ABC Stuffing More Commercials Into Online TV

    May 5, 2008

Feeling safe in the knowledge that I could catch up online, I skipped "Lost" last Thursday night and watched PBS’s "Carrier" instead.  Then, on the ABC website, everything worked fine.  But in the future, watching shows on the ABC site may be a little more annoying thanks to extra commercials.

ABC Video Player
 More Commercials Coming To ABC Full Episode Player

ABC is ready to stick multiple ads (as opposed to just one) into the occasional breaks in its online shows.  More ads will equal more money, assuming users don’t jump ship.  There’s also the matter of conversions, but they’ll presumably be tied to increases or decreases in viewings.

Don’t like the development?  Well, all users will, of course, retain their physical freedom of movement.  I remember getting two glasses of water and a bowl of mint chocolate chip ice cream during "Lost"; the commercials that played while I was downstairs only wasted a little electricity.

Also – and here’s the more meaningful point – ABC seems open to the idea of not adding commercials.  Marketing Vox reports, "ABC said it hopes to learn whether viewers are resistant to multiple spots."  Make yourself heard if you believe this and care.

On the whole, though, it’s probably inevitable that online television will become more like the traditional thing.  If ABC sticks to its push, expect other networks to follow.