ABS-CBN revives TV home shopping biz with O Shopping

ABS-CBN has revived its home shopping business with the launch a new TV shopping channel via a P200 million joint venture with Korean shopping giant CJ O Shopping Corporation.

Launched in 15 October, O Shopping Channel will showcase a range of products from health, beauty, exercise and kitchenware sold through televised demonstrations.

ABS-CBN chairman Eugenio Lopez III said the tie-up, called A CJ O Shopping, marks the media giant’s re-entry into TV home shopping business after Skymall, which flopped in the 1990s.

“We closed it down a few years after and walked away with a valuable lesson: We need a strong and competent partner. ABS-CBN is in the business of reaching audiences so we needed a partner in the business of selling great products,” he said.

Paolo Pineda, head of ABS-CBN business development, said the O Shopping channel is all about giving TV viewers another option how to shop similar to what e-commerce and mobile commerce is doing now.

It also a boon for the media brand by acting as an additional revenue stream for ABS-CBN. Aside from its current line up of 10 products, the channel will also be a distribution platform for licensed products from programs, according to Pineda.

O Shopping is currently selling only Korean brands. Plans to eventually open it to local products are tight under wraps.

 What Skymall did was the stuff of 10 years ago.

Without numbers, Pineda said the initial response to O Shopping was “promising” as orders started coming in during it’s 24-hour test broadcast for 1.8 million households in five major cities, including Metro Manila.

“I think that it is evidence of Filipinos being ready for TV home shopping. When we were only testing our signal when we already had people calling in to purchase our products,” he adds

Another valuable lesson ABS-CBN learned from its previous venture is the proven power of good content.

Speaking with Marketing, A CJ O Shopping CEO Eddie Bak said that O Channel adopted a format called infotaintment, which combines straight promotion jazzed up with entertainment.

“What Skymall did was the stuff of 10 years ago. What we did in Korea successfully was to give both information and entertainment, differentiating us versus other channels that only give information which we call just infomercials.”

O Channel airs around the clock daily on SkyCable and Destiny Channel 11.  For free TV, Studio 23 and ABS-CBN Channel 2 airs O Channel in the wee hours of the morning.

ABS-CBN has been rapidly expanding its portfolio this year with businesses outside of its core media business. This June, the company entered a network sharing deal with Globe Telecom in a bid to enter the telco industry. A month later, it earmarked P1 billion to build Kidzannia theme parks.

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