US network NBCUniversal says a new partnership with PayPal is aimed at making it easier and faster to buy items promoted by TV shows.

The partnership is seen as a further move by the Comcast-owned media giant to create a new revenue stream when TV advertising is in “flux”, Variety reports.

NBCU says it plans to use the PayPal system to allow consumers to buy from more than 60 retailers who will be able to promote products across all NBCU holdings.

From this week, in time for the start of the holiday season, shoppable gift guides and other programmes will be offered on six NBCU brands, including Bravo, E!, NBC Sports, Syfy Wire, Telemundo and Today. On air there will be branded and editorial TV content, while articles and videos will be shown digitally, including on social media.

The gift guides will point viewers to product pages on NBCU’s checkout platform, which is a marketplace where shoppers can access the 60-plus retailers.

“Our mindset is that we want to open up NBCU as a new storefront for retailers of all kinds and give them access to sell directly to passionate fans,” Josh Feldman, NBCU’s executive vice president and head of marketing and advertising creative, told Variety.

The NBCU–PayPal partnership is timely as many observers forecast this holiday season to be a bumper-spending one.

Adobe Analytics predicted back in October that online holiday spending in the States will reach $189 billion by the end of December, up 33% on last year. Black Friday spending alone is forecast to generate $10 billion in online sales, with a further $12.7 billion generated the following Cyber Monday.

“We want to turn whatever content we can into a shoppable experience – whether it’s branded content we create or editorial content that creates it,” Feldman, told Bullock Express.

“Whether digital-first, social-first, linear-first, English or Spanish – we can turn any content into a shopping experience as long as it really makes sense and is contextually relevant to what we do.”

Along with other networks, NBCU faced a difficult upfront ad-sales environment in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, Variety notes, with a smaller volume of ad campaign commitments than was usual. However, Jeff Shell, CEO of NBCUniversal, said in a recent investors’ call that, “We ended slightly up on price, slightly down on volume.” He added that recent ad sales had been characterised by “choppiness and decline”.

Sourced from Variety, Bullock Express