GigaOm’s NewTeeVee Live 08 opened with Alexis Rapo, VP, Digital Media, ABC, Disney-ABC Television Group.
ABC has been streaming full episodes online at abc.com for the past two years--90% of traffic comes from abc.com despite third party links and Hulu.
ABC has also experimented with shorts: Ugly Betty 2-3 minute shorts had 8.5 million views. The intent is to build a fan base around the shows. By developing existing shows online, ABC avoids having to launch from scratch. They are able to capitalize on existing loyally to characters and story lines and, by extension, offer extremely targeted ads that appeal to customers and result in premium ROI to advertisers.
Rapo says people watch 20% of shows—especially ones you need to watch every single week to stay on top of the plot. Which means, consumers still use online streaming as catch-up media. Most people, says Rapo, still watch TV as their prime TV show viewing channel.
The shift to online hasn’t happened yet, Rapo warns, but we all have to be prepared and carefully plan our ad models so that we’re not trading premium business for sub premium business.
Next steps for Disney-ABC Television group include continued iteration around long player, creating ways for developers to engage more with the format such as making it easy to index content and view on third party sites, continuing to build the (user) experience, focusing on various ad models, and continuing to develop a deeper understanding of how monetization works.
And what about strictly online shows? Not right now, says Rapo, we’re still in early stages. But I would never say never.