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ABC pushing broadcast, their own site, vs. iTS purchases

David Chartier

Mac Zone has a post concerning ABC's insertion of 30 seconds of network-pimping ads in the Lost season 3 premiere (iTS link) purchased from the iTS. While the first 8 second spot is just a harmless network ID badge, the second spot (at the end of the vid) advertises watching Lost on a full-fledged TV - you know, the thing you're directly avoiding by buying shows digitally through the iTS? Going even one step further, however, is this advertisement to 'watch more video at' Somehow methinks this doesn't exactly jive with trying to sell videos through the iTS, which, if you remember, only helps Apple make money off all this by selling an iPod or two.

Mac Zone wonders if this is a hint that networks, or at least ABC, prefer broadcast viewers instead of iTS purchases. For right now, due to the relatively small overall market share the iTS has (digital and real world combined), I wouldn't be surprised. Let's face it: even though the iTS has overtaken Tower Records, a brick and mortar store, it still claims a very thin margin of overall music and video sales. The networks are surely making more money right now via their traditional broadcast + advertising revenue model vs. the pay-to-play digital download method. And since we're pretty sure the 3rd parties, not Apple, prepare their own content for the store (meaning: ABC, not Apple, inserted those ads), I think the bigger question is whether networks like ABC are getting cold feet in the kiddie pool during this budding phase of digital distribution and considering any rash decisions, like pulling their content.

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