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ABC revamps online video player

Written by Dave Horvath @ 22 May 2008 13:40 User comments (2)

ABC revamps online video player Fans of ABC.com will be treated to a new broadband player to view full episodes on their site as the company sets to revamp the current player with new features this coming fall.
It seems the company is taking some queues from the successful YouTube model by adding some features such as; full-screen viewing, closed captioning and the ability to embed video links for blogs and social networking sites like MySpace.

"Having come out of the gate with the first player in the space, we're continually looking at how we expand and provide a better experience from our users," said Alexis Rapo, vp digital media at ABC Entertainment.

Launched in 2006, ABC.com became the first full-episode player online. As of April, it is the dominant one with 8.9 million unique users, surpassing any other broadcasters, according to Nielsen Online. ABC.com also leads in minutes spent per user.

The user interface has been redesigned with new navigation and search features that allow users to comb series offerings graphically, alphabetically, by genre or popularity. ABC has also added a feature which allows for content recommendations that suggests programs based on a viewer's choices.

The old viewer on ABC.com previously trapped the video inside a browser window, the new player will allow the image to take up the entire monitor. The viewer also will have the option of choosing from a variety of screen sizes, as well as picking standard or high definition. Users also can send links that can be posted elsewhere online, where they can launch cued to a particular scene mid-episode. Video on ABC.com also will be more easy to sift through, with thumbnail images that offer a glimpse of the story line progression in each episode.

The new player will be tested in a closed beta over the summer before launching ahead of ABC's premiere week in the fall.

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2 user comments

122.5.2008 18:57

Now hopefully I can watch all the episodes of "Ugly Betty" in peace.

223.5.2008 0:20

IMHO this can be one of a few successful models, two of which are my favorite. There's the paid, commercial free type like Netflix, and this one- the free, ad supported type that has room to grow.

As much advertising as these networks sell [I've heard it's in the billions a year], they should be able to offer it for free. I don't mind the "non-invasive" type commercials that kind of pop up, as long as the show doesn't stop for two minutes. If I really do like the show a lot, I WILL pay to see it commercial free.

Also, most of the time I only want to see it once; no need for me to buy DVDs or d/l movies. What would be cool to see is full seasons kept on the site, not just the last few episodes. I'll probably be using this myself.

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