ABC Pointing Some TV Advertisers Online

    June 16, 2008

The practice of offering "makegood inventory" isn’t television-specific – you’ll often see a retail-store equivalent when something is substituted for an out-of-stock sale item.  Only it seems that ABC and advertisers are beginning to embrace the idea of online makegoods.

Suppose a television show’s audience turns out to be smaller than expected, or someone at the local station trips over a cable and blacks out everything.  It’s not a tough luck situation for advertisers; networks just replay ads at another time to compensate.

But Mike Shaw, ABC’s president of advertising sales, said that "advertisers are getting a better rotation of top-rated shows online, such as ‘Desperate Housewives,’ ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ and ‘Lost,’" according to Wayne Friedman.  Looked at as a chunk of nearly round-the-clock programming, ad spots in those shows are rather rare.

Also, "[A]dvertisers got the benefit of higher price, cost-per-thousand viewers (CPM) digital episodes–prices that can be anywhere from one-quarter to one-third higher on network’s respective digital players."

Now, even at ABC, online makegoods aren’t too common, and at other networks, they’re apparently nonexistent.  It’s interesting to see this sort of shift take place, though, and as online video continues to grow more popular, it’s almost impossible to believe the trend won’t continue.