Networks Seek to Optimize Show Websites

By Andrew Gauthier 

Broadcasting & Cable

In an about-face indicative of uncertain business models and the fight for Internet profits, networks have begun shifting more time and resources toward building uniqueness into their series’ Websites. It’s a move welcomed by advertisers who covet the specialty, targeted buys of ads linked to popular shows, as opposed to more department store-like aggregate video sites. Ironically, the partners of such sites are driving the change.

“The partners in Hulu recognize that they need to have their own destinations, and they probably consider them to be the primary living space for that content,” says Andy Chapman, executive director of The Exchange at MindShare.

While video clips of “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” or “The Tonight Show With Conan O’Brien” might be available on Hulu, the network hope is for diehard fans to click on the shows’ dedicated sites to get the full fan experience. Extras might include interactive features such as games and blogs. Browser-based games, which can be created relatively quickly, keep fans on a site for longer periods. More…