Blog Post

Will the Zune Be a Narc?

Yesterday we wrote that the Microsoft Zune was like the football character Rudy, only it turns out that the Zune is actually more like Rudy’s uptight college R.A.. One of the reasons NBC went with Microsoft, according to The New York Times, is because the Redmond giant may put anti-piracy protection on its device.

J.B. Perrette, NBC Universal’s president of digital distribution, told The Times that his company and Microsoft will work to create:

“…filtering technology that allows for playback of legitimately purchased content versus non-legitimately purchased content.”

The technology would be akin to other systems currently being tested by Microsoft and Google that aimed at keeping illegal clips off video sites. Consumers may despise DRM, but content owners love it, and it’s one of the reasons they keep going back to Microsoft (Kontiki’s president Eric Armstrong talked to Liz about the difficulty of finding a Mac DRM solution).

Another interesting tidbit in the article was that Microsoft agreed to the flexible pricing that NBC was after — the ability to charge more for hit shows and less for library titles. NBC is getting different wholesale rates from Microsoft, but Microsoft is absorbing any difference and selling all episodes for $1.99 (the same as iTunes).

4 Responses to “Will the Zune Be a Narc?”

  1. Dusty McCloud

    If I haven’t bought my preferred MP3 player yet, or if mine broke and I wanted to buy a new one…I would never buy a Zune now. Not because I try to fid illegal downloaded music for cheap, but because at one time I did. And now that I am thriving legit, I would never want to part with anything that I came across in the past. This is a calling card to Zune owners, listen to all your music on something else, because you can only listen to part of it on your Zune. And a calling card to all MP3 player seekers, look for something that won’t set limitations on what you already have.

  2. And I’ll say this about Rudy. What if he took that determination and put it into a sport in which he was better suited? But I’m off subject. Not sure I’m crazy about NBC and Zune. I want NBC on my AppleTV again. The network is missing a lot of revenue from backing off iTunes. I would have probably bought every episode of The Office if they were still there. And I just don’t have the motivation to hunt them down on Hulu and Zune. Common NBC. Go broad and site agnostic.