Disney says ABC free web TV a hit; more viewers in one month than nearly nine months of iTunes sales

“Prime-time ABC television shows were viewed more than 11 million times on the Web in the first month of a test by the Walt Disney Co. of whether consumers will watch ads online if the shows are free,” Gina Keating reports for Reuters.

“An online exit survey posted the first week of the two-month trial showed that 87 percent of respondents could recall the advertisers that sponsored the episodes they watched,” Keating reports. “That compares with typical ad recall of about 40 percent for commercials viewed on television, industry sources said.”

“The ABC.com pilot program in one month outperformed the results Disney has seen in its nine-month partnership with Apple Computer Inc.’s iTunes to offer episodes of its hit television shows for download, without commercials, for $1.99 each,” Keating reports. “Since last October, Disney has sold more than 6 million downloads of shows like ‘Desperate Housewives,’ ‘Lost,’ and ‘Alias’ on Apple’s iTunes Web site. Albert Cheng, executive vice president of digital media for Disney-ABC Television Group, said iTunes sales of ABC shows have remained consistent throughout the trial.”

Full article here.

ABC’s online ad-supported full episodes: http://dynamic.abc.go.com/streaming/landing

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Related articles:
ABC site buckles as network streams first ad-supported shows – May 04, 2006
Disney’s ABC to launch ‘My ABC’ ad-supported TV show downloads in May – March 03, 2006


  1. No sh*t Sherlock – of course free will beat paid content any day. Now make some of those Disney movies free and you’ll be guaranteed success beyond your wildest dreams. But then comes the question the stockholders will be asking, “How do we make money from giving away our content for free?”

    MDN: Are the comment boxes larger?

  2. Athough it’s possible to screen record the free ABC shows like Lost with SnapZ Pro X and then process it into a iPod format, it’s just easier to pay a couple of bucks.

    I love the internet more than TV, but there are a few shows I like to watch on my time and not having to wait for a certain time it’s played on TV.

    I’m glad the ABC shows are doing so well, they really have a slick system online and must admit using it myself. Unfortunatly one can’t go full screen like one can with a iTMS TV show download. Well one could if they employ the Univesal Access and blow the screen up a little.

    What I like about the iTMS TV shows is that I can go back to watch shows over and over again, especially on my video iPod with MyVu glasses.

    See here, this is really freaking cool!!!


  3. WHewn I checked it out before, I could no resize it to a larger screen. Is this still an issue?

    Because if you have only the ability to watch in a small window while on ABC.com, why even bother?! I’d pay $2 for a larger view!! ( If it was a LOST episode that I missed! )

  4. I didn’t read all the comments, but I did try the episode of Lost. Sorry ABDisney….even for free…not good enough….audio/video sync is really bad…to bad the FCC can’t control you…but we really don’t need more government interference…….I guess there is something here…..I will stick with the very old fashion VCR until things are right….and I have 2Mb/s download…hopefully I didn’t repeat anyones comments….

    Will check back to see if anyone else has the sync problem and will read the entire set of comments.

    Had a time problem…..

  5. Here’s a tip for everyone complaining about not having the ability to resize the video…if you are using OS X you can just press Command Option 8 to enable zooming and Command Option + or – to zoom in or out. Press Command Option 8 to turn off zooming when you’re done. This is great for embedded videos and the like.

  6. Meanwhile….

    Mon Jun 19 2006 22:57:25 ET

    Researchers at IBM and the Georgia Institute of Technology are set to announce Tuesday that they have broken the speed record for silicon-based chips with a semiconductor that operates 250 times faster than chips commonly used now.

    The NEW YORK TIMES reports: The achievement is a major step in the evolution of computer semiconductor technology that could eventually lead to faster networks and more powerful electronics at lower prices, said Bernard Meyerson, vice president and chief technologist in IBM ‘s systems and technology group. He said developments like this one typically find their way into commercial products in 12 to 24 months.

    Good thing Apple is still doing business with IBM….they´re not???

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