Apple seeking iTunes TV show price cut | iLounge News

Apple seeking iTunes TV show price cut

Apple is considering a plan that would cut the retail price of TV shows sold through iTunes to $0.99, half of the current price of $1.99, Variety reports. Citing three people familiar with the proposal, Variety says that Apple has informed networks and studios of its plan, explaining to them that they will end up making more money from digital downloads under the new proposal. Apple believes that with such a price cut, sales will rise dramatically, offsetting the revenue lost from the price cut. According to the report, the possibility of a price cut may have played a major role in the NBC Universal/iTunes contract dispute. Apple has to comment on the report.

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As someone who has bought only one TV show from the iTunes store, I know this price cut would lead me to start buying them more often. I always buy TV shows on DVD (and would continue to do so), and then transfer some favorite episodes myself via Handbrake. For 99 cents, however, I would gladly stop that laborious process and buy a show when I’m on the run. It would be a great move in my opinion.

Posted by bookcase on September 7, 2007 at 10:19 AM (CDT)


.99 is definitely the sweet spot for downloadable television.  I can’t really justify $1.99, but I can easily justify $.99.

With my $12/month TiVo subscription and my $50 cable subscription, I could easily dump my current arrangement and go to a download-only format for all my viewing.

If I were the studios, I would *love* the prospect of profitable programming without having to rely on advertising, cable/satellite companies, and local broadcasters.  But the studios aren’t exactly progressive thinkers…

Posted by Quix on September 7, 2007 at 10:37 AM (CDT)


$.99 makes more sense to me.  Personally, I’ll only watch a show I download once or twice, so I can’t really justify spending more on a TV show than I would on a song that I’ll listen to over and over.

Posted by Bethany on September 7, 2007 at 10:47 AM (CDT)


This pertty much has to be done, especially in the UK market where they’re competing with “free”. No, I don’t mean piracy, pretty much all the major stations have players where you can download recently shown programmes. The BBC iPlayer being the most notable addition.

Posted by Brian on September 7, 2007 at 11:08 AM (CDT)


I have to agree, I would buy more readily at that price

Posted by Joshdude on September 7, 2007 at 11:32 AM (CDT)


Even at $.99, that would deeply dig a bigger hole for those used to all-you-can-TiVo for $62 per month.  (For me it was $40+ tax for basic cable and I have a lifetime subscription on my TiVo, totaling less than $50 - Your Milage May Vary).

Being able to skim commercials (watching the funny or interesting ones, ditching the rest) I record at least three shows a day, usually five.  That’s not including news, sports, or specials.  That’s just prime time.

At a buck a pop, my bill could triple overnight.  A la carte may work for music, but All-you-can-watch is the current model for video.

How do you get people to go a la carte?

I say make everything into very, very cheap downloads or even free podcasts with commercials during the “commercial breaks.”

As long as I can fast forward VCR/TiVo-like, through the ads I don’t like and (believe it or not) rewind to re-watch the ones I do like the only danger comes from ad creep.

For the ad-free: Drop the price to $.33 or $.25 and see people with broadband start dropping cable and satellite as they crunch the numbers.

Put the free ad-supported versions on your web sites, but for God’s sake, let us download them and put them on our iPods, AppleTVs, XBoxes, PSPs, iPhones, and WindowsMedia Devices.

This one-two punch would steal lots of people from Bittorrent, increase sales, and retain ad revenue currently being lost to declining viewership of broadcast.  It won’t stop piracy.  That genie escaped in the 70s.  What it WILL do is create a business model for content creation and distribution that takes advantage of the changes in technology since television came onto the scene seven decades ago.

Free with ads, cheap without, available immediately after it goes off the air. Dropping the price from $1.99 to $.99 is a step in the right direction.

Posted by Tedious on September 7, 2007 at 12:06 PM (CDT)



I’m in the exact opposite position as you.  I have a cable company that I can’t switch away from due to where I live.  This cable company doesn’t support any kind of TiVo integration, so I buy a lot of content (The Office, Weeds, Project Runway) from iTunes.  I would much rather have the TiVo or other type of subscription model.

In my opinion TV is inherently different from music because I have very little desire to re-watch a TV show.  On the other hand I play the shite out of my music collection.

By having to buy TV, I feel like I have to hold onto all these episodes that I have no intention of re-watching.  Meanwhile, they’re swallowing up hard disk space.

Sorry if that’s slightly off-topic.

Posted by alexarch on September 7, 2007 at 1:38 PM (CDT)


Let’s see, $20 per TV show season x 12 shows = $240 per year. So why am I paying $50-70 per month for satellite?  Oh yeah, tons of HD.  C’mon, Apple where’s the HD content?

Posted by Galley on September 7, 2007 at 2:13 PM (CDT)


OR they could just offer them for free with a few 5-10 second sponsor bumpers -  one at the beginning, one in the middle, and one at the end - then I’d watch A LOT more of their shows.


Posted by TechnoGeek on September 8, 2007 at 3:26 PM (CDT)


I’m almost to the point of dropping my cable TV now, the only thing holding me back is the lack of availability on iTunes for some of my favorite shows (Smallville, MythBusters, American Chopper).  If they dropped the price by half I’d buy at least twice as much content, and if they can offer the shows I want that they don’t currently have AND drop the price, I’ll be all iTunes and no cable.

Posted by Cool Cat on September 10, 2007 at 2:32 AM (CDT)


In the UK it’s £1.89 per show. At current exchange rates that’s $3.70. How stupid do Apple think the UK is?

Posted by John Thornley on February 25, 2008 at 7:50 AM (CST)

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