ABC Finally Sees The (Ad-Supported) Light

from the get-on-the-bus dept

We've watched TV networks stumble around a bit online, trying to find their way -- selling shows on iTunes or through Google, or using obtuse streaming methods. We've wondered for some time why they didn't simply make the shows freely available online, but keep advertisements in -- the same model that's worked pretty well for broadcast TV, and one that people are clearly in favor of. Finally, one network is going to try it, as ABC says it will soon offer ad-supported shows for download from its site. Free downloading of shows is already going on, with or without the networks. But if they can offer users easy, legitimate downloads -- without all sorts of stupid restrictions -- there's a good chance people will accept the ads. The broadcast channel is an outdated concept, and it looks like networks are very slowly starting to realize this. What took them so long?

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  • identicon
    The Other Mike, 2 Mar 2006 @ 12:22pm

    Encourage it...

    While I agree with the sentiment, maybe try more praise and less criticism when a company finally starts to see the light? Don't mean to be difficult but I know it would peeve me if I were in their shoes. Even if it were a long road to seeing the light, they did arrive at the same place in the end while the others are still picking their noses.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      qyiet, 2 Mar 2006 @ 1:13pm

      Re: Encourage it...

      Meh.. techdirt is all about the critism.. It's why I love it. They don't let stupidity go unpunished.
      -Qyiet

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Adifferentbible, 2 Mar 2006 @ 1:59pm

      Re: Encourage it...

      why do you read the site if you don't like the style it is written in?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        The Other Mike, 2 Mar 2006 @ 2:43pm

        Re: Encourage it...

        Was simply a suggestion for improvement. Not that I dislike the site or anything. I rather like it but after having been a reader for some time now it seems to me that sometimes a little kudos could be in order for companies/industries that finally get the idea on big picture things.

        After I read the article I just put myself in the shoes of the exec's and was asking what would I think of the response to the decision to do this? It seems that keeping them in the doghouse after getting it together isn't serving as much of a motivator for change. But maybe it's just me since I know what it's like to be - professionally - in an endless cycle of trying to placate people who have no desire to be so.

        Just an observation really. It's not important enough to me to have to justify, beyond explaining what I meant, so forget I said anything. :)

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Dan Mayer, 2 Mar 2006 @ 5:10pm

      yippie

      seriously i would have done this years ago if i was one of the big media companies. I thought about trying to buy up old rights to old TV shows and trying this anyways. Think nick at night but watch whenever online just download with commecials. BRILLIANT. i bet they get a patent on the "original" idea of just making TV you can watch anytime with no commercials. If a company does this really well with a good interface and tech they will have a larger audience than ever before.

      on an unrelated note, I like waffles.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2006 @ 1:31pm

    No Subject Given

    It's amazing how so many people try to justify their thieving on the 'outdated concepts' of a business. What’s next trying to blame a video game for being a murderer?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2006 @ 1:34pm

    just like tivo

    when you have it saved to your computer, just fastforward throught the adds.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Tin Ear, 2 Mar 2006 @ 1:39pm

    Streaming ad content gets sticky...

    A while ago, I was a DJ at a small local radio station. The problem we were having with streaming our signal online (through our own site) was that there was no way to quantify our listener base. On the air, we had a listener base that they could count, based on how far our signal extended, and the population demographic of the area. Online, there was no way to count how many people were listing to our signal, or even where they were listening from.

    The network to whom we subscribed figured that if we could not track how many people were listening online, they would charge us an exorbitant 'blanket' fee for their service. They figured that we (a small family owned radio station in the middle of Montana..) would have a world-wide listener base and wanted to charge us accordingly! This was way above any possibility for the station to afford, so streaming was pretty much out of the question. We could still stream our local coverage of the local school sporting events, but the network music and advertising would be out of the question.
    It all comes down to the dollar, in the end.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Sarojin, 2 Mar 2006 @ 10:08pm

      Re: Streaming ad content gets sticky...

      I've worked in streaming media, including software dev. The info you post about streaming is completely wrong. You can track and gather all sorts of usage data from stream connections. And it is no more expensive than just a normal stream.

      From what you post I question the integrity of the folks you discussed this with. Sounds like they wanted to exploit your lack of technical knowledge.

      Every single network provider monitors bandwidth usage, and can do so at a very granular level.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        DJ-Panic, 3 Mar 2006 @ 6:49am

        Re: Streaming ad content gets sticky...

        yup, at our streaming station, we don't break it down to the level or geographic area or anything, but in the upper right hand corner of our software at any time we can look and see how many people are connected to our stream, no issue with that at all

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jon Boczkiewicz, 2 Mar 2006 @ 3:26pm

    read the text

    seems like the story was about a network doing something right, and the only criticism was for taking so long--and the criticism of the OTHER networks that still haven't gotten the idea.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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