Emily Steel at the Wall Street Journal spoke to some network execs about the prime-time hits they’re now offering online. She reports back we should expect more shows moving online, and more shows produced exclusively for the web. Also on the way are “more interactive components, like blogs and games.”
Why are they doing it at all? You can thank PVRs, in part — the networks wanted a way to keep people from skipping through the ads. And in a web-player, there’s no reason an ad can’t run alongside the player the whole time. According to the article, viewer statistics and revenue are still small, but growing.
Personally, I’m a big fan of the watching TV online, and put up with the ads because it’s more convenient than waiting for a torrent to download. In fact, I was just chatting with an old friend and fellow Heroes fan who pointed out that it probably helped the show in the long run because people new to the series could catch up on the story.
It’s as though the networks have finally figured out that it’s their job to keep us happy, not the other way around!