Amazon has become an official retail partner of the TV show "Shark Tank,” launching a Shark Tank Collection of past and new products featured on the show on its Amazon Launchpad platform, the e-commerce giant announced in a press release.
The collection, featuring more than 70 products that received funding from the "Sharks" during the first nine seasons of the show, is being unveiled as "Shark Tank” begins its 10th season on ABC. Products from this season and beyond will be featured on Launchpad in the future.
Amazon said all start-ups and entrepreneurs that have been funded via the show will be considered for placement on Launchpad, the portion of Amazon’s site dedicated to showcasing products from start-ups and helping entrepreneurs find funding for their product plans. In addition to selling Shark Tank-funded products, Amazon is also offering a $15,000 credit for Amazon Web Services cloud computing services to each eligible "Shark Tank” entrepreneur.
Amazon had a previous association with "Shark Tank," when it featured some products that were funded by the Sharks as part of its Amazon Exclusives line, but Launchpad is probably the more appropriate part of Amazon’s site to feature these products. It also fits with Amazon’s recent push to affiliate itself with more small sellers through programs like Storefronts.
The new partnership should help raise the profile of Amazon Launchpad, which launched in 2015, and has since featured products from Kickstarter campaigns among its other partnerships. It was unclear at press time if the new "Shark Tank" affiliation will be promoted on the show.
The "Shark Tank" deal is Amazon’s second recent intriguing venture into partnering a successful TV production. Last month, the e-tailer’s Twitch platform, which offers streaming of Fox’s Thursday Night Football NFL games through Amazon Prime Video, added shopping features to its live streams of the games. That’s not what Amazon is doing now with "Shark Tank," but it wouldn’t be much of a stretch to see this partnership advance to the point where viewers watching "Shark Tank" on TV are presented with an on-screen button that allows them to buy products being featured on the show.
The notion of shoppable content may be something we associate much more with social networks, but don’t count the decades-old medium of TV out of this game. Interactive TV and video advertising has been around for some time, but may gain new relevance and value with the introduction of a concept like shoppable video. That’s where Walmart appears to be headed with its recent joint venture with interactive video company Eko, and the partnership between its Vudu platform and MGM.
The TV screen may no longer be the most dominant screen in consumers’ lives, but these moves by Walmart and Amazon are a reminder that TV is a channel that shouldn’t be ignored.