Watching TV and going to the mall were once separate experiences. But NBCUniversal continues to work to combine them.
The Comcast-owned media conglomerate is moving forward with its efforts to give TV viewers the chance to shop while they watch their favorite programs, bringing a technology it calls ShoppableTV to its Telemundo Spanish-language broadcasting operations. Telemundo is launching a bespoke version of the interactive tools to its TV, digital and social venues, says said Romina Rosado, senior vice president of entertainment and content at NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises.
“We feel very strongly about serving our community, bringing them farther and deeper in terms of connection,” says Rosado, in an interview. “In the next 12 months, we are going to increase the amount of shoppable content we make, going into more categories.”
NBCUniversal has been burnishing e-commerce technology for months, hoping to lure direct-to-consumer advertisers that aren’t typically heavy users of linear TV advertising. Its ShoppableTV and Checkout offerings give viewers the chance to use their smartphone camera to scan an NBCU code to purchase what they see on television, or click through pieces of branded content with links to a venue where they can buy products that are described.
Shop Telemundo will kick off with a series of editorial pieces focused on celebrity trends, seasonal inspirations, specially curated gift guides and more. But Rosado says viewers should expect the technology to turn up in during lifestyle segments in Telemundo’s morning program, “Un Nuevo Dia,” as well as during “Latinx Now!,” its entertainment and celebrity-news program. She says she can envision similar alignments with other lifestyle programming as well as sports, but does not expect any sort of integration with Telemundo’s traditional newsgathering programs.
NBCUniversal believes Spanish-speaking viewers are of high interest to advertisers. Rosado says a chunk of Telemundo’s U.S. viewers are younger than 34 and at home with mobile experiences such as online shopping. The company has enlisted more than 50 different partners in its e-shopping efforts, says Josh Feldman, executive vice president, and head of marketing and advertising creative at NBCUniversal.
“These retail partners are from across a huge number of different categories,” he says, including fashion, apparel, home goods and jewelry. “We are able to plug and play them into editorial content or create branded content for them, based on the right execution,” he says.
Many big media companies are using the interactive capabilities of new venues such as mobile and streaming video to reach out to smaller advertisers who often don’t have the financial means to purchase traditional TV ads. Walt Disney’s Hulu, for example, in June began a drive to enlist advertisers willing to spend as little as $500 to utilize a new self-service product to launch, manage and track commercials on the streaming-video hub. Such efforts come as traditional TV advertising – the lifeblood of TV networks – is seen dipping as more viewers migrate to new digital venues and new viewing behaviors. TV’s recent “upfront” market, where networks try to sell the bulk of their commercial inventory, was crimped significantly by the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.