AOL begins streaming free full episodes of "vintage" or "classic" (some might say euphemisms for old) TV shows here. Like Live 8, this could prove an important moment for online video as broadband consumers get accustomed to watching full-length TV shows (as opposed to clips and shorts) on their PCs.
The viral elements (IM and e-mail) as well as the choice (the ability to watch any available episode) are noteworthy and strikingly different from conventional TV viewing. I must say, however, my limited experience with the site this morning was not entirely satisfying, but perhaps that’s to be expected with a beta launch.
It’s quite easy to see how contextually relevant, behaviorally or location targeted ads can and likely will be built around this, which shows the way for IPTV to some degree. One might argue that AOL is loading up too many distracting graphical ads around the experience already.
What will be important is how the public reacts to the content and uses the site.