ABC 'Almost' Getting it Right?

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by Alain Thys

According to this article and video on CNN, the Disney subsidiary ABC Television in the US is planning to start offering hit shows like Alias, Lost and Desperate Housewives for free on the internet the day they have aired on TV. The plan is to finance this operation through non-skippable advertisements which are sold to the likes of P&G, Ford, AT&T etcetera.

The experiment, which will run over May and June will be a first in which ABC essentially makes a bid to upstage newcomers like Google, Yahoo and iTunes which it will retain as customers for these shows, yet essentially tries and box into a pay-per-view model.

While I applaud the bold move, it does remain a pity that ABC does stick to the orthodoxy of following the "intrusion model" for advertising, while there could have been so many other ways to monetize this content.  

By now it's been abundently proven that the actual effectiveness of these regular TV clips is negligeable, so my guess is consumers online will just tolerate them as it gets them the show for free, yet not really engage with the branded messages online. This will lead to many advertisers simply being offered a new way to waste their money while consumers go to the bathroom.

But then again, one step at a time, and kudos to ABC for being the first to take this step!

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PS. Thanks to Stefan for pointing out the article