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TiVo, PayPal unite to offer e-commerce buying with cable ops

Tue, 06/12/2012 - 3:43pm
Mike Robuck

PayPal, which is owned by eBay, is joining forces with TiVo and several MSOs to enable e-commerce shopping for TV viewers via their remote controls.

TiVo’s cable operator customers, which include Comcast, Suddenlink and RCN, will be able to purchase products through interactive ads on TiVo’s user interface starting this fall. Consumers will also be able to collect electronic coupons or make donations by shopping with their PayPal accounts.

While the cable operator subscribers will be able to transact purchases through their PayPal accounts, advertisers will be able to turn their 30-second spots and interactive TiVo ad placements into actionable purchasing opportunities through a one-time account link.

"In today's fragmented TV viewing world, it is harder than ever before for advertisers to reach their audiences, and it's important to find creative ways to get in front of viewers," said Tara Maitra, senior vice president and general manager of content and media sales at TiVo. "TiVo's interactive ads allow advertisers to grab the attention of viewers in unobtrusive ways and on the viewer's terms. By teaming with PayPal, consumers will be able to instantly purchase products with just a few clicks of the remote after an easy, one-time account setup. PayPal's expertise in online payments, customer service, and working directly with merchants and sellers makes the entire payment process easy and trustworthy and will create a valuable experience for TiVo users and advertisers."

Products purchased through PayPal will be charged to the TiVo user's PayPal account through a secure transaction and will be shipped to the address the user has registered with PayPal for deliveries. Orders will be fulfilled either by the advertiser or a trusted merchant that accepts PayPal for payment.

After a six-year flirtation, Comcast deployed TiVo Premiere in its San Francisco system earlier this year and plans on having it available in other systems by year’s end.

The news was announced at the TV of Tomorrow Show (TVOT) 2012 in San Francisco, with Comcast CTO and senior vice president Tony Werner in attendance. In a blog posting this morning, Werner wrote that the decision to enable e-commerce with PayPal and TiVo is just one example of how the cable operator is looking at ways to enable interactive TV experiences with its subscribers.

“On the topic of interactivity, today I shared with the TVOT attendees that we've agreed to work with PayPal to explore commerce and payments on various platforms,” Werner wrote. “This will let us work together and look at ways to expand how people can interact with their TV services in ways that offer them more choice and the ability to personalize their experiences. And we view providing our viewers with single-screen and co-viewing t-commerce experiences to be a natural extension of our advanced advertising products.

“We've been developing strong partnerships with leading technology companies and brands to help develop more innovative and personalized experiences that add value for our customers. We're thrilled to include PayPal as one of our newest partners. While we're in the very early stages of our discussions, we'll be sure to provide updates along the way.”

Suddenlink has TiVo Premiere available across approximately 80 percent of its footprint. The PayPal/TiVo press release also mentioned RCN, which has launched TiVo Premiere, as one of the cable operators that would take advantage of the new e-commerce platform.

In December, Charter announced that it was launching TiVo Premiere in Texas, with a wider rollout set for the first half of this year, but in a February earnings call, Charter said it was pushing back the wider rollout due to its VOD systems being different than the ones TiVo had previously integrated with.

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