Rovi Deal Lets TV Viewers Buy Retail Via Remote

TheOffice

Can you imagine consumer product shopping while combing through your TV's program guide?  

Rovi Corporation, the big electronic program guide company, and Delivery Agent, a longtime seller of TV related merchandise, have just made a deal where consumers can use their remotes to buy products when using their program guides.

Messaging -- a lower screen banner -- for DVDs, TV-related clothing, or other products associated with a TV show will appear when consumers are reading/choosing their TV shows. Viewers are then taken to another area for shopping.

"We are calling this a storefront -- being able to [buy products] from your couch," says Jeff Siegel, senior vice president of global media sales for Rovi. "The program guide is an ideal footprint for this."

The deal will start with NBC's "Biggest Loser," a major merchandising TV show featuring all kinds of nutrition and fitness products, as well as NBC's "The Office." A&E Network's History channel will offer up shopping connected to "Pawn Stars."

Pooling together Rovi data on TV programs and TV-related merchandise information from Delivery Agent allows this process to work.

Delivery Agent says it already works with 35 programmers and networks, representing about 75% of the top 30 Nielsen prime-time shows -- 425 shows in all. Right now, Siegel says that 87% of Rovi viewers access the guide during a week, an average of nine times a day. The average time spent with the guide is 13 minutes.

Delivery Agent says one of its biggest sellers last year was some synthetic blood sold for HBO's series "True Blood." Most of Delivery Agent's shopping efforts are connected with TV programs' Web sites.

"We can now get that much closer to the consumer interacting with the content," says Mike Fitzsimmons, chief executive officer of Delivery Agent.

Siegel believes adding a digital commerce piece for TV marketers will drive efficiency. "It's an easy extension," he says, helping move direct-response marketers to another level.

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