DO YOU REMEMBER the old Sky subscribers magazine? It would list all the films available on Sky, and each movie was assessed on a five-star rating. Five stars would translate as "must watch" while one star was merely "worth a look" - although said one-star rating was purely theoretical, as nothing ever scored lower than two.
We bring up this trip down memory lane because Amazon has just launched a teleshopping channel to advertise its products and you'd imagine a similar positive spin on items that get their moment in the sun.
Amazon Live isn't a channel on Freeview or Sky, though - it lives in the Amazon app and on the website. Though only on the .com version for now, so Ideal World presenters can sleep easy for the moment.
Perhaps appreciating that people on the web have shorter attention spans than QVC's usual targets, Amazon Live functions as a strange cross between teleshopping and Twitch. There are multiple streams all offering demonstrations and hands-on of different products that can all be purchased from a carousel of products that sits below the player.
At the time of writing, there's nothing actually live - which would surely make Amazon Live returnable for a refund under its A-Z guarantee - but you can take in previous streams and reminisce about the good times as you please. Like the four-hour Valentine's Day Gift Shop, where the presenters tried to flog a chocolate fondue fountain, chatted to Josh Groban, and played a bizarre version of Blind Date where three men have to try and sell one lucky lady a bunch of Amazon products to win her affections.
As cute couple-meeting stories go, that's probably one that will be modified to "we met in a bar" pretty quickly.
One advantage that Amazon does have over teleshopping channels (and no, we can't believe we're writing that in 2019 either) is that it also lets product makers upload their own videos to demo their goods. These are made via the Amazon Live Creator app and, from the handful we enjoyed, don't seem to have the same polish as the Amazon-made ones.
At the moment, Amazon isn't pushing it very hard - Live isn't even in the navigation bar on desktop. But if it proves popular, it'll be pretty galling for the likes of QVC and Ideal World which - like the rest of the retail sector - have had their lunch (and breakfast and dinner) gobbled up by Amazon over the last decade.
It's one thing for Amazon to be setting up its own brick and mortar stores, but taking the shopping channels too? Nowhere in retail is safe. µ
But it keeps the juicy details firmly under wraps
And Sonny and Cher is on the radio
Gets its post-Windows 7 towel on the sun-lounger