Disney is planning to show Desperate Housewives, Lost and other programs on line for free. Viewers would be obliged to watch ads.
If this works, we are looking at the reinvention of television.
(for now, conventional content will continue, new media will not make for new messages…yet)
(30 seconds ads, challenged by TIVO and purchase, are restored)
(Moonves, CBS CEO, has been talking about the "cable bypass," here it is. Cable loses twice, as the pipeline and as the supplier of on-demand content)
(eventually, all content will be available all the time)
(why have our own copies if all content is available all the time?)
The network and its affiliates
(remind me, what’s an "affiliate" again? The tail that so often wagged the network dog is now in peril.)
(we will no longer "watch TV" to watch TV)
(Google wanted to be a video pipe line. ABC has not forgiven them technical SNAFUs)
The Ipod "pay per" model is now at risk. In the early days of television subscription models were hoped for. The British pursued this with license fees for the BBC. Then advertising paid the way. History repeats itself.
1) The WSJ says Disney will an attempt to engage an on-line community:
[V]iewers from around the country will be able to gather in "rooms" online to watch an episode of, say, "Lost" and chat about it. Disney will also promote the creation of fan sites for various shows. "We want to tie all of these fan sites closer to our brand," Mr. Cheng says.
Can Disney build on-line communities? This will take more than chat rooms, and there’s a good chance that Disney will fail to rise to the challenge. Real fan engagement will demand an approach that is too far from the Disney corporate culture.
2) Disney claims that viewers will have to watch the whole ad. This despite the fact that the programming itself will have fastforward capability. It’s hard to see how this make sense. Even if it works, surely someone will invent a TIVO for Internet.
Barnes, Brooks. 2006. Disney Will Offer Many TV Shows Frre on the Web: ABC’s Prime-time hits and Zap-Proof Commercials are Pillars of Bold Strategy. Wall Street Journal. April 10, 2006. subscription required. here.