ABC Family is relaunching its Web site in August to include interactive content and social-networking capabilities, the network announced at its upfront Wednesday in New York. ABCFamily.com will separate its content into five areas – Share, Play, Go, Celebrate and Watch.
Share will allow viewers to talk to each other about the network’s shows; Play will feature interactive gaming tied to the network’s series; Go will offer downloadable previews and other content for mobile devices; Celebrate will promote the network’s successful holiday specials through previews, sweepstakes, games, downloadable cards and other content; and Watch will let viewers stream limited ad-supported original content, and possibly feature series created specifically for the site.
The move keeps with Disney-ABC’s aggressive efforts to branch its group’s content onto emerging platforms. It’s not as weighty as the Soapnetic broadband site the group launched for another of its cable channels, Soapnet; Soapnetic exists as an entire broadband site, separate from soapnet.com.
ABC Family has built its ratings largely from acquired series like Smallville and Gilmore Girls, and is still building audiences for originals like Wildfire and Beautiful People, the content it would most likely want to promote with a spinoff broadband site.