Two Things Apple Didn’t Talk About Today

9 Comments

As we blurbed earlier, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced today that NBC shows will once again be available on iTunes, and HD versions of TV shows will be available for $2.99. Here’s what wasn’t mentioned:

  • What prompted the return of peacock programming? NBC shows aren’t up on iTunes yet, but it doesn’t seem like they’ll be offered at a higher price (flexible pricing was a sticking point for NBC). Seeing a big hole in its offering, Apple might be paying more on the back end.
  • Will there ever be TV show rentals? Paying $2.99 for an HD version of a TV show will add up quickly, and those files will be bigger and suck up more hard drive space. I don’t need to own that episode of Heroes. I’m stickin’ with Netflix for the time being.

UPDATE: During an interview with CNBC, NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker said:

“The fact is we have flexible pricing and the programs will be on there at the 99 cents price point, $1.99 price point, and for HD episodes of the program, that will cost $2.99. So basically we were able to achieve our goal that not all contents should be of the same value. When we achieved that, we were happy to be on iTunes.

But as we, and others have pointed out, this is the same pricing everyone has. Well, everyone but HBO.

Here’s a quick bit of video for the new Nano (pardon the blurriness, Flip camera + low light + crowded product table = slightly fuzzy picture).

Jobs didn’t bring up the Apple TV either, but given the iTunes + iPod focus of today’s event, that’s not surprising.

The HD TV shows do look pretty spectacular running on the demo Mac (I shot some video but am working off an EVDO card at a Starbucks; will upload when I have more bandwidth). And the new Nano is pretty sweet with the elongated screen for video (video of that to come as well). The new models and prices are 8GB for $149 and 16 GB for $199.

Here’s some video of how NBC’s 30 Rock looked through iTunes:

While Apple is working hard to become the entertainment hub for your living room, its actually making a play for the handheld market. Jobs was pushing games heavily during his presentation and combine that with the video and music capabilities, and the iPod Touch (or better yet, the iPhone) becomes a pretty compelling product.

Oh, and here’s a fun fact: Jack Johnson is the biggest selling male artist in iTunes history? Guess it pays to be mellow.

9 Comments

Jonathan

Wait a minute. When NBC said it wanted flexible pricing, they meant different pricing for different formats of the same show? That doesn’t seem to make much sense. What’s the difference for them between a download that gets put on an iPod or the HD version? Seems like the only financial difference there is bandwidth on Apple’s side. All this time I was thinking they meant they wanted to charge different prices for different shows which does actually make sense. Silly me.

Stephen

NBC was Zucker-ed with bull. NBC came back with their tail between their legs!

Lawrence

Two words: Subscription model.

When this comes to light and the price is just right, I’m in. until then, I better remember to DVR that episode.

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