Viewers can now ‘Watch & Shop’ with Amazon Fire TV

Discussion
Source: Scripps Networks Interactive
Jul 14, 2016
Tom Ryan

HGTV and Food Network have launched “Watch & Shop” apps for Amazon’s Fire TV that provides viewers with original content and opportunities to buy any products they see.

While watching original home and food lifestyle videos from their televisions, viewers using Fire TV and Fire TV Stick devices can browse products related to topics highlighted in the show. Each show has a specific sponsor: Scotts Miracle-Gro for HGTV Gardening; 3M for HGTV Home Improvement; LG for HGTV Smart Solutions; and Bose for Food Network Summer Entertaining

Without leaving the app or interrupting their viewing experience, viewers can use their Fire TV Remote to click the “view all products” icon on the screen to see product details. The items become viewable in a small window. The browsers can then purchase the products they want and select their shipping preference. Amazon Prime members can log in to their Fire TV accounts for free shipping. The free app can be downloaded through August.

“In the industry, we see many efforts to help consumers buy what they see and shop a second screen as result of TV viewing, but this is a huge jump in making it one seamless experience,” said Beth Lawrence, EVP of digital ad sales for Scripps Networks Interactive, parent of HGTV and Food Network, in a statement.

She adds, “Our advertising clients align with our brands in order to put them close to the most desirable audiences and to deliver the best results for their marketing dollars. This opportunity, and what it possibly holds for the future, could open up even greater exposure and an exciting new customer engagement venue for them.”

In launching shopping ads for third-party videos last October, YouTube cited research showing that 64 percent of shoppers say YouTube influences their purchase decisions. The streaming video platform said it saw more than 40 percent growth year-over-year in viewership of product videos such as sneaker pickups, first impressions, and product reviews.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How would you rate the appeal of Amazon’s “Watch & Shop” ads for viewers and advertisers? Why hasn’t “second screen” TV shopping taken off?

Braintrust
"Fine for shows targeted at specific audiences -- but plan on a high return rate."
"Ron Popeil must be shaking his head at this."
"I see the main initial benefit for Scripps being its relationship with the advertisers who are sponsoring the shows."

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7 Comments on "Viewers can now ‘Watch & Shop’ with Amazon Fire TV"

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Tom Redd
Guest

Well gee, looks like a way to run a commercial without stopping the show. Fine for shows targeted at specific audiences — but plan on a high return rate. People that buy on TV do lots of returns because items are not what they seemed like on TV. Ask HSN and the pros. This is also why second-screen shopping is not the new retail fire. TV and real life are not the same — even though people who watch the Bachelorette and the Kardashians think that it is.

Focus on creating shoppers with good shows and retail store information — where you can buy the product — and sell more. PBS’ This old House does this well with The Home Depot sponsorships.

Kim Garretson
BrainTrust
11 months 13 days ago

I was one of the initial advisors to Scripps Networks, and have closely followed its innovations over the years. My initial question is, who is the seller for these goods? Amazon, direct e-commerce sites by the brands, other retailers or a company like DeliveryAgent? Scripps has had a relationship with DeliveryAgent which creates “stores” for broadcast networks’ various digital channels and sources the sellers and goods as the retailer. Obviously there won’t be a lot of sales with this pilot, and depending on who is the seller, the margins may be sliced and diced a lot.

I see the main initial benefit for Scripps being its relationship with the advertisers who are sponsoring the shows. Most brands like this have built direct e-commerce into their brand sites, many of which both take orders at the site and offer where-to-buy lists for retailers. If Scripps can continually innovate to drive traffic and transactions to brand sponsors’ sites, everyone wins — Scripps, advertisers and consumers who like the speed and ease of ordering brand direct.

Lee Kent
BrainTrust

This just takes me back to the early days of QVC and HSN. With all the jokes about folks who go on late-night buying binges. I do realize this is more of positional selling and that is a great technique, however I also see this as having the potential to be very impulse-oriented.

But that’s just my 2 cents.

Ken Lonyai
BrainTrust

Ron Popeil must be shaking his head at this. It sounds like these shows are higher-level, technology-infused versions of infomercials. I imagine there’s more unbranded content in a show, but probably there’s an underlying flavor of commercialism. I hope there’s no “but wait … ” moments.

Plenty of start-ups have tried this sort of approach with YouTube and maybe a few with cable, but none have had Amazon’s technology and consumer audience inherently built in.

I can’t predict which way this will go with much confidence, but my guess is that it won’t take off into anything big. We’ll see …

Sterling Hawkins
BrainTrust

The strategic direction of integrating branded content and purchase capability into consumer experiences is spot on. We’re going to see a lot more of this. The application of that idea in “watch & shop” seems mediocre at this point.

Tony Orlando
BrainTrust

This will appeal to the “Amazombies” but for me, my time is too valuable, and if I want something on Amazon, I will order it. I tivo shows so I don’t have to watch the commercials, except the Super Bowl, and Amazon, to their credit, is going to try new things, as that is what they do. Perhaps a drone, with an LED screen big enough to get sponsors, as it flies thru the night sky, delivering small packages to their hardcore fans. Stay tuned folks, as more wizardry will be coming soon.

Doug Garnett
BrainTrust

Ever notice how many bad ideas just never seem to go away? This linking of what you see in a show with the theory that people desperately want to buy it has been tested for over a decade. And…we’ve learned that people don’t make that connection and the revenues aren’t worth the cost.

Scary to see that Scripps Networks haven’t paid attention.

What I think goes on is that when we’re watching content, were NOT in shopping mode — which is a different mental space. So the vast, vast majority of viewers won’t ever make that jump — no matter how badly the network or advertisers want them to.

I suppose some with say “you should never say never”… But there are ideas that pretty clearly don’t make any sense. Just sad to see HGTV not learning the lesson.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Fine for shows targeted at specific audiences -- but plan on a high return rate."
"Ron Popeil must be shaking his head at this."
"I see the main initial benefit for Scripps being its relationship with the advertisers who are sponsoring the shows."

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