The iPad has only been out for 11 days now, and yet during those 264 hours, iPad users have managed to watch some 650,000 TV episodes using ABC's free app for the device. Mind you, a good number of those could be only partial viewings, but it all adds up to "several million" ad impressions, according to The Wall Street Journal. Translation: ABC is happy.
There's definitely a benefit to hitting the scene early, as ABC has demonstrated. With some 500,000 iPads out in the wild now, ABC enjoyed 205,000 downloads of its free app. That's over three episodes watched per person, bearing in mind that some watched none at all while others could have watched a dozen.
The takeaway here? There may come a time when you say goodbye to your living room as you know it. Jimmy and Suzy won't want to hang out and watch whatever boring show mom and dad have on when they could just retreat to their rooms and put on something else. It could change the TV-watching landscape.
Also set to change: the power of advertising. The conventional television remains one of the easiest ways to get as many eyes as possible on what you're selling. Hulu, founded by NBC (DVICE's parent company) and a coalition of other content providers, got the ball rolling, but the increased presence of ABC and CBS on devices such as the iPad — with other television providers undoubtedly to follow — means that we could finally be seeing Internet streaming media coupled with a handheld device in a powerful package that cuts out the middle man between a network and its viewers, which would be cable companies.
As for ABC's development on the iPad, The Wall Street Journal has an interesting tidbit about how it came about:
Twelve in-house ABC software engineers built the app in the five weeks after the Jan. 27 announcement of the iPad. Though Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs is Disney's largest shareholder, the network didn't receive a prototype to work with in designing the app. Instead, the engineers relied on a software "emulator" provided by Apple.