February 7, 2006

Distribution Experimental Data [8:45 am]

Networks’ iTunes gamble paying off [pdf]

Television networks took a leap into the unknown when they started selling their shows on Apple’s iTunes online store, but even in these early days, it’s starting to look as if that faith in digital downloads was well placed.

[...] Nobody will disclose numbers for these television downloads. It’s easy, however, to keep an eye on the iTunes download chart, which usually shows NBC’s “The Office” as the top full-length program, followed by ABC’s “Lost” and Comedy Central’s “South Park.”

[...] Jason Hirschhorn, chief digital officer at MTV Networks, said the preliminary numbers looked good but that the final numbers weren’t in yet.

“The nets are doing as well as they’ve ever done, and the Web sites are upping traffic,” he said. “We believe this is additive — the best way to watch longform is on your couch.”

Hirschhorn also was working on models for sharing these new potential benefits with the cable affiliates.

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