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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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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.

"A politician stumbles over himself... Then they pick it out. They edit it. He runs the clip, and then he makes a funny face, and the whole audience has a Pavlovian response." -- Joe Scarborough on John Stewart over Jim Cramer

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