ABC Wants You To Watch More Ads Online

May 2nd, 2008 | By | Category: Internet TV

ABC wants to test your limits to see how much advertising you’re willing to sit through to watch Lost, Desperate Housewives & other shows online

According to a Hollywood Reporter article, Disney-ABC Television Group plans to test inserting multiple commercials into ad breaks for primetime series on its broadband player.

“It would be premature for us to say people only want one ad,” said Albert Cheng, executive vp digital media at DATG. “We want to push it a little bit to see how it would go.”

Cheng believes the key to sustaining viewer interest in ads is tailoring them for the Internet. Although most Web ads simply are reformatted 30-second video from on-air, he noted that ABC research indicated dramatically higher results for commercials that encouraged interactivity like casual gaming.

“Those who package 30-second spots into the ad pod do poorly,” Cheng said. If research shows that users don’t want more ads per break, Disney won’t pursue that strategy, he added.

ABC would be wise to test a broader variety of options. The company’s current technology for ad insertion is weak, encouraging online viewers to check their email or switch to other tasks for the duration of the ads. Shorter ads that are much more targeted could go a long way towards minimizing this.

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