In addition to featuring the stories of a handful of contestants who must pair up to keep participating, the series, slated to stream on Peacock and air on E!, will promote e-commerce, giving a nod to the clothing, home décor, cosmetics and haircare products the player use and encounter. Viewers can scan a QR code that pops up on screen and will be led to articles on E! Online that allow them to learn more about the products and even buy them using NBCU technology.
TV companies for decades have relied on revenue from advertising as well as syndication and aftermarket sales of the series they run. As digital technology and new forms of distribution rework the economics of the business, however, some media stalwarts have cast about for new forms of revenue. At NBCU, e-commerce represents a chance for new cash flows. The company has for months invested in new technology that allows viewers to buy some of the items they see on display during programming. The effort allows NBCU to do more business with smaller companies that might not normally purchase ad inventory on a national TV network.
“We’re thrilled for Love Island USA to premiere on Peacock, and to bring fans of the show a fresh, shoppable twist,” said Jenny Groom, executive vice president of entertainment unscripted content at NBCU, in a prepared statement. “We’re providing audiences with a way to engage with the series by bringing them into the iconic islander fashion and extending the viewing experience.”
The result is a different kind of product placement. TV shows have long employed name-brand goods and services in hopes of adding real-life items to character and plotlines, thereby generating new ad revenue. But much of the stuff that shows up on “Love Island” will also be available for purchase. The show will feature items from companies like Quay, Yellowpop, and Kenny Flowers as well as Verishop brands including Overexposed, Ghost Democracy, and Laguna Beach Textile Co.
“Love Island,” produced by ITV Entertainment, is scheduled to debut on Tuesday, July 19.