Time Warner planned to roll out eBay on TV last week to its Austin, Texas, system. The auction capability, enabled on the television through technology from interactive technology player BIAP Systems, tailors the eBay experience to the TV, allowing viewers to bid and buy using the remote. BIAP tested the system in April and said it found that 90 percent of participants said they liked eBay on TV and would recommend it to a friend. Time Warner loads the software into a digital video recorder, enabling registered eBay users who have DVRs to use the service.
TV Ads Can Run Online at CarTV
CarTV, a division of Internet automotive site Autobytel, has introduced a Flash-based video player to its Web site that lets automakers run their TV spots online in a slate of new, fresh content on the site, such as streaming test drives and car reviews. For instance, Lexus is running the same spots online for its current Lexus GS430 model that it’s running on-air, said Michael Rosenberg, senior VP of marketing and media services for Autobytel. CarTV streamed nearly 6,000 hours of auto commercials in April. Automakers have increasingly turned to the Internet to advertise and to augment their TV buys. That’s important to Suzuki, for one, because on-air ads help consumers discover the brand while online ads help direct consumers to the type of Suzuki they want and help close the transaction, said David Harris, e-business and database marketing manager for American Suzuki, which has advertised on CarTV. Nearly two of three car buyers use the Internet to shop for vehicles, said Autobytel. According to Forrester Research, nearly 85 percent of advertisers plan to increase their online ad budgets this year.
AgileTV Gets Venture Financing
AgileTV has received $22 million in venture capital funding, led by Valence Capital Management, which will be used to power deployments of the company’s voice-activated remote control that lets users search what’s on TV. The cash infusion is in addition to $45 million in funding the company had already received. AgileTV will convert a technical trial with Comcast in Philadelphia to a market trial later this quarter, said Dave Hanson, co-founder and senior VP of business development at AgileTV. The remote can search by channel, show name, actor name and category and more.