Disney Dives into Shoppable TV with Debut of New ‘Shop the Stream’ Tech

Disney has debuted a new shoppable TV ad format, Gateway Shop.
Image courtesy Disney

Disney has launched a beta program for its first native streaming shoppable ad format, Gateway Shop, which will allow consumers to purchase items without disrupting their viewing experience.

The new Gateway Shop ad format follows on the previously introduced GatewayGo commerce-enabled ad format, which tapped into the “second screen” to deliver viewers personalized offers or promotions directly to their mobile device via email, push notification or QR code. Gateway Shop ads will work much the same way, with viewers receiving personalized prompts for products sent directly to their phones via push notifications or email.

Since the 2020 launch of GatewayGo, Disney said that more than 200 advertisers across all categories have tested the format. A number of those advertisers also are signed on to participate in the Gateway Shop beta, including Unilever.

According to Disney, “this next evolution of commerce interactivity taps into the natural behavior of streaming audiences — watching TV with a second screen in their hand or nearby.” The company pointed to research from Lucid showing that 75% of viewers would prefer to see an interactive TV ad over a standard commercial as proof of the viability of the concept.


Other major networks and content distributors are believers too. In fact, Disney is far from the only company chasing the dream of shoppable TV: NBCUniversal has been aggressively pursuing the idea with the debut of an integrated online marketplace and hundreds of shoppable TV experiences, as well as a recent tie-up with Walmart; Amazon is moving quickly into the space with Prime X-Ray and other offerings; Roku has teamed up with a number of retailers, including Walmart and Best BuyLG is experimenting on the hardware side in partnership with video commerce solution TheTake; and YouTube continues to roll out new shopping features.

“My prediction is that within three to five years, shopping from television will be a ubiquitous experience,” said Evan Moore, SVP of Commerce Partnerships at NBCUniversal in a session at the Retail Innovation Conference and Expo in June 2023. “Friction is the enemy of commerce, and there are so many times that a consumer is inspired by something they see on TV, but it’s just too hard to find that product. Being able to unlock that transaction right at that moment of inspiration will create new incremental demand for brands and also delight our audiences.”

Disney clearly agrees: the company said that over the next few months it plans to continue to enhance its interactive formats and commerce experiences across its streaming ecosystem, including the ability to send personalized emails and prompts for push notifications for products or offers within a TV ad unit.

“With the most scale in streaming and the strongest audience signal through our foundational data and ad tech stack, Disney is uniquely enabled to power dynamic ad experiences that connect consumer interest and intent to the purchase — straight from the stream,” said Jamie Power, SVP of Addressable Sales at Disney Advertising in a statement. “Our goal is to help audiences connect with the brands they love with the least amount of friction, without disrupting the content they’re streaming. Innovation is in Disney’s DNA, and in a cross-screen world, we believe shoppable experiences not only complement, but elevate, streaming.”

Featured Event

Join the retail community as we come together for three days of strategic sessions, meaningful off-site networking events and interactive learning experiences.



Access The Media Kit


Access Our Editorial Calendar

If you are downloading this on behalf of a client, please provide the company name and website information below: