Disney announced that it would be offering videos of subsidiary ABC’s television shows at the ABC.com Website as a two-month trial. This is in addition to the shows being sold on iTunes. Unlike on iTunes, where the shows cost $1.99 per episode, the ABC.com episodes will be free to viewers, supported by video advertising.
Disney continues to capitalize on the rise of online video, a strategy to compete with the other forms of entertainment vying for the public’s attention. This move makes sense, even as a trial balloon. The Mouse House is diversifying the presentation of its media (selling episodes and having free videos with ads), and diversifying the outlets for its shows.
Many companies have been testing the online waters, but
Hollywood must move more aggressively to satisfy the public’s desire for the customization and convenience of digital media. More television companies should open up their archives and offer entire seasons of television shows, new and old. And they should make it easy and cheap (or free, with ads). I think they would be surprised by the level of interest produced.