PayPal Partners with Comcast, Tivo to Power Commerce over TV
By Ina Steiner
Would you like to receive coupons on your smartphone's digital wallet that are related to the products you are viewing on your TV set? Or, forget the smartphone - how about buying products directly through your television using the remote control? PayPal announced it is working with television service providers to help power "television commerce," aka tcommerce.
PayPal has entered into agreements with Comcast and TiVo as it tries to establish itself as a payment method for purchases made over the television. PayPal Vice President of Emerging Opportunities Scott Dunlap spoke at the "TV of Tomorrow Show" in San Francisco, an annual global gathering of industry leaders in the Interactive and Multiplatform Television community, where he announced the new relationships.
In a blog post about the announcement, Dunlap said, "There's been a lot of talk about interactive "t-commerce" for a long time, but all signs point to an industry that's finally on the verge of taking a real foothold in consumers' lives." He said a PayPal survey conducted in October showed half of TV subscribers (49%) showed an interest in purchasing goods and services linked to the content they're watching on TV, either directly from their television through their remote control, or on a companion device (smartphone or tablet); and nearly 30% of TV subscribers said they would use PayPal to make those purchases.
PayPal is collaborating with Comcast Cable to explore opportunities that include enabling consumers to make purchases - and even political donations - related to the content they're watching on television either directly through their TV using the remote control, or on a companion device such as a smartphone or tablet. The companies are also exploring opportunities for enabling consumers to accept coupons directly into their PayPal online wallet during television advertisements.
PayPal is also partnering with TiVo to empower TV advertisers to turn their traditional 30-second spots into interactive tcommerce opportunities. Dunlap explained, "For example, a consumer sees a commercial with a TiVo interactive tag indicating the ability to "buy now" using PayPal; the consumer can pause the live or recorded show, complete the transaction using PayPal, and return to watch the program without missing anything, all with a few clicks of their TiVo remote."
eBay Mobile has already entered the space with its "Watch with eBay" iPad app that launched in March, and has also been working with FourthWall Media.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to email@example.com.
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