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Claire Bennet and the rest of the Heroes gang may be leaving iTunes
NBC Universal says "good-bye" to iTunes

Apple is very protective of its iTunes store and the pricing model used to distribute music and video. That tight grip over pricing has caused NBC Universal to break ties with Apple.

NBC Universal will not renew its contract with Apple to sell TV shows on iTunes. Popular NBC Universal shows made available on iTunes include "Heroes," “30 Rock” and "The Office." In fact, NBC Universal is currently the number one provider of video downloads on iTunes and accounts for 40 percent of video downloads (roughly 1,500 hours or programming).

NBC Universal's two-year contract ends in December, so content will still be available on iTunes until that time. Apple and NBC Universal could still come to an agreement before the end of the contract, but it appears -- for the moment at least -- that neither side is willing to budge on the matter.

NBC Universal feels that it should receive a larger cut of iTunes downloads and have the ability to package content together. Apple on the other hand has stood its ground with regards to pricing and contends that packaging video content would lead to confusion for buyers and decrease demand.

This isn't the first time that Apple has run into pricing issues with one of its content providers. In July, Universal Media Group decided not to renew its iTunes contract over similar pricing concerns.

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If NBC won't, DLing will...
By alifbaa on 8/31/2007 9:46:35 AM , Rating: 3
I don't understand why these media companies won't figure out that their distribution models are changing and they need to get with the times. There is tremendous demand right now for video on demand, particularly over the internet. If the content producers don't provide a means for this to occur legally and without restriction, it will only serve to push otherwise legal, paying customers to pursue "pirated" means of viewing their products.

The fact is, within 45 minutes of starting a DL, I could have any movie I want on my TV without paying a dime. The technology exists, we have it today. People are using it in huge numbers. The market is out there, and it's proven. The only question is will the media companies take advantage of it and get whatever profits they can from it, even if they are smaller than they are used to; or will they continue to wine about "pirates?"

RE: If NBC won't, DLing will...
By xsilver on 8/31/2007 10:44:27 AM , Rating: 2
With 40% of sales I think NBC would be tempted to start their own itunes clone website and sell their content in house. THat way they get 100% of the profits.

If they accept a standard payment system like paypal or google checkout - It will only be a slight hassle on the consumer front.

RE: If NBC won't, DLing will...
By on 8/31/2007 1:53:32 PM , Rating: 2
Except that with their penchant for insisting on heavily DRM'ed content (one of the sticking points in the iTunes negotiation) and raising prices beyond acceptable (hearing $4.99 or more for TV episodes). You'd likely need a specific, even more-limited video player for the 'new' NBC content. Instead of 40% of iTunes video sales, I'd guess that in setting up their own service that they're more likely to sell closer to 100% of nothing.

Instead of catering to the market, Universal still tries to force unwanted crap on the market (DRM, "bundles", high prices). I believe the MS Zune agreement, where Universal actually scores money on each hardware Zune sale, over-inflated their ego and self-importance to the market.

I say let Universal pull their content off iTunes. Let their own service flounder, let their OTA broadcast marketshare continue to shrink. Let them crash and burn. It'll be a great example in future business textbooks of a company cutting off their own arms and legs just to spite their best distributor.

"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke

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