TiVo and Amazon further partnership

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TiVo has expanded its partnership with e-commerce site Amazon.com to bring its users a “product purchase” feature in which users will be able to purchase products such as books, CDs and DVDs directly from Amazon with their TV remote controls.

The initiative, which goes live today, includes ads that will be placed during commercial breaks as well as alongside the products during live programming.

Evan Young, director of broadband service for TiVo, explained the two ways that the technology works. With the consumer initiated Universal Swivel Search, subscribers can search for programming. “For example, if you search for Two and a Half Men, the broadcast will come up as well as a video download option,” Young said. “Then, you could click on the cast list and browse Charlie Sheen movies from Amazon. We present to you relevant products based on your programming choice.”

The second way is through the program itself. For instance, if U2 is a guest on The Late Show with David Letterman, an advertisement to buy their latest album will pop up after the program has ended. “Users have the option of buying the item immediately or saving the item to their shopping cart to buy later,” Young said.

The Colbert Report, Burn Notice, Mad Men and The Oprah Winfrey Show are among the programs currently running these ads.

To purchase, users register their TiVo account with Amazon and, for each purchase, enter their PIN number into an onscreen keypad. Their credit card is then charged.

“We hope this opens new doors for advertisers and makes them more efficient,” said Young. “Television advertising is all about eyeballs on the screen, but hasn't really been a direct way to fulfill an advertiser's purpose. Now consumers can actually buy the item, which makes it powerful for consumers as a utility feature as well as for advertisers to measure effectiveness.

Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed. TiVo is currently in around 4 million homes. Inquiries made to Amazon were not returned by press time.

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