The entertainment industry is beginning to learn the hard way that viewers are increasingly moving away from traditional television viewing, and thus they are throwing multiple business models out there to see what sticks. The move by NBC seems pretty reasonable, too. There will probably be a lot of people out there who just want to see a show once, on demand and for free, even if that means having to watch a few ads.
The network is not committing to a single platform, however. NBC has struck a deal to sell its shows through Amazon Unbox and is also working with News Corp to launch a new online video service called Hulu. But perhaps the network is hoping that its ad-based model can be more profitable than video sales. The company says it'll begin beta testing the new “NBC Direct” service in October.