Apple Aiming to Sell TV Shows for $1 on iTunes
Apple's iTunes, in conjunction with the iPod, changed the landscape of the entire music industry. Since then the company has tried to do the same with TV shows. While Apple has had limited success, the company is pushing to make another change in the way they provide TV episodes that will mirror what the company did with music.
The Financial Times reports that Apple is encouraging TV networks to drop the price of individual episodes in iTunes to $0.99, cutting the current price in half. This isn't the first time Apple has made this pitch according to separate reports from Variety. However, TV networks have been slow to respond because the music industry saw a huge increase in $1 downloads when it was implemented on iTunes in 2003, but album sales dropped dramatically. It's likely TV networks fear that cheap TV episodes will lead to a drop in season compilation sales.
Apple contends that lowering prices will increase sales so that revenue offsets any losses from decreased season sales. Some people also point out that video episodes shouldn't have a higher purchase price than music simply because there is less replay value. Consumers are much more likely to listen to a song multiple times than they are to rewatch an episode multiple times.
As much as it may hurt TV networks to make the price cut, it could be a good move. There are so many ways to get TV shows now—DVRs, streaming sites like Hulu, Netflix and more—that don't offer the same revenue stream networks have relied on in years past. An increase in individual episode sales, even at a cheaper price, could be the kind of steady income the industry needs.