The Walt Disney Company will test a new type of online advertising in free downloads of ABC’s hit TV shows on abc.com. Users will be able to download hits such as “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives,” but will have to click through advertisements to get to the next segment of the show. The ads will run a minimum of 30 seconds, but viewers will be given the option to click out of the ad and watch the show regardless after 30 seconds.
Each episode will begin with a 10-second sponsorship message from one advertiser, and this sponsor will also run one commercial per commercial break. This new online ad tactic differs from the usual variety of short spots that are usually seen on network TV because only one interactive ad will be shown during each commercial break. Advertisers for the two month test period include AT&T, Toyota, Procter & Gamble, and Universal Pictures among others.
Disney could not be reached for comment.