AOL ad-supported video service to debut with Intel, Hershey ads

“AOL said it plans to launch on Wednesday one of the biggest free video services on the Internet, serving up vintage shows and short clips backed by online advertisements. The service, called In2TV, will launch with four advertisers — Intel Corp., Kia Motors Corp., Kraft Foods Inc., and Hershey Co.,” Kenneth Li reports for Reuters. “In2TV will feature thousands of shows from corporate sibling Warner Bros., which owns the rights to shows that include ‘Welcome Back Kotter,’ ‘Kung Fu’ and ‘Growing Pains.’ AOL, the online division of Time Warner Inc., is gearing up to take on Microsoft Corp., Google Inc., Yahoo Inc. and Apple Computer Inc., which have their own designs on digital entertainment.”

“By the end of the second quarter, AOL plans to expand its video service to include paid downloads. It also plans a subscription service sometime in 2007, the company has said. Downloads are expected to cost about $1.99 per episode,” Li reports. “Some videos will be available using a system it calls Hi-Q video format, which presents shows in DVD-quality. Users would be required to download free software to enable computers to store the videos on their hard drive.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, woe, how will Apple’s iTunes Store ever compete by offering “Lost,” “The Office,” and “The Daily Show” against the likes of AOL’s “Welcome Back Kotter,” “Kung Fu” and “Growing Pains?” Seems an impossible fight; Apple should just shut down iTunes TV shows section and give up. Seriously, though, competition is good and if AOL really can serve up higher DVD-quality video someday, one would think that Apple would respond with quality boosts in iTunes video and music, too.

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Related article:
AOL to launch ‘In2TV’ ad-supported online service featuring ‘vintage’ TV shows – November 14, 2005


  1. at $1.99 plus TAX, iTunes offers first run TV content at a reasonable price with reasonable ownership terms.

    When you get things for “free”, like the AOL service, there is no way to ensure you will continue to be able to get that…and while some people may sit down and watch that funny episode of XYZ 80’s show they remember from 20 years back, that isn’t going to be a consistant stream like The Daily Show and Lost.

  2. Haha, it takes a long time to download videos at the poor quality of iTMS as it is.

    Using computers to download and watch movies is too complicated for most, takes too much space, takes too long and is of poor quality.

    With high resolution Bluerays coming around the corner, it’s another blow to online sales because the internet is not fast enough (and won’t be because cable companies will slow it’s progress) to watch HDTV.

    I was so proud to show my friends Apple’s “FrontRow” on a new iMactel, they complained the video quality was poor on shows like LOST, the Apple remote didn’t work half the time to further complicate the matter. (Security update glitch)

    When people want to watch TV/Movies, they don’t want to work at it.

    Apple used to be about ease of use, not any longer, now it’s just about the same headaches as a Windows box. It’s designed to suck you in and control your life, just like a Windows box

  3. Bandwidth limitations and download times are a major problem for full resolution video in the living room. The conquest of living room entertainment — by Apple, I hope — will be a gradual process. We simply need much higher speed connections than are available today to affect digital download of these huge files. We can read about some new technology, but it will be years before it becomes generally available. Until then, we will be using DVDs/Blue Ray/HD-HDTV and such on our home networks to stream to our TV/HDTV in the living room via systems like the new Mac Mini Core Duo.

  4. Hershey chocolate is like eating a block of fat sprinkled with cocoa. It actually makes British chocolate seem nice, which by all rights ought to be impossible.

    I know this has nothing to do with the video stuff, but what the hell.

  5. Then there’s Welcome Back, Kung Fu Pains. Where a shaolin monk is a substitute teacher in the Bronx and works at night as a nanny for a family of six in New Jersey. It wouldn’t work except for the touching and poignant scripts. Just ask the studio heads of UPN and the WB.

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