ABC Leads The Ad-Supported Way

from the desperate-lost-grey-housewives dept

Last month, ABC said it planned to offer ad-supported versions of its shows on its web site, and it's now offering more details: a new version of will launch April 30, featuring episodes of several popular shows that users can watch online. They'll be able to pause, fast-forward and rewind -- but won't be able to skip the three built-in ad breaks. They will, however, be able to choose if they want to see a normal video ad, or a more interactive one, like a game. Shows will be available the morning after they've aired, and eventually ABC will store archives of episodes so users can watch an entire season. This sounds like a pretty solid plan (despite some miggling faults), and ABC deserves some kudos for being the first to step into the breach. Of course, some stakeholders will get upset, like retailers concerned about the service undermining DVD sales. But those worries are unfounded. ABC is just grabbing the low-hanging fruit, essentially translating their broadcast content to the web. By adding additional services -- like the removal of ads on DVD versions, or formatting the content for portable devices -- there's still a market for paid content. What ABC is doing, and rightly so, is offering consumers the choice of how they want to receive content, and how it should be paid for, either by purchase, or by advertising.

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  1. identicon
    anon, 10 Apr 2006 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Sounds reasonable ....

    If I had to guess, I'd say WMP. On the up side, as long as you legally own a copy of Windows, you can use the codecs on another system. I run Debian at the house (and keep an old Windows XP CD that I bought before I used linux), and have no problem running any video or audio format using VLC or MPlayer and the plugin for Firefox.

    I wish people would go to an open format, but you know what they say: wish in one hand.....

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