How could watching TV be even less productive than it is now? With the addition of remote-control shopping.
Verizon FiOS customers will be offered a service born from the partnership of FiOS and A&E Network, which will allow viewers to purchase products from History Channel shows such as "Pawn Stars" via remote control.
To appeal to their primarily male audience, the network is teaming up with companies such as Schwinn and Crosley Radio to offer more unusual, heavily themed purchases such as old radios and coins.
But women, don't sit back thinking this story has nothing to do with you. The same shopping opportunities may hit Lifetime network shows such as “Project Runway,” “Drop Dead Diva” and “Army Wives."
As If We Need More Ways to Impulse Shop
We certainly understand the appeal of simultaneous watching and shopping (swatching?), but the idea makes us nervous. How easy is it to spy an appealing purchase and make a dent in our weekly budget from the comfort of our couch? Too easy.
Participating brands such as Schwinn are counting on our lack of self-control, volunteering, "Now [viewers] have the opportunity to act very impulsively." Their perspective can be summed up in a word: ka-ching! By their calculations, if, during the program's first year, each household with the FiOS service makes one purchase of $75 (the average amount spent by trial run viewers), it will funnel $285 million into the company.
That's $285 million of our money.
It's Up to Us to Make It Hard
We're all about spending on the things that make you happy, and if one of those things is a Radio Flyer featured on a History Channel reality show, so be it. But keep in mind that very few products out there are one of a kind. With a little patience and the magic of the internet, that old-school red wagon could be yours for considerably less than your remote control is offering. And who knows—if you wait long enough, you may realize you don't need it anyway and would rather save the money for your next vacation.
Swatch with caution.