LONDON — Net-a-porter.com is moving to the small screen with the launch of a digital TV station with an e-commerce component.
On Thursday, Net-a-porter TV’s four channels will launch on multiple platforms, including Google TV-enabled Sony TVs and Blu-Ray players, all mobile devices, and via Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
The TV channels, according to Net-a-porter, are meant to inform, entertain and inspire viewers to shop. “We’ve always considered ourselves more than a store, and we see this as another way of engaging our viewers,” said Alison Loehnis, the site’s vice president of sales and marketing.
“It’s fashion entertainment you can shop from, and we see it as a natural extension for Net-a-porter. It also creates a home for the backlog of unique content and ideas we have, and for our film archive,” she said.
Each of the channels has a different focus: There is runway footage with trend commentary by Net editors; interviews with designers including Phillip Lim and Matthew Williamson; cultural segments, including a guide to Stockholm with Acne’s founder Jonny Johansson, and big moments in fashion history, including a tribute to Alexander McQueen and a story on Donna Karan’s 25th anniversary.
All the shows have a commercial element: Customers can preorder items from the new collections they see on-screen or shop directly from the current season. The content, generated by an in-house TV and video editor and Net’s editorial team, will be refreshed weekly.
The online launch sponsor is Tiffany, which will have a one-month exclusive on the site. Loehnis said there are also “pre-roll and post-roll” opportunities for advertisers and sponsors going forward. Net views the TV project as an additional revenue channel, she said.
Although she declined to give any specific viewer numbers, she said Net was expecting the video viewers on the site to double shortly after the launch. She did not give any projections for the TV business.
As for Net’s debut on TV screens, the flavor is more CNN’s “Style with Elsa Klensch” than HSN. TV screens will carry the same content as the Web site, but in high-definition.
The Google-enabled TV content will have a “Shop It” option, and purchases can be made directly on-screen. There will be no direct-selling. “For us, it’s shopping TV, redefined,” said Loehnis.