Verizon, History Channel latest to tap TV-commerce

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You know all those times you've said, “Man, I wish the History Channel could sell me a bike?” Well, merry freaking Christmas. This week Verizon FiOs customers will be able to purchase products, such as a Crosley radio or Schwinn bicycle, at the touch of a button (on their remote control) when those products appear on the History Channel, according to The New York Times.

A quick rundown of how this program will work, based on the Times' reporting: An icon will pop up in the top-right corner of the screen to give consumers the heads up that a product is available for purchase. If a consumer clicks a button on their remote control to purchase the item, they'll be presented with a split-screen that lists products on the right side. Consumers have to register an account on and can then make purchases by submitting their phone number and four-digit PIN.

The days of the Home Shopping Network and infomercials dominating the TV-commerce market are on the wane. The Verizon/History Channel initiative comes weeks after eBay added functionality to its iPad app that serves product listings according to what a consumer is watching on TV.

And Shazam--developer of the audio-identifying mobile app used by Old Navy for the retailer's now-defunct “Old Navy Records” campaign--has partnered with NBCUniversal to let consumers watching crime series Covert Affairs tag episodes and receive a curated catalog of items that appeared in the episode and are available for purchase, according to Techcrunch.
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