With NBC having announced this week that it will be offering free downloads of the network’s popular shows, ABC is beating them to the punch by offering their shows for free through AOL as of yesterday. Competitor CBS already shows its programs on AOL.
In May of 2006, ABC claimed the prize for the first major network that offered full episodes of its popular programs for free online. Now many of the other networks have been following suit. The focus has also shifted from providing the content on the network’s own site, to partnering with larger portals that will blanket as vat of an audience as possible.
AOL and ABC are reported to be sharing the ad revenue, however no other details of the partnership have been made public at this time.
The use of “geo-targeting” will give all advertisers, big brands and affiliates a fair chance at the potentially massive visibility .
According to a report in The Wall Street Journal, president of the Disney-ABC Television Group Anne Sweeney stated that this agreement marked a new phase in ABC’s digital strategy, allowing the shows to been seen by a larger audience, and still protecting the programs from piracy in a way that would “appeal to both advertisers and affiliates.”