TiVo is reheating a classic/cliched TV-commerce application: ordering a pizza with your remote control.
The DVR company announced a deal with Domino’s Pizza to let users with broadband-connected TiVos order pizza for delivery or pick-up, and track delivery timing, "right from their TV sets." (You can’t pay through the TV, though: the Domino’s guys take cash on delivery.)
It’s a breakthrough in "couch commerce," according to Rob Weisberg, Domino’s vice president of precision and print marketing. No need to even get off your derriere to order an awesomely high-calorie food product!
Of course, the idea is more than a decade old. Time Warner’s Full Service Network featured pizza-on-demand in Orlando in 1994.
So where are the one-click-purchasing cable TV-commerce applications today? Some are out there — TWC’s Oceanic in Hawaii, for example, recently launched HSN shop-by-remote.
Cable operators are having enough trouble trying to monetize video-on-demand, much less pizza. Anyway, it seems like most people don’t have much of a problem with picking up the phone to call their local pizza parlor. Note, however, that "t-commerce" is on the road map for Canoe.
TiVo, for its part, is able to introduce potentially interesting new services like TV commerce but suffers from the law of (relatively) small numbers. Of the 3.6 million TiVo subscribers as of the end of July, only about 800,000 have connected their DVRs to a broadband pipe, and of those about two-thirds regularly use the broadband features, according to the company.
Here’s what actually would be a breakthrough: If your TiVo could figure out what kind of pizza you prefer based on your viewing habits. Fans of Dancing With the Stars would surely go heavy on the cheese.