Thursday, January 19, 2006

No bad idea goes unexplored plans original series on Web and what a series it is: Inc. plans to broadcast on its Web site an original show hosted by Bill Maher and featuring performers and authors touting new releases -- which, not coincidentally, will be for sale at the online retailer.
An infomercial hosted by Butthead. I'm so excited!
The 12-episode Webcast series, which will begin airing June 1, is the first offering in what the Seattle company says is a broader plan to add more original programming to its Web site.

Kathy Savitt,'s vice president of strategic communications, content and initiatives, said the long-term goal is to help become more of a "destination," where offerings such as this help people find artists whose works they might not previously have thought of buying.
A "destination" where you can go to see infomercials. In the old days that was a UHF TV station. Nowadays, I guess it is the minor satellite channels in the off hours. In the future it can be the Internet!
Analyst Steve Weinstein with Pacific Crest Securities said he thinks it's a good idea for to try to strike a deeper connection with its customers to help keep brand loyalty. But he's not sure how many people will start visiting the site just for such content, or how much difference it will make to the company's finances.
I'd say zero, but a few minutes watching the Home Shopping Channel when they are taking phone calls will convince you there are folks with a lot of time on their hands. Of course, they love the sappy live interaction with the hosts and somehow I don't think a recording of Butthead will suffice.
All of the guests on "Amazon Fishbowl With Bill Maher" will be promoting a new release, such as a book, DVD or CD, and Savitt said the shows will include ways for people to immediately buy the products the performers are touting.
Wait, there's more!
After the launch, the free programs will be available for on-demand viewing anytime, although users cannot download them.
I'm heartbroken at that news.