Exec VP, digital media, ABC Television Group
Impact: Cheng says a glimpse of ABC’s Internet strategy for 2008 can be seen on the popular social networking site Facebook. There, users who sign up to add the “U.S. Politics” application to their Facebook profile page can keep tabs on the presidential campaign through the prism of ABC News’ political correspondents.
Reporter Sunlen Miller, for instance, posted a short video from a Barack Obama rally that featured musicians from Wilco and Third Eye Blind. Her chatty headline for the video was “Am I working or at a concert? Both!”
“You can bet that we’re looking at how we extend our reach into communities and social networks, but still tie the content to our brand,” Cheng says.
None of this means Cheng is abandoning the main ABC.com site. He says consumers will continue to go there looking for full-length versions of ABC shows that they may have missed on TV. The site, he says, served up about 160 million episodes between September 2006 and November 2007.
POV: A continuing challenge for Cheng and his colleagues is figuring out how to wring revenue from those online episodes. “I don’t think anyone is there yet,” he says. “We’re doing great, but we need to do better, and a lot of that is going to be driven by advertising innovation.”