iPad app proves to be quite fruitful for ABC television network

“ABC is the only television network so far to offer an application for watching its shows free—with ads—on Apple Inc.’s new iPad tablet computer, and it says its business model is proving fruitful,” Ethan Smith reports for The Wall Street Journal. “The network said that in the 10 days since the iPad’s debut, its TV-show watching app has been downloaded 205,000 times, giving the Walt Disney Co. unit a presence on nearly half the 450,000 devices that Apple says it has sold.”

MacDailyNews Note: Apple said earlier today that they had delivered more than 500,000 Wi-Fi iPads during its first week on sale.

Smith continues, “Moreover, users have watched at least part of 650,000 television episodes using the app, generating ‘several million’ ad impressions, according to an ABC spokesman, although the precise number is still being calculated.”

“Disney-ABC television President Anne Sweeney says the network is pleased with the initial results,” Smith reports. “Advertisers on the iPad so far include Clorox, Lexus, AT&T, Heineken, Sears and Target. For now, Disney is delivering the same kind of 30-second spots seen on television. Starting in the fall, it expects to sell the kind of interactive ads featured on its Web player. Also, ABC eventually expects to give local affiliates the ability to sell ads that would be seen only by iPad users in their markets, a capability that already exists on its Web-based player.”

“The app represents one of the most ambitious attempts to date by a traditional media company to create a new business model on the new Apple device,” Smith reports. “The most popular streamed show so far has been a March 31 episode of the sitcom ‘Modern Family’ that centers, appropriately, on a character’s desire for an iPad.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Too Hot!” for the heads up.]


  1. Unfortunately this app is far from perfect. Firstly, if you are on the road and travelling in another country, it won’t let you watch your favorite shows. This makes the app worthless to me on my iPad as I can’t catch up on my shows when travelling.

  2. LOST has been available Wednesday morning when I get out of bed at 6am EST via the iPad APP. While I had to wait until around 2pm this afternoon for last night’s episode to be available on iTunes to be downloaded.

    I’ll tell you who this new Business Model is going to hurt … Apple & iTunes. I no longer need to subscribe to ABC TV shows Season Passes from iTunes.

    If the rest of the networks follow suite, I’ll be saving some money!

  3. @ 84 Mac Guy
    “Looks like ABC gets it.”
    Yea they get it, look who they have for a board member.

    When you are out of the country, there’s always iTunes. As long as you have a U.S. credit card, that’ll work anywhere.

  4. ..”business model is proving fruitful”
    Of course it has proven to be fruitful, it has a “Apple” fruit on it ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

    And what does microsoft has? a window?

  5. @Switcher

    Do you really need to “catch up on my shows when travelling”?
    How about enjoying the foreign places,meeting the people,
    cruising the local bars and eateries. Take a break leave USA
    television behind. Have fun. You can always catch up with
    American Idol later.

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