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TiVo, Amazon Pitch Remote-Control Commerce

TiVo and Amazon are touting a partnership to let advertisers give TV viewers a way to purchase products using their remote control – a frequently cited example of the promise offered by interactive television, but one that has never materialized on a broad scale.

TiVo will let an advertiser market products sold through (opens in new tab) on any broadcast or cable network show, or via any of TiVo's interactive advertising features. To use the feature, TiVo users must have a Series 2, Series 3 or HD DVR, which must be connected to a broadband Internet service.

Starting Tuesday, TiVo said it will launch the new service related to several high-profile shows, including but not limited to The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Comedy Central's The Colbert Report andUSA Network'sBurn Notice. The company did not disclose whether any advertisers will be initially testing the feature.

“The viewer with an impulse can buy right away and no longer needs to remember to do so the next time they are at their PC,” TiVo director of broadband services Evan Young said in a statement.

As of April 30, TiVo had 1.7 million subscribers, plus about 2 million through DirecTV (which no longer resells TiVo DVRs).

Financial details of the deal weren’t disclosed; however, Amazon’s e-commerce partners typically receive 15% revenue share from customer referrals. TiVo also said consumers will be able to buy products associated with shows, movies, actors and directors using the DVR’s Universal Swivel Search feature.

The six biggest cable operators have teamed up to form Canoe Ventures, which is supposed to provide similar interactive TV features across cable networks.