Tuesday, June 12, 2012

T-Commerce Taking More Shape

See something on your TV screen, click and buy with your remote.  Like the couch on the Mad Men set, click and buy from Crate & Barrel.  It seems that the idea of adding another revenue model off the TV set is taking form and Pay Pal is working hard to build partnerships to facilitate the sale.  Two separate announcements, one with Comcast and another with TiVo, each working with PayPal "to explore enabling new forms of payment on TV".  Exciting stuff.

Will consumers embrace this new method of shopping and purchasing?  "According to a PayPal survey conducted in October 2011, 49% of TV subscribers show 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 smartphone or tablet."  For me personally, I would be much more inclined to make that purchase off my tablet and reluctant to use my remote.  Half the time, I am unsure where the remote is hiding while the iPad is next to me.  I also foresee the tablet becoming the ultimate remote offering second screen capability to what is on the big TV.

For these companies, working with PayPal seems a nice first step.  I am more intrigued by what Apple has planned for iOS 6 with Passbook.  As a virtual wallet, it could become the way to purchase goods off the TV set, too.  For the consumer, I wonder how many virtual wallets we will be willing to manage.  How interesting the timing of these two announcements.  Online purchasing is taking another leap forward.

Smart TVs Being Shipped But Are They Being Used

TV manufacturers are shipping their newest TV sets with internet capabilities.  These "smart TVs" are becoming the norm of the features of an HDTV set.  "Worldwide, nearly 20% of all TVs shipped worldwide in Q1 were smart TVs, with the highest penetration in Japan with 36% followed by China at 30% and Western Europe at 29%."  In North America, it accounts for 18%.  But just because a TV has these features, are they being fully utilized?

In our house, we are connecting to the web through other boxes attached to the TV.  In fact, for my son, his Xbox is the platform for that connection.  But his and our viewing habits are not limited to the big screen TV.  We are watching internet programming through our iPad and iPod devices.  In fact, for personalized viewing, these mobile devices are more ideal.

As more consumers see the variety, ease, and value of taking video through their smart TV, demand and viewership will increase, cord cutting will be greater, and a la carte choice will become the means for watching individual shows on demand.  At the end of the day, web content will be ubiquitous, across every device in the home, on demand, and easy to view.