NBCUniversal makes its content and ads more shoppable with a new Checkout experience

NBCUniversal is introducing a new way to incorporate commerce into the viewing and reading experience, which it calls NBCUniversal Checkout.

The new product is part of the company’s One Platform ad offering. As demonstrated for me yesterday, it allows the readers of articles and viewers of videos on NBCUniversal properties to click on a featured product, bring up the listing from a partner merchant and make the purchase.

While there are other shoppable content and video technologies out there, NBCUniversal’s executive vice president for marketing and advertising creative Josh Feldman told me that the key is that with NBCUniversal checkout, you can complete the entire transaction without actually leaving the article or video.

“This is a really unique opportunity for a native shopping experience embedded in content,” Feldman said.

NBCUniversal is launching Checkout in its Shoppable Branded Content, its ShoppableTV ads, in its editorial content (whether digital or on linear TV) and on social media.

The company is also in the process of launching its new ad-supported streaming service Peacock, but when asked about the possibiity of bringing Checkout to Peacock, Feldman said, “We’re not be able to speak to future of Peacock. Commercial innovations are a huge part of Peacock, but we’re announcing this within the traditional NBCUniversal structure.”

He also said that while Checkout has been part of the product roadmap for a while, “our business strategy behind it” has changed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead to trying to make the product immediately profitable, Feldman said the goal now is to support retailers who face a tough economic environment by waiving NBCUniversal’s technology and cart fees for products purchased through Checkout.

I also brought up the broader trend of content companies trying to move into commerce. Discussing how NBCUniversal fits into that shift, Feldman said, “I think there was a misperception of what layer of the purchase funnel a big media company like NBCUniversal plays a part … We have research that shows massive effects on every single layer of that purchase funnel.”

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