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News   - 10/11/2006

iPodObserver - ABC Exec Recalls Video iPod Rollout

ABC Television Group president Anne Sweeney told TVWeek's James Hibberd that, while launching the video iPod last year with ABC TV content available on iTunes was tricky, it represented a major shift in her industry. Mr. Hibberd said that she "knew she didn't face a choice of whether to makes episodes available online, but a choice of whether to try to monetize online distribution of ABC content."

The move angered local affiliates and advertisers who were left out of the loop by Apple's insistence on absolute secrecy, leading to ABC's decision this summer to make certain series available through its Web site, commercials included. She said that testing of the new venture revealed "that 84 percent of the people who used the player felt that watching the shows with ads was a very good deal. But an even better statistic was that 87 percent recalled the ads they watched. And we didn't see any cannibalization of our first two platforms by adding the player or by adding iTunes."

When asked which method will become the standard for distributing TV content, she replied: "We've been looking at it as the different ways we serve our viewers. The average viewer of a hit TV show sees only six to eight episodes per year. So by providing them a way to catch up, or a way to own and watch on their computer, superserves them the same way the Internet serves them with pirated versions of our shows."

Source: The Mac Observer    
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