Last week, CNET News reported that Anne Sweeney, president of the Disney-ABC Television Group, said that their effort to provide current, popular shows has been a success, saying that “free, ad-supported shows are attracting a younger audience that's more comfortable watching shows on a computer screen than their parents might have been.”
Amazingly, Disney's Sweeny reported that they had seen “37 million downloads, with an average of 1 million visitors a day, and 1.5 billion page views” over a two month period this summer, when they had Disney Channel shows available on DisneyChannel.com.
And these numbers were hit with kids on summer break: imagine what the numbers will be when kids return home from summer vacation to their broadband connections.
From the article, I found that this data point that watching free TV on the web will improve your memory (seems that Disney is relying on earlier data from June) as I noted earlier this summer. That's also when I guessed that ABC would extend the free, commercial-supported viewing through the summer...
“In addition, ABC has experimented with placing episodes of "Lost," "Desperate Housewives," "Alias" and "Commander-in-Chief" on the Internet for free as part of a two-month trial. That garnered 5.6 million downloads during that period, Sweeney said, and 87 percent of the viewers remembered the advertisements they saw (one episode, for instance, was sponsored by Oil of Olay, and all have only one advertiser per episode).”