ABC to Offer Free Streams of TV Shows Also Sold via iTunes

Discussion in 'MacRumors News Discussion (archive)' started by dbhays, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. macrumors regular

    dbhays

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    #1
    ABC will start to offer LOST and Desperate Housewives for free, being supported by advertisers (not on itunes?) Link

    I wonder if this will start to effect sales on itunes? I know I will download them for free, even if it means a few commercials.


    Update: The service will be launched on a new venture called My ABC. Link
     
  2. macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #2
    At the risk of being incredibly wrong and looking quite the fool - if they are not available on iTunes, I would expect a huge drop in the cashe of iTMS video sales. Most TV shows I watch once and that's good enough. If I can get it for free and on demand, I have no reason to watch it on my TV and I have no reason to pay for it. The only time I think I might want to keep a show I'd save money and buy the entire season. The only type of show that I can think of that would remain ideal for the iTMS format is the Hitchcock Presents format where each show is fully self contained - no character or story overlap.

    That being said, I hope I'm wrong - maybe it will be on iTMS or at the least the Store will remain strong.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    paddy

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    #3
    Isnt Jobs on the Disney board of directors now?? If yes wouldnt this be a major conflict of interest for him?
     
  4. macrumors 68000

    student_trap

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    #4
    it may sound like an obvious question but... will you be able to fast forward through the adds? or will it be like it is on some dvd's where you have to watch all the promotional stuff
     
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    M. Malone

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  6. emw
    macrumors G4

    emw

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  7. macrumors 68000

    student_trap

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    M. Malone

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    #8
    with TV shows, as many have mentioned, you really don't wanna keep it to see it again, so I wouldn't mind commercials as opposed to paying $2, but if Apple offers this video service for TV shows for say $0.70 or less and made the file "self destruct" after viewing by 24 hours, so you can download 10 episodes, keep them for as long as you want, but after you have viewed them, the clock starts ticking, you can rewind and play around with it before the file stops working. I think that would be great.
     
  9. Moderator

    Nermal

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    #9
    It's a good idea, but I'm not holding my breath - they'll probably attach "USA only" and "Windows only" restrictions to it :(

    Edit: Yep, they check your IP address and only let you in if you're in the USA.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

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  11. macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    #11
    ABC to Offer Free Streams of TV Shows Also Sold via iTunes

    [​IMG]

    Disney-ABC announced today in a press release that four TV shows, including three currently sold in the iTunes Music Store, will be made available for viewing at the ABC website the day after their network broadcasts, as part of an experiment during May and June.

    "Commander in Chief", "Desperate Housewives", and "Lost" are already sold through the iTunes Music Store, for $1.99 per episode. The current season of "Alias", which is not sold in the Store, will be available as well.

    Broadcasts will be streamed using Flash 8, in either 500x282 at 400kbs or 700x394 at 700 kbps, both of which use the 16x9 aspect ratio. Users, on Macs or PCs, will be able to pause and select chapters, but not skip the commercials from major advertisers that will make up part of the stream. These commercials will be interactive.

    ABC was the first major television network to distribute their shows via the iTunes Music Store, and will now be offering viewers a choice to watch the original broadcast, purchase shows without commercials from the iTunes Music Store, or (during the two-month experiment) watch the free broadband stream.
     
  12. macrumors 65816

    Electro Funk

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    #12
    My bets on you being forced to watch the commercials but able to FF through the program...:(

    Edit... Whoops didnt see Jericho's post...
     
  13. macrumors 68040

    trainguy77

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    #13
    I like this idea. I hope more companies will do this. That way I can watch the stargate SG-1 episodes I miss the next day!
     
  14. Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    I'm not clear on whether all episodes would remain available once they were shown (during the time of the experiment) or whether only the latest show would be online.

    I could use some catching up on Alias.
     
  15. Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #15
    I hope it hurts iTunes TV video sales.
     
  16. macrumors 68000

    dongmin

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    #16
    I imagine it'll just be the most recent episode, or else there would be no incentive to buy DVDs which are quite lucrative for the studios.

    For someone without a TV, this is not a bad alternative, but it all depends on how it the flash interface works. I want to be able to watch it full screen on my widescreen monitor.
     
  17. macrumors member

    Shaker

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    #17
    Wonder if this is why Apple shares were down today.
     
  18. Moderator

    balamw

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    #18
    I'm confused by one thing, the article claims 4x the resolution of the iTMS videos at just about the same bitrate ~700 kbps. Either I'm missing something, Flash 8 is a better codec than H.264, or these videos will be full of compression artifacts.

    B
     
  19. Administrator

    Doctor Q

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    #19
    Why? Don't you want all three choices?

    I expect that this will cut into the sales a bit, since we're clearing talking about the same audience: show fans who use online technology, but Disney-ABC is clearly happy to take your money directly or be paid by their advertisers. And this gives them one more way to sell ad time and collect viewers' attention.

    I might even like to try their "interactive ads" and see whether they made them at all entertaining. Then the novelty will quickly wear off.

    But Disney-ABC is the studio, so if they can get guaranteed ad money up front, perhaps they won't mind.
     
  20. Moderator emeritus

    EricNau

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    #20
    Music Videos were one thing, but selling TV shows through iTMS just never made sense to me. For $2 an episode, the quality is horrible (unless you watch it on an iPod, which doesn't make sense either).
    Once the novelty wears off, I doubt we'll see iTunes TV video sales take Apple anywhere.

    Plus some theorize this is why Apple isn't creating a true media center Mac with TV recording capabilities, because it would hurt their iTunes video sales. If this is in fact the reason, Apple is stupid because once again they'll end up loosing.
     
  21. macrumors 68000

    MrCrowbar

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    #21
    You can lower the framerate or overall quality to achieve a higher resolution with the same codec and bitrate. Sound can be compressed differently, too. I hope you will be able to watch full screen.

    Interactive commercials sound interesting too. I guess you see a commercial and are enabled to click on a link that redirects you to the product/service homepage.
     
  22. macrumors 68030

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    #22
    This is cool and everything, but it's also a big threat to iTunes video sales. Hmm...
     
  23. macrumors 604

    LimeiBook86

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    #23
    Well this is good, maybe Flash will run a bit better on older machines. My Aunt downloaded an episode of "Lost" and her old G3 iMac DV chugged along making the movie look like a horrible slide show...then again Flash isn't exactly a speed daemon on older Macs anyway but...it's free so there's no gamble involved. :rolleyes:
     
  24. macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

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    #24
    it's convenient. $2 is no money and if you missed a Battle Star Episode, are home with the Flu, annoyed by the job, it's raining and you need to kill some time you just spend the money.
    i like the service, although i won't download more than ~20 shows a year.

    as long as i don't have to work through commercials i prefer paying two bucks. hell i pay a lot more for parking my car.
     
  25. macrumors 6502

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    #25
    I couldnt agree more...being able to ff through commercials on my dvr is about the greatest thing ever...b/c of this, I rarely watch a TV show when it is being broadcast. I will gladly pay the 1.99 to keep from being bombarded by mindless advertising...
     

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