NBC streaming for free: what’s the angle?

The race to put TV on the internet continues with an announcement today from NBC that all of their new prime time shows will stream for free this fall. Each show will have a cast member, creator or producer “host a live blog immediately after the premiere episode,” according to the episode. Does this mean a live chat or several blog posts with comments enabled and responded to? One way or the other, it’s an interesting attempt to turn a streaming broadcast into a public event.

Surveys have shown that people are willing to watch ads in exchange for the ability to time-shift content. Most online consumption of TV happens within 24hrs of showing. Other studies (AOL) have shown that people are willing to pay to eliminate ads or have the freedom to experience video on other devices, e.g., phones. But watch TV with ads and w/o time-shifting online? I don’t get it. Most homes have several TVs and I don’t know how big a draw the cast or directors will be… I’m sure there will be exceptions but I’m skeptical.

Yet other studies have come up with different conclusions (Starcom).

Consumers prefer ad-free content but are willing to download ad-supported content. Although almost 70% of consumers would rather download ad-free content, nearly 1 in 5 would still download ad-supported content, and even more would download sponsored and brand-integrated content. Understandably, consumers expect to pay less for ad-supported material.

Source: Techcrunch

About Simeon Simeonov

I'm an entrepreneur, hacker, angel investor and reformed VC. I am currently Founder & CTO of Swoop, a search advertising platform. Through FastIgnite I invest in and work with a few great startups to get more done with less. Learn more, follow @simeons on Twitter and connect with me on LinkedIn.
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