Apple wants to slash TV show prices in half, aggresively drive iPod sales

Ecstasy99 cents per show – There apparently was more to NBC’s decision to pull its shows out of the iTunes Store than we were led to believe. Apple is reportedly pushing the concept of cutting the prices of TV shows to 99¢.[…] Thanks to Ecstasy for providing this nice story on Digg.

What other users say about this:

krahzee: I never got the pricing scheme for TV shows from Itunes. At $1.99 per, you can’t burn them to DVD. So in effect, to catch a 24 show season, you have to pay almost $48 on itunes, then pay $48 for DVDs to keep it. THey want to drive DVD sales thorugh the roof? Give people who buy a whole season of shows on itunes a coupon for that boxed set with thier purchase. Something like $15-$20 off would do. Sure they might not make a ton of money on the itunes downloads by giving a gift certificate, but they’d sell a heck of alot more boxed sets.

MKREdit: Don’t get me wrong I love cheap stuff but I think Apple is backing itself into a corner. Trying to force a price point down these media companies throat is only going to give them a reason to jump ship. The relationship between media companies and Apple is a symbiotic relationship. If apple continues under the notion that the media companies need them and they don’t need the media companies this could end badly for apple

SoxFanNH: Just get a HD Homerun for $160 bucks and record all you want for FREE with HD quality…

fLUx1337: I would pay 50p (~$1) per episode of each show, no more… (in the peak of the season, I watch like 10 shows, so thats £5/$10 per week, £20/$40 a month!!)

I dont know about advertising, but I highly highly highly doubt each person watching (some shows have 5mil+ viewers remember) generates $1US.

Saying that though, us in the UK pay like $4 PER episode anyway, plus we only have the crap shows mainly, so I doubt we will get anywhere near $1 here!

/me sticks with BitTorrent until the major TV show makers stop messing around….

monsterofNone: if i could grab my favorite shows for a buck i’d cancel my direcTV contract. this is a move to compete with satellite ans cable TV providers.

diggmemphis: I think that Apple may be getting itself into trouble. They’re being overly agressive in trying to set and control the distribution price of content that’s not theirs. So what if NBC wants to sell their shows for $5. Guess what happens when no one buys it? It drops back to $1.99 then $0.99 or whatever. Apple is over-reaching and leaving the content creators of music, film and television in a deflationary race to Zero. I mean 10 years from now (when inflation is up 20% from present levels), how much will a new song sell for? If you think they’ll be a $1.19 on iTunes, you’ve lost it. They’ll be $0.79 or .69. Apples going to force the other guys elsewhere.

Skidmark66: apple know what they’re doing, NBC do not . . .

deadbaby: At 99 cents I’d probably just stop pirating entirely if the selection was improved.

goldenratiophi: If this happens, I WILL no longer pay for cable TV for the 2 shows I watch. Anybody with me?

cthellis: I think it would behoove studios to go that route. Why? Because right now digital sales do NOT cannibalize DVD sales, as the digital copies trade a bit of convenience for extra cost, less quality, lack of extras, etc.

But you know what? If they halved the cost (and perhaps gave a “$20/season” straight charge for 22-26 episode blocks, which your typical season is), it STILL won’t be cannibalizing much from DVD… that will simply be the “holy crap, cheap!” charge that people will be willing to pay AS WELL. DVD prices have been continually dropping and are going to continue to do so (as they compete with each other), so it’s better for them to position this kind distribution as the way to make MORE money. Someone unwilling to pay $40+ for digital-only copies when they can pick up the DVD’s for less are much more likely to grab them as impulse buys and convenience factors if it costs them a negligible amount. DVD sets will still be there for all the extras (and the more universal playing) and such, but now the digital downloads become an enhancement. They also still have their “moving to HD” to keep premium prices on content from here on in as well. But along with “premium” should come “value.”

I suppose they don’t want to make it a precedent, as in the future we may get to having digital distribution be the ONLY method used, but even then I see us moving to more of a subscription base anyway, a la cable/satellite TV, with tiered charges and extras. You’d think at the very least they’d push to offer rebates to people who DO buy both, as they’re simply making more than people who buy only one or the other.

Also, people are by and large willing to buy more than twice as many shows at ~$20 each than they are at $40 each. That’s simply the way it goes when you grease the wheels and make them not have to think about how EXPENSIVE something is.

Avian00: I hope this turns out to be true. Am I the only one who thought the $1.99 per episode was pretty absurd? Seriously, it’s a freaking TV show! Unlike a movie, which has a high production value and is (generally) a complete story, TV shows have a much lower production value and almost no replay value, since one episode usually doesn’t come close to completing the story. If it’s a good series that goes on for years, I’m going to watch the episode once and never again. $0.99 is starting to become reasonable in my book, but I think $0.49 is really where I would exclusively buy my shows online and stop watching them on TV (or using bittorrent).

allenm7: Go Apple. Fight the good fight.

kerplunk: Alright, now let’s make song prices 25 cents.

Anevilweasel: Honestly, the only thing that has kept me from purchasing television episodes on itunes is price. why pay the same amount (or more) for a lesser quality digital download that takes up HD space when I can purchase a DVD (or HDDVD) with better quality, extra content and pretty packaging?

