Disney’s ABC to launch ‘My ABC’ ad-supported TV show downloads in May

“Disney’s ABC is developing an online platform, My ABC, that will offer ad-supported downloads of hit shows like ‘Lost,’ ‘Grey’s Anatomy,’ and ‘Desperate Housewives.’ Disney President and CEO Bob Iger discussed his plans for the ‘network of the future’ at the Bear Stearns Media Conference this week,” Pamela Parker reports for Clickz. “Expected to launch in May, My ABC will offer four episodes of each ad-supported program free to consumers. Already, the company offers a number of its programs for download in Apple’s iTunes music store, charging $1.99 per episode.”

“‘The advertising that will be in these shows [on My ABC] will not necessarily be the same advertising — it’s a secondary buy — that appeared on the networks initially,’ said Iger,” Parker reports.

Full article here.

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  1. I can’t see how this can be offered through the iTMS. Apple have to charge to meet their bandwidth costs, and I can’t see ABC giving Apple part of their advertising revenue to anyone. I think they’ll distribute it themselves.

    If it’s not via iTMS, it’s not going to use FairPlay, and there’s only one other DRM scheme that could be used.

    In short, this could block out iPod and Mac users. I hope I’m wrong.

  2. I’ve wondered why it took so long for the networks to do this. There is absolutely no reason they have to go through iTunes to offer their own shows. Lets just hope they have the sense to not encumber their shows with some stupid DRM. Make it available in a lower resolution than DVD and that way it won’t hurt sales of DVD’s. I don’t expect HD quality though unless you want to pay for it.

    I have no problem with advertising. I’d rather sit through 5 minutes of advertising than pay $1.99 for a 320×240 episode.

  3. Since the videos are free to begin with, I don’t really see the need for DRM. In fact, sharing would probably be encouraged because it would distribute the video even more (more advertising) while using the user’s bandwith instead of their own.

    Advertising will probably consist of a banner or ad at the bottom of the screen that appears at certain times or scrolls past every say ten minutes, which is fine considering it’s free.

  4. I agree — Provided the videos are in a cross-platform format and are not DRM’d, this is an incredibly great idea.

    (Why do I have this awful feeling that it’s going to require some weird, crappy, Windows-only software?)

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