ABC’s Direct Content Play

ABC announced that it would provide downloads of popular shows after they air on TV.

From the WJS: (subscription required)

“On April 30, ABC will unveil a revamped Web site that will include a “theater” where people with broadband connections can watch free episodes of “Desperate Housewives,” “Lost” and other hit shows on their computers. Episodes will be available the morning after they air and will be archived so people can eventually view a whole season.

As part of an effort to engage the online community, viewers from around the country will be able to gather in “rooms” online to watch an episode of, say, “Lost” and chat about it. Disney will also promote the creation of fan sites for various shows. “We want to tie all of these fan sites closer to our brand,” Mr. Cheng says.”

From Buzzmachine:

“What this really means: TV is grabbing a share of online advertising by redefining TV as both broadcast and broadband. Advertisers have always been more comfortable spending big money on TV. Now they can continue to spend their money with those familiar players and get broadband, too. And TV is doing this so as not to lose money to other media even as broadcast — and next, cable — shrink; this is how they rescue upfront.”

From Terry Heaton:

“I think you’ll see more companies opting for this idea in the short term. It’s a smart acknowledgement of reality, but it won’t do anything for the bottom line. That will come through diversification and distancing ourselves from our brands in order to build new businesses. The real value of offline media brands is their ability to promote their online enterprises, something other entrepreneurs would have to pay big money to possess.”

From Business2Blog:

“Disney is really leading the pack here. They were the first to sell shows on iTunes. Now they are the first to fully embrace the Internet as a new distribution pipe (much as I think other media companies should do, including my employer Time Warner). The key here is that Disney is making its shows available through an ad-supported model. They still have to figure out a way to let the audience play with microchunked segments from its shows, remix them, and pass them around, but this is a good start.”

From Umar Haque:

“I think Disney is making exactly the wrong move.

Certainly, unbundling TV from distribution is a good first step. It will provide a bit of a top line boost, etc. But it’s the wrong first step to sustainably create value at the edge. I outlined and predicted this months ago in my TV 2.0 research note.

The point: unbundling media is only half the game: the value creation half. And it’s exactly and totally the wrong half from a strategic point of view.”


About Daniel Davenport

Daniel is a digital media executive with internet and broadcast experience. Daniel is currently the executive strategy director at THINK Interactive.

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