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Report: TiVo, Amazon team up on sales pitches

Partnership aims to make it easier for consumers to purchase products they see advertised and promoted on television commercials and talk shows, The New York Times reports.

TiVo--a company well-known for helping TV viewers skip commercials--is teaming up with to make it easier for consumers to purchase products they see on television commercials and talk shows, according to a report Monday on The New York Times Web site.

A "product purchase" feature on onscreen menus will provide TiVo customers with links to buy products like books, compact discs, and DVDs featured on programs such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Late Show With David Letterman, and The Daily Show, the newspaper reported. Alviso, Calif.-based TiVo plans to offer the feature to advertisers and programmers, giving viewers the chance to purchase products during commercials and product placements in shows, the paper reported.

The move is part of TiVo's push to create new advertising technologies for the television industry.

"Just a few years ago, we were viewed with great paranoia as the disruptor," Thomas Rogers, chief executive of TiVo, told the newspaper. "Our goal now is to work with the media industry to come up with ways to resist the downward pressure of less advertising viewing and create a way for advertising on TV to become more effective, more engaging, and closer to the sale."

For the maker of a device popularly known for letting viewers skip commercials, this may seem an unlikely partnership, but it's one TiVo has been focused on for a while.

At the D6 conference in May, Rogers said that television needs to fundamentally transition its ad model to one in which advertising is both more appealing to consumers as well as more measurable--in other words, more like the Internet.

The new feature is part of a partnership launched in early 2007 that gives TiVo subscribers direct access to Amazon's Unbox movie and TV download service on their digital video recorders.