AFN eyes move to online delivery, wants viewer feedback

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The American Forces Network launched a survey on Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, to explore its audience’s interest in getting AFN content over the Internet. (Armando R. Limon/Stars and Stripes)
From Stripes.com
The American Forces Network launched a survey on Monday, Oct. 6, 2014, to explore its audience’s interest in getting AFN content over the Internet. (Armando R. Limon/Stars and Stripes)

AFN eyes move to online delivery, wants viewer feedback

by: Matt Millham | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: October 08, 2014

This is really happening, people.

The American Forces Network on Monday launched a survey to explore its audience’s interest in getting AFN content over the Internet, inching closer to a Netflix-like service for U.S. personnel overseas.

The network confirmed last month that it was exploring online delivery options after its parent organization, the Defense Media Activity, posted a “sources sought” notice on the Federal Business Opportunities website.

In the posting, DMA said it was conducting market research “to locate qualified, experienced and interested potential sources” who could provide television on the internet to its overseas audience.

Now, AFN is trying to get its audience in on the discussion with a 10-question survey that drills down into their online viewing habits and their access to the kind of high-speed networks that a streaming or on-demand television service would require. The survey can be found at myafn.net and takes less than five minutes to complete.

In a press release announcing the survey, AFN indicated the online service would be “in addition to” the satellite-based television service the “military has grown accustomed to receiving.”

Just what the new online service would look like is still developing, but could include on-demand shows from major networks and premium cable, as well as movies and live sports streams. AFN’s public service spots, which replace commercials in its satellite broadcasts, would be woven in with its online content as well.

Coincidentally, Netflix opened shop in Germany and five other European countries in a major expansion just weeks after DMA posted its “sources sought” announcement.

millham.matthew@stripes.com
Twitter: @mattmillham