ABC just completed their 2013-2014 TV Upfront presentation. They did it with their usual dose of self-deprecating humor and lots of jabs at the other networks. Their new season is full of crazy comedies and high-concept fantasy shows such as Once Upon a Time in Wonderland (Is Alice mentally ill), Resurrection (a boy returns from the dead 32 years later.) and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
With shows like these, you know ABC is in for another season of high ratings in the young demographics and lots of social media buzz. Because of that, the network is pushing forward with two concepts that will help advertisers reach that coveted audience.
First is the Watch ABC app. This app allows viewers to watch live ABC shows on their tablets and smartphones. Up until now, you could only use the app to watch rebroadcasts 24 hours after the initial airing. This is nice if you’re playing catch-up, but murder if you’re getting spoiled by your friends on Twitter.
As Jimmy Kimmel puts it, “now you need never miss your favorite ABC shows just because you’re driving, again.”
What this means is that appointment television is back. Instead of using the DVR (with its ability to skip commercials), ABC fans will be able to watch shows as they air from almost anywhere. It truly is the definition of TV Everywhere.
To go along with this, the network has changed their ad strategy to something they call ABC Unified. This is the ability to schedule advertising across all screens from one place. Ad buyers can schedule a commercial for TV, pre-roll ads on mobile and even Hulu, and I’m sure they’ll help you buy placements on ABC’s social media sites, too.
But what’s advertising without metrics? ABC’s President of Sales said that the network will be using the brand new Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings to measure the consumer response not just on TV but on tablets and smartphones.
It’s a breakthrough in how networks determine the popularity of a TV series and maybe it will mean longer runs for shows that are popular online but not so much on TV.
ABC is also breaking a few other old school rules this season. Instead of presenting a traditional slate of fall shows and mid-season replacements. ABC has created a number of limited run shows specifically designed to air during the winter break so they cut down on the number of repeats. They also plan of delivering new, scripted shows 12 months of the year. Face it, the days of the summer rerun season are over.
Now, for all you geeks out there, here’s a look at ABC’s most anticipated new series Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. Enjoy.