ABC doubles ads per episode across iPad application
ABC has doubled the number of advertisements incorporated into each episode of programs available via the network's popular ABC Player application for Apple's iPad tablet. In an interview with Videonuze, Disney/ABC Television executive vice president of digital media Albert Cheng said downloads of the free ABC Player app--which offers complete episodes of primetime hits like Lost, Desperate Housewives and Modern Family--have already topped 800,000 two months after the iPad's retail launch, with viewers starting more than 4.2 million episodes in that time. Cheng explains that ABC's efforts to boost its advertising revenues are unlikely to alienate viewers in the process--ABC research indicates that 90 percent of respondents prefer viewing ad-supported content over paying for programming, regardless of how many commercial spots are inserted into the broadcast. Network data also indicates no drop-off in recall or purchase consideration when ad loads double.
It is unclear what ABC's approach means for streaming video effort Hulu, co-owned by Disney in partnership with News Corp. and NBC Universal. Earlier this month, Reuters reported Hulu is on the cusp of introducing a premium subscription-based service optimized for consumer device platforms including the iPad and Microsoft's Xbox gaming system. The existence of ad-subsidized initiatives like ABC Player calls into question the plan's viability--The Wall Street Journal previously reported Hulu CEO Jason Kilar tried desperately to convince ABC not to launch the iPad app, fearing it could undermine the premium initiative.
For more on ABC Player's advertising expansion:
-read this Videonuze article