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.
Sources close to the discussions between Apple and the networks told Variety that Apple wants to chop per-show prices in half from $1.99 to 99¢ each—the same price Apple charges for DRMed music. Unsurprisingly, Apple is meeting with a lot of resistance from the studios on the idea.
The iPod maker’s argument is simple: lower the prices on TV shows, and you’ll more than make up the difference in increased volumes. Left unsaid is how Apple believes 99¢ TV shows would help sales of iPods. With video content priced the same as music, Apple could use the cheap episodes to market the iPod as a way to stay on top of one’s favorite shows, and inexpensively at that. Nate could finally catch up on That’s So Raven for less than a price of the DVD.