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

Another proof that nothing is what it seems:

“Last week, Apple and NBC-Universal’s relationship ended in a messy split. The usual he-said, she-said followed: Apple accused NBC of wanting to double prices on some TV shows; NBC said no, they just wanted to have some flexibility in pricing. There may have been another factor at work, however: Apple’s desire to cut prices drastically on TV shows”, writes ArsTechnica.

Early this week I laughed at NBC for wanting $5 per episode, but Apple’s own plan for $1 per episode is not much better either. I don’t think that an ad-free TV episode should be priced the same as a song. Writing and recording a song can be the work of a single day, of a single person. Finishing up and wrapping up a TV episode is a work of 10 days, that involves up to 100 people.

Sorry, but Apple needs to get more objective here. They obviously want to drive iPod sales simply because they make no real money out of iTunes, but they should not do that by shitting on their own partners. If they really need the money, then they should consider NBC’s idea of upping the price of the shows, maybe at $2.49, and then split the extra revenue between them. A fair increase for the consumer too, IMO.

8 Comments »

Adam S wrote on September 7th, 2007 at 1:53 PM PST:

I would never buy a TV show that was broadcast for FREE for $2.49. Not in a million years. I *might* buy one for 99c.

I think you are not really thinking about a user here Eugenia. I don’t give a crap how many people it took. It was free the first time it was broadcast.

By the same token, most professional music is not just a band, but a producer, a mixer, possible someone else mastering it, an engineer…. probably an attorney, a label rep, and many more. Certainly more than a few guys recording for a day. A song is like that the same way a TV show *could* be recorded in a day with a few guys and a Hi8.

Anyway, the price point of 99cents is a sweet spot that would probably make several more people buy TV shows than do now. At $2.49, I wouldn’t even entertain the idea, and I am most definitely not alone.


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Eugenia wrote on September 7th, 2007 at 2:05 PM PST:

To sell a TV show at just 99c then it will have to have ads. Take your pick: $2.49 and no ads, or 99c but with 5-10 mins of ads. The point is, a TV episode costs more to produce than a song, and that’s a fact.

As for having been broadcasted for free, that’s not true. Nothing is free, except on PBS.


Adam S wrote on September 7th, 2007 at 2:31 PM PST:

I watch it, I pay nothing except my cable bill.

And right now they charge 1.99, so where are you getting this 2.49?


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Eugenia wrote on September 7th, 2007 at 2:33 PM PST:

You pay via having to endure/interrupted by commercials.

As for the $2.49, that’s just my suggestion, did you actually read my blog post?


michael reed wrote on September 7th, 2007 at 3:28 PM PST:

I wonder how much a TV show makes, per viewer, when it is broadcast on normal TV? It must be (total advertising revenue/number of viewers)=money per viewer. I’d be surprised if they make 99c per viewer.


Luis wrote on September 7th, 2007 at 6:15 PM PST:

I’d be surprised if they make 99c per viewer.

In Spain, roughly, a tv show with 5 million viewers, 45 mins of show and 14 of ads. A 20 sec ad would cost maybe €30.000 (maybe a bit more, not sure). 3 ads per minute x 14 minutes = 42 ads. x €30.000/ad = €1.260.000. This is €0.25 per viewer. It could be a bit more, but in any case less than 50 cents per viewer.

So charging 50 cents for an episode that’s already been aired sounds like a great deal for them (even if Apple takes 50%).

Even if I liked TV shows, I don’t think I would pay 1 euro for downloading an episode already shown on TV. Maybe 30-40 cents 🙂


Adam S wrote on September 7th, 2007 at 7:07 PM PST:

You said: Take your pick: $2.49 and no ads, or 99c but with 5-10 mins of ads.

I say: that’s insane. It’s already 1.99 apiece, so 2.49 is not only unrealistic, it’s totally made up. You appear to be advocating for higher prices for TV shows, which is ridiculous. No one will pay 2.49 for a show when the price point has already been established unless they somehow give you more (extras? I don’t know).

I think they will sell MANY more shows at 99 cent each. At 2.49, you’re better of buying a DVD. At 99 cents, they make money without doing or producing ANYTHING.


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Eugenia wrote on September 7th, 2007 at 8:08 PM PST:

What you are saying Adam is price a car the same as a motorcycle (shows vs songs). They don’t have the same production cost and no matter how many you sell them you won’t make up the right money for it.

As for the $2.49 suggestion, it takes into account both Apple’s need to make more money and NBC’s. Is it too expensive for the consumer? Let them buy the DVDs. DVDs are of better quality anyway.


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