Hey, advertising between videos works!
OK, latest way to waste time: "Brothers and Sisters" on ABC's online site. The show isn't exactly riveting, but I'm still kinda riveted. It's very family-ish, and I tolerate Calista Flockhart, like Rachel Griffiths and some of the other cast, so I'm along for the ride. The show is kinda like a PG-rated, less interesting, more sappy and less controversial version of Six Feet Under.
But what's almost more interesting to me are the advertisements in between. Each episode has a different sponsor: Intel, Toyota, Fidelity etc., and the few spots in between sections of the show (the equivalent of the commercial break) are each 30 seconds long and I thought were more effective than a TV ad might have been. Some of them were straight commercials, but others were creative little games that you couldn't help getting engaged in.
The take-away is they did provide (warning: MBA phrase coming) "more value" to the advertiser, and so could be a viable way to sustain free TV shows online in the future. The trick will be to keep just a few of these ads in one show, keep them just as effective and still have the economics work out as more people start consuming their TV shows online and ad rates on TV drop.