In its two month trial of providing free, advertiser supported broadcasts of popular TV shows on the net, U.S. network ABC has announced that during the trial’s first month (in May), more than 11 million downloads took place. Even better for them, some 87% of viewers were able to remember the advertiser that sponsored the download.
ABC execs seem pretty thrilled at the news and are now confident they will have no problem attracting advertisers for a permanent service expected to launch later this year.
By way of comparison, ABC has been selling around 670,000 episodes each month of the same shows at $1.99 each, through its partnership with Apple’s iTunes. A quick, back-of-the-envelope calculation suggests, that an advertiser would have to pay 12 cents per download, to equal the money that ABC is making from selling its shows on iTunes, a very reasonable amount given the recall rate. You can see why ABC execs are so happy.
The upshot of the matter is that both pay-to-view and advertiser supported Internet television are clearly viable, and in great demand by viewers. Now that the TV execs know this, expect to see much more Internet TV in future. This is great news for consumers.

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