Disney Internet Channel Details

Disney is revealing details of the “My ABC” strategy we reported on last month.

  • This is all “a two-month-long experiment,” according to the press release.
  • Ads won’t be skippable, but users will be able to navigate between “chapters” within programming.
  • AT&T, Cingular, Ford, Procter & Gamble, Toyota, Unilever’s Suave, Universal Pictures and Walt Disney Pictures have signed up as advertisers.
  • ABC’s launch will be April 30.
  • The company is talking with affiliates about how to include them in the broadband distribution game. “Our ultimate goal is to find an effective online model, one in which our affiliates can take part,” stated Alex Wallau, president, Operations and Administration, ABC Television Network.
  • The Disney Channel, ABC Family and Disney’s Soapnet will also offer ad-supported free downloads. [From WSJ report (subscription)]
  • Shows will have 3 breaks lasting a minimum of one minute each, with the same advertiser highlighted throughout. Viewers will have a choice of whether they’d prefer a traditional video commercial or an interactive “game”-like ad.

That last bit, about being able to choose the type of advertising, is probably the most surprising part of the news. It makes complete sense, in that this is a completely new form for audiences and advertisers, and no one yet knows what’ll work best. Generally we feel that interactive ads will work best in an interactive medium, but will that still be the case when viewers are engaged in a “lean back” experience like watching “Lost” or “Desperate Housewives”?

Unanswered is whether the videos will be available for download to video iPods. I’d imagine they’ll be focusing on streaming initially, because it’s more measurable for advertisers, but iPod (and PSP) functionality should be in the works if it’s not already.

As an aside, we published a story about a report in January that found users preferred free ad-supported video to paying a subscription fee.

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