Soaps Find Second Life Online
Soap operas like All My Children and One Life to Live were staples of American TV. They had quite an impressive TV run of 40+ years on the air, before ABC cancelled them both in 2011. But thanks to the Internet, both legendary soap operas are making a comeback online.
The soap operas will soon be streamed across the Internet from sources like the Apple iTunes store and Hulu Plus, two sources for Internet video. Interested viewers will have to pay for each episode (if bought through iTunes for $.99 each) or get the content as a part of a subscription (like Hulu Plus). It’s a trend that is in full swing –watching TV from the Internet, which is giving shows like these soaps extended life. All My Children and One Life to Live will come back to life online on April 29th.
They may not be able to make it on traditional TV, but they can still be produced, provided enough people on the Internet choose and pay to watch them. Millions of people are watching TV online these days. According to market research firm comScore, the average person who is online spends just over 22 hours per month watching video from the Internet. While impressive, it pales in comparison to the amount of traditional TV the average person watches per month – 129 hours.
Variety Magazine recently highlighted the return of the two soap operas. “Over a 52-week span, the studio is skedded to shoot 210 episodes for each skein, about 25 minutes apiece, leaving five minutes of ad time in a half-hour block,” reports Variety. The new producers of the online version of the soaps recognize that they need lots of people to watch and regularly. “Make no mistake — we need these shows to succeed,” said Jeff Kwatinetz, producer of the shows in the Variety interview. Otherwise, they may see the same fate they saw with ABC on regular TV. Cancellation, yet again.