ABC Develops Ad Model For Broadband News Channel
Since the broadband channel originally launched back in March 2003--first as ABC News Live and later as ABC News Now--users have been required to pay either $39.95 for an annual subscription or $4.95 for a month.
ABC is now introducing a "day-pass" model, where consumers may agree to watch an ad in its entirety in exchange for carte blanche access to the site's content for a day. Online magazine Salon.com and The Economist's Web site, Economist.com, are both longtime "day pass" devotees.
AT&T Inc., formed by SBC Communications' purchase of AT&T Corp., is presently occupying News Now's must-see-ad spot with its national "Your world. Delivered," campaign. News Now's broadband footage is also periodically broken up with ads from various sponsors and plugs for ABC programming.
ABC News Now also offers access to a slew of on-demand video footage from its many broadcast properties--"20/20," "Primetime," and "World News Tonight," among others.
While many online publishers have opted for ad-supported models over subscriptions, there are those who still hold promise for fees.
The New York Times Co. made headlines in September of last year when it launched TimesSelect, requiring paid subscriptions of about $50 a year for access to eight op-ed columnists--including its most controversial voices, such as David Brooks, Maureen Dowd, and Frank Rich--plus 14 news columnists.
And late last year, CNN challenged ABC News directly by launching its own paid broadband channel, CNN Pipeline, offering content for lower and more flexible fees. For $24.95 a year, $2.95 a month, or even a dollar a day, Pipeline subscribers get access to four broadband channels of live content, on-demand video news reports, a range of CNN.com and wire stories, plus a search feature.