Streaming ABC

ABC’s decision to let its affiliates embed their new “broadband” player (it’s just a Flash player, folks) in their station’s Website and share in ad revenues is, to be sure, a big deal, but let’s not forget that this is a Media 1.0 play. Online Media Daily reported today that ABC is creating a flat-rate ad model for this and won’t be selling via CPM, something I’ve been saying needs to happen for a long time. If you’re an ABC affiliate, you’ll get to insert local ads in the programming streams, and they won’t have significant numbers to begin with, so flat rates are a smart idea.

We’re on the verge of real convergence, however, and in the end, this is another way to serve programming to a television screen. It’ll be on-demand, which is very 2.0, but until the player can be embedded in anybody’s Website (and that player can play anybody’s vids), it’s still just another channel in the burgeoning box. Ask yourself this question: what will consumers do when there are 5,000 channels? 10,000 channels? 20,000 channels? The big four (not THAT big four), Google, Yahoo, MSN and AOL, are moving to seize that ground. Portals that can aggregate niches is where we want to be.

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