We all remember the Saturday mornings of our childhood, when cartoons were interrupted by commercials that bombarded us with loud music and images of the newest cereal or toys related to our favorite shows. Tivo and Amazon have an easy answer for kids, or anyone, who says those three words our parents used to dread-"I want that."
The two companies unveiled their plan for a remote control feature that provides viewers with the power to buy items they see during a commercial, or even in a live talk show, I.E.- the latest book to be added to Oprah's book club. Viewers will have the option of completing the purchase or tagging it for later, so they can finish their favorite program.
Tivo's new feature illustrates its latest attempt to differentiate itself from the standard cable box, an appeal which it has totally lost as DVRs copied its format during the past eight years. Despite the feature's appeal, it's important to remember that the expansion of DVRS limited Tivo's edge, and only four-million homes currently use the device, out of approximately 38 million homes with DVRs.
From Brad Stone's article at International Herald Tribute
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."
According to USA Today, the interest in interactive TV ads is spreading, as a national survey showed that 43% of sellers were interested in trying interactive campaigns,and Cable Companies such as Charter have already employed similar tactics, such as Charters ad campaign for the Los Angeles Sparks, an WNBA team, which offered team brouchures with the click of a button.Major companies, such as Disney,(no surprise) have already devoted entire channels strictly desinged to offer vacation packages on-demand ,with virtual tours of their parks, with 23% of responders eventually booking a trip.
Ultimately, the success of Tivo and Amazon's is contingent on the response to its unique aspect : the live-show marketing. If shows such as "The View", "The Daily Show" and "Late Night" can engage viewers with the guest's book or item, Amazon and Tivo may have tapped into a potential goldmine, especially if they can link actors with movie tickets. Just imagine the extra cash "Dark Knight" could have made if viewers had the chance to buy a ticket while Christian Bale was plugging the film on Leno or Letterman.
Otherwise,Tivo will be stuck in the same race with the competitors that caught up with them in the early 2000s.