With a lower price I’d be wiling to pick up that episode that I missed or my Tivo screwed up on recording (which happens too often). I’ll be honest I’m waiting patiently for a service that will let me rent movies or TV episodes that is cost effective, usuable and at least descent quality. My cable VOD is quirky and limited, Unbox is currently a pain to use and no TV episodes though I love that it downloads directly to my Tivo. iTunes is pricey, not organized as well as I’d like (though better than other solutions), and can be a pain to watch on TV, Xbox Marketplace I like but has a HORRIBLE interface for choosing what you want. Not to mention the prices are on par with iTunes and Unbox which in my mind are a little high for the quality limitations.

Hope for the future.

MichaelE777: We all have our disagreements with President Bush. Immigration, U.S. Attorney firings, Iraq , Darfur , etc., are all hot topics these days. The following “speech” was written recently by an ordinary Maineiac [a resident of the People’s Republic of Maine ]. While satirical in nature, all satire must have a basis in fact to be effective. This is an excellent piece by a person who does not write for a living. It is sent with the author’s permission.

The speech George W. Bush SHOULD give:


Normally, I start these things out by saying “My Fellow Americans.” Not doing it this time. If the polls are any indication, I don’t know who more than half of you are anymore. I do know something terrible has happened, and that you’re really not fellow Americans any longer.

I’ll cut right to the chase here: I quit. Now before anyone gets all in a lather about me quitting to avoid impeachment, or to avoid prosecution or something, let me assure you: There’s been no breaking of laws or impeachable offenses in this office.

The reason I’m quitting is simple. I’m fed up with you people. I’m fed up because you have no understanding of what’s really going on in the world. Or of what’s going on in this once-great nation of ours. And the majority of you are too damned lazy to do your homework and figure it out.

Let’s start local. You’ve been sold a bill of goods by politicians and the news media. Polls show that the majority of you think the economy is in the tank. And that’s despite record numbers of homeowners, including record numbers of MINORITY homeowners. And while we’re mentioning minorities, I’ll point out that minority business ownership is at an all-time high. Our unemployment rate is as low as it ever was during the Clinton administration. I’ve mentioned all those things before, but it doesn’t seem to have sunk in.

Despite the shock to our economy of 9/11, the stock market has rebounded to record levels and more Americans than ever are participating in these markets. Meanwhile, all you can do is whine about gas prices, and most of you are too damn stupid to realize that gas prices are high because there’s Increased demand in other parts of the world, and because a small handful of noisy idiots are more worried about polar bears and beachfront property than your economic security.

We face real threats in the world. Don’t give me this “blood for oil” thing. If I were trading blood for oil, I would’ve already seized Iraq ‘s oil fields and let the rest of the country go to hell. And don’t give me this ‘Bush Lied; People Died’ crap either. If I were the liar you morons take me for, I could’ve easily had chemical weapons planted in Iraq so they could be ‘discovered.’ Instead, I owned up to the fact that the intelligence was faulty.

Let me remind you that the rest of the world thought Saddam had the goods, same as me. Let me also remind you that regime change in Iraq was official US policy before I came into office.
Some guy named ‘Clinton ‘ established that policy. Bet you didn’t know that, did you?

You idiots need to understand that we face a unique enemy. Back during the cold war, there were two major competing political and economic models squaring off. We won that war, but we did so because fundamentally, the Communists wanted to survive, just as we do. We were simply able to outspend and out-tech them.

That’s not the case this time. The soldiers of our new enemy don’t care if they survive. In fact, they want to die. That’d be fine, as long as they weren’t also committed to taking as many of you with them as they can. But they are. They want to kill you, and the bastards are all over the globe. You should be grateful that they haven’t gotten any more of us here in the United States since September 11. But you’re not. That’s because you’ve got no idea how hard a small number of intelligence, military, law enforcement, and homeland security people have worked to make sure of that.
When this whole mess started, I warned you that this would be a long and difficult fight. I’m disappointed how many of you people think a long and difficult fight amounts to a single season of ‘Survivor.’

Instead, you’ve grown impatient. You’re incapable of seeing things through the long lens of history, the way our enemies do. You think that wars should last a few months, a few years, tops.

Making matters worse, you actively support those who help the enemy. Every time you buy the New York Times, every time you send a donation to a cut-and-run Democrat’s political campaign, well, dang it, you might just as well FedEx a grenade launcher to a Jihadist. It amounts to the same thing.

In this day and age, it’s easy enough to find the truth. It’s all over the Internet. It just isn’t on the pages of the New York Times or on NBC News. But even if it were, I doubt you’d be any smarter. Most of you would rather watch American Idol.

I could say more about your expectations that the government will always be there to bail you out, even if you’re too stupid to leave a city that’s below sea level and has a hurricane approaching.

I could say more about your insane belief that government, not your own wallet, is where the money comes from. But I’ve come to the conclusion that were I to do so, it would sail right over your heads.

So I quit. I’m going back to Crawford. I’ve got an energy-efficient house down there (Al Gore could only dream) and the capability to be fully self-sufficient. No one ever heard of Crawford before I got elected, and as soon as I’m done here pretty much no one will ever hear of it again. Maybe I’ll be lucky enough to die of old age before the last pillars of America fall.

Oh, and by the way, Cheney’s quitting too. That means Pelosi is your new President. You asked for it. Watch what she does carefully, because I still have a glimmer of hope that there are just enough of you remaining who are smart enough to turn this thing around in 2008.

So that’s it. God bless what’s left of America. Some of you know what I mean.

The rest of you, kiss off.


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