Sky set for iTV retail portal
LONDON - Sky TV is seeking to sign up retailers for the launch of a service that will allow consumers to access e-commerce websites through its interactive television service.
The Sky Net system, which has been set up in conjunction with digital specialist Glue4TV, will offer retailers the chance to place their websites on the service for free.
Consumers will be able to access the site and search for products by using the Sky remote control. Sky's only charge to retailers will be for the sole rights to keywords such as 'books' or 'TV.'
Payment for products will not be added to the user's Sky subscription, but will rather be taken in the standard way used by the individual retailers' websites.
Sky, which said it is in talks with an undisclosed number of retailers about the service, is targeting both established high-street retailers and online operators such as Amazon and Play.com.
The site is being tested by a number of brands, according to a Sky spokesman, but will not be available to consumers until April.
The consumer launch of Sky Net will be backed by an ad campaign, which is likely to run on Sky TV and in its customer magazine. How-ever, this could be postponed if Sky fails to sign up enough brands to make it viable.
Sky has about 8.1m subscribers; it is estimated that as many as 40% of them do not have regular internet access.
Although websites running on Sky Net will be broadly similar in look and feel to their online versions, certain changes will be made to allow them to work with Sky's remote control.
One of the benefits of using web-based technology is that it will reduce the time it takes to implement interactive TV sites.
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This article was first published on marketingmagazine.co.uk
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