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TiVo Teams With Amazon On ‘Watch It, Buy It Now’ Option

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TiVo (NSDQ: TIVO) is expanding its relationship with Amazon on a promise to deliver what marketers have long hoped for: allowing TV viewers to make purchases of products displayed within a show or an commercial. NYT says that the two will announce the “product purchase” feature on Tuesday. It also extends the year-and-a-half old partnership with Amazon on TV and movie downloads and comes a week after the online retailer introduced its own VOD service.

As seen on Oprah: TiVo subscribers will be able to make purchases from the DVR’s on-screen menu, which will have links to buy things like CDs, DVDs and books that are being hawked on programs like The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Late Show With David Letterman and The Daily Show. Links to purchases will be carried out via Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN). TiVo is working on expanding the system to include links to product placements in live programs and alongside commercials.

From the great disrupter to home shopper: Tom Rogers tells NYT that this offering is meant to end any tension that existed between the DVR operator and advertisers, who worried about the device’s ability to make ad-skipping more simple. TiVo has been aggressively trying to strike agreements with media buying agencies like Starcom MediaVest Group and Tv networks on audience measurement to aid ad placement. So while the news is likely to be exciting prospect to advertisers and their agencies, Tim Hanlon, SVP for Publicis’ Denuo, is taking it with a grain of salt. Speaking to NYT, Hanlon says that for the service to be meaningful, TiVo will have to substantially grow beyond the 4 million current subs it has. Given that relatively low number — compared to the roughly 65 million cable subs, many of whom have access to DVRs as part of their subscriptions. It’s not clear whether Amazon’s deal with TiVo on this exclusive, but the cable operators are likely to be watching this test closely.