NBCUniversal Unveils ShoppableTV

Courtesy of NBCUniversal
ShoppableTV demo image

The likes of NBC, NBC Sports, Telemundo, USA Network, Bravo, E! and CNBC Prime will give viewers the chance to buy products by holding their mobile phones to the screen during "on-air shoppable moments."

NBCUniversal on Monday unveiled the launch of ShoppableTV, which will give TV viewers the opportunity to buy products within the environment of their favorite TV shows by holding their mobile phones to the screen during so-called on-air shoppable moments.

The entertainment arm of cable giant Comcast said the new technology will alert viewers to these moments, with those choosing to use their phone then taken directly to a marketer’s website for a potential purchase. Among the NBCUniversal TV brands set to participate in the initiative over the coming months are NBC, NBC Sports, Telemundo, USA Network, Bravo, E! and CNBC Prime. 

The company said this marks the first time this technology, on which the company has worked with an undisclosed tech company, will be used on national U.S. television to attract direct sales. It recently tested the technology on NBC's Today, saying that within minutes it saw tens of thousands of scans and six figures in sales.

ShoppableTV marks the next step in NBCUniversal's broader commerce effort and will get a big push at the company's annual advertising upfront event.

With the initiative just unveiled, the company didn't immediately have advertising partners using the new technology to announce.    

"With ShoppableTV, NBCUniversal is transcending the legacy business practices of television and driving business outcomes by creating an on-air real-time commerce experience," said Josh Feldman, executive vp, head of marketing and advertising creative at NBCUniversal. "By pairing brands with our premium content, owning every stage of the purchase funnel and removing the barriers consumers traditionally encounter between seeing a product and making a purchase, we’re giving marketers a direct sales channel to millions of viewers across the country.”