Originally Posted by benice
Totally agree with this. While I like choice and not paying for too much junk TV channel, I too appreciate the element of randomness you can get with always-on TV channels. If every bit of TV and movie we watch becomes a '1-click app to buy' the way iTunes is set up now it takes away the joy of discovering unexpected things and the idea that a night on the couch can still be cheap entertainment sometimes.
That's why I think pay-per-minute solutions work. Subscriptions make it difficult for the content providers to get the revenue they deserve but if a publisher is only paid for the minutes of their shows being watched then it makes it fair.
If a documentary was on iTunes for example, it would start playing just like on TV but you'd be charged 3c per minute. If after 5 minutes, you decided it wasn't for you, you'll only get charged 15c. If you keep watching, you would only be paying as much as the show would be to rent - i.e you pay about 90c for a TV show.
The pay-per-minute rate can drop the more you watch so that by the time you have consumed 10 hours of media, it drops to 1.5c per minute. The first 10 hours would cost you $18. This would perhaps be 5 days of TV.
The subsequent 10 days would cost $18 and the rate can drop further. Hopefully to a point where you could consume as much content as you wanted within $50 per month.
The rate drops may have to be done per network/publisher though as it wouldn't be fair for one publisher to be charged at a higher rate and another at a lower rate. Ideally the system would reduce rates based on repeat business for a given publisher.
In the worst case, the highest pay-per-minute rate of 3c per minute would give you just under 28 hours per month, which is close to 1 hour per day.
The US average is something like 4.5 hours per day or 140 hours per month so that $50 plan falls short but advertisements wouldn't be counted on iTunes unlike a TV, which could be as much as 25% of the viewing time. Also, depending on how many ads were shown, that could affect the rates of some TV shows - in fact, many shows could be broadcast on iTunes for free. This is much more possible with the Netflix, Hulu etc apps for the iOS.
If Apple could even manage to cover 3 hours per day within a $50 per month price bracket (around 1c per minute average), that would have a significant impact on the way people consume media.