Pay-per-Click Marketing comes to Television

Tivo and Amazon have teamed up in a partnership that anyone following the two could have seen coming. It will soon be possible to click your Tivo remote and order items like the latest album from the musical guest on the David Letterman show.

The concept of using your remote to purchase stuff you see on TV is an old one but it’s never taken off.  This time, based on the success of Amazon’s one-click fulfillment platform (including the ingenious mobile version), it might just succeed. They just need to get more than 4 million Tivos into US homes.

If you have a small screen, you need to be able to point it anywhere

Russell Beattie has his Tivo streaming to his cellphone and says, “who needs Location Free TV or a Slingbox if you have a TiVo sitting there already? And all those $5 a month video plans? Forget it. This is awesome stuff.”

Mass media is being sliced into ever smaller chunks. First it was the 200+ channels that allowed you to find something interesting. Tivo and the DVRs let you capture just what you wanted from the stream. Then video-on-demand let you dip into a large back-catalog of programming served up by your cable or satellite company. With video search and video archive sites you can now find pretty much anything online including regular network programming on places like iTunes if they’re going with the flow or Bit Torrent if they’re not. In this environment, the fixed video programming served up by the mobile operators feels constrictive.

Pull in your favorite shows and have Tivo suggest what else might be interesting. Use the fat pipe of your cable to catch everything and the intelligence of your Tivo box to filter out to just the stuff you want. Use the cellphone to sample the cream of the crop while you’ve got some downtime.

Orb DVREverywhere, check it out.

Current Events

Tivo Sells Out?

The LA Times reports that Tivo will now insert advertiser logos onto the screen when you fast forward through commercials. PVRBlog says:

Now, I haven’t seen any actual demos of it in action, and this comment from earlier today claims to be from a TiVo employee and says it’ll be tasteful and unobtrusive, but I have a feeling this is a bad precedent and it’ll get uglier as companies pay more for the primo space.

Debate rages as to whether these new ads will remain tasteful and unobtrusive as the other things Tivo has done or if this is the first step towards selling out screen real estate until we get the mish-mash of banners that is the Comcast’s Digital Cable interface of today. Then again, it looks like Comcast and Microsoft are up to something that will change their whole TV viewing experience as well and it looks to be for the better.

Tivo or Comcast – which would you choose?