NBC has begun offering streaming ad-supported video of the morning news show Today. They have altered it just a little for the Internet; only the first hour of the three hour program is available online. This is both a content and a marketing issue. The later hours are generally less news-heavy, featuring music and entertainment guests. This is also part of NBC Universal Group’s continued plan to find or create more content that can be carried in an Internet or mobile platform. TV Week tells us more:
The Web project, led by NBC News VP of Digital Media Mark Lukasiewicz, will be supported by advertisements that viewers won’t be able to skip. Translating Today onto the Web requires changes to the show. NBC’s MSNBC partner, Microsoft Corporation, will replace ads seen on the network with Internet spots. The webcast won’t offer local news or weather windows because that kind of customization isn’t yet feasible for a national show, Mr. Lukasiewicz said. The Today webcast builds on other Internet offerings from NBC’s news division, which in 2005 began streaming NBC Nightly News and Meet the Press. “We have gained a huge good will component from our users” with those Web programs, Mr. Lukasiewicz said.
[ADBLOCKHERE]The Today show webcast will be longer and have more material than ABC’s Good Morning America or CBS’s The Early Show, both of which have more of a highlight style offering available. The way the Today show will be offered is pretty good from a marketing standpoint for NBC and for the users. The streams will be available around lunchtime when more people might have a chance to be online in the United States and there will only be four 15-second ads for the entire stream versus about 15 minutes if you would have watched on regular TV.
This is a continuing shift in the power of people to control when and where they watch TV. Now, even if you’re not an early riser, you can tune in.