an Amazon Unbox initiative that allows some TiVo subscribers to order on-demand movies and TV episodes to be delivered to their TiVo hard drives.

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