There are few infomercials that can’t convince me I immediately need whatever product is being sold, even though I know I’ll probably get burned. (I’m looking at you, Quick Chop, with your clumps of onions stuck to your blades.)
And I think that’s one of the many appeals of Shark Tank for me: learning about new products that I can’t live without, or that would make perfect gifts for friends and family. Just like infomercials had As Seen on TV stores in malls, Shark Tank now has its own store, too.
The As Seen on Shark Tank collection isn’t a physical store, though, but is part of Amazon.com, which is currently collecting more than 70 products featured on the show.
The products are categorized by what they are or who they’re for—gifts, sports and fitness, baby products—but also by what happened on the show: “Funded by 2+ Sharks”, “+$250K funded by Sharks.”
It’s part of Amazon’s Launchpad section, which has products from startups and is where I often do my gift shopping.
Right now, the store only has products from seasons 1 to 9, so nothing from the current season—though some of those products are on Amazon, like Le-Glue, the temporary glue for Legos and other toys, whose 12-year-old creator received an $80,000 investment from Kevin O’Leary.
The products featured are only those “that successfully received funding from Sharks,” according to an Amazon press release, which also said that “[a]ll startups and entrepreneurs that Sharks have invested in will be considered” in the future.
What’s interesting about that approach is that the Ring video doorbell wouldn’t be included, even though it recently became the most-valuable company to ever appear on Shark Tank, and its creator Jamie Siminoff is a guest shark on season 10.
That’s because when Siminoff pitched Doorbot in 2013, on season five, he didn’t get the $700,000 investment he asked for.
Earlier this year, though, he sold his company to Amazon for more than $1 billion last year, which makes it “Amazon’s second biggest after its roughly $13.5 billion purchase of Whole Foods,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
Siminoff was on the premiere episode of Shark Tank season 10—which had the lowest ratings in the show’s history, and about two million fewer viewers than last fall’s premiere.
That’s part of an overall downward trend in broadcast network ratings—The Voice and Dancing with the Stars each lost 25 percent of their 18-49 audience compared to last year, though Survivor stayed even with last year. (There’s great analysis of this trend from Joe Adalian in Vulture.)
Though Shark Tank’s ratings did drop, it did rebound a little compared to last week.
ABC said in a press release that the series “grew by double digits from the prior week’s season opener at 10:00 p.m. by 23% in Total Viewers (3.7 million vs. 3.0 million) and 17% in Adults 18-49 (0.7/3 vs. 0.6/2).”
Still, 3.7 million viewers isn’t the 5.5 million it averaged on Sunday nights last season, and it’s certainly not the 9 million viewers it averaged in season 9, the show’s peak.
Sunday nights are far more competitive than the show’s former Friday home—and I miss watching it on Friday, and usually miss watching it live on Sunday. But the show still feels as creatively strong as ever, especially with the changes it made last season.
And it can still sell a product—or a company—as Amazon has demonstrated.