Apple to test $1 TV program price alongside launch of iPad

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
A report indicates that Apple plans on offering individual U.S. TV shows for $1 coinciding with the launch of the iPad in April.



Wednesday, the Financial Times reported that Apple may begin selling some US television shows over iTunes for $1. The pricing test will apply to a limited number of shows in the beginning as a way to test whether reducing the cost of programming increases sales.



The price reduction is expected to begin alongside the retail debut of the iPad in April. According to the Financial Times:



"Some television networks agreed to the lower prices after months of negotiations, and having initially resisted Apple?s push. Media executives are under pressure from declining DVD sales and cut-rate rental services such as Redbox, that offer rental DVDs for $1."



"It is not yet clear which or how many of the US free-to-air and pay-television networks have agreed to the lower pricing. Some media executives said they have not been approached with the new prices."



Currently, iTunes charges $1.99 for standard definition TV shows and $2.99 for high definition content. Apple is believed to be focusing on standard definition price reductions due to the iPad's 4:3 aspect ratio and non-HD resolution which lends it to standard definition programming.



In late 2009, reports surfaced of an Apple-led push for $30-a-month TV subscription plans via iTunes, but its plan to reduce single-show prices seems to render this less likely.



The Financial Times reports that Apple has been careful to avoid linking its new TV subscription and pricing concepts to its Apple TV set-top device in an attempt to reduce the perceived threat that TV-over-iTunes could pose to traditional TV services.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 71
    Sounds like a winner. Of course the naysayers will still say $1 is too much...
  • Reply 2 of 71
    first off the HD videos on itunes are 720p, same as the ipad.



    second, i think a drop is an excellent idea. make it $1 for SD and $1.50 for HD (only not that two file thing which just eats up space). also get nets like Showtime to put up the episodes as they air and not when the DVD comes out. toss in some season pass only extras even.



    third, I still think a subscription plan is a good idea if the math can be worked out. use the same files but with an expiration or an 'at a time' limit (you can always download it again).a lot of folks would go for it if the price was right, the availability was quick and there were no ads.
  • Reply 3 of 71
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stevegmu View Post


    Sounds like a winner. Of course the naysayers will still say $1 is too much...



    If Redbox really is really seen as competition as the article speculates, I think the real solution would be to offer episode rentals at half that. And it would still be more money than they can get through several other rental schemes.
  • Reply 4 of 71
    daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member
    [CENTER]Thanks Apple... But No Thanks



    I prefer watching HD TV episodes free of charge on a far larger display.[/CENTER]
  • Reply 5 of 71
    Only Disney-owned (SJ its largest shareholder) ABC will go for this. I don't see NBC in for this at all. But who watches these more than once anyway? Streaming TV shows is the way to go. IMHO.

    Besides you can watch them all now in flash for free.
  • Reply 6 of 71
    Personally I think that $2-$3 is only worth it for really good TV shows. I don't mind too much because I watch less TV and have more time to waste posting comments here. I wonder if $1 TV shows will actually be rentals...
  • Reply 7 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TEKSTUD View Post


    Only Disney-owned (SJ its largest shareholder) ABC will go for this. I don't see NBC in for this at all. But who watches these more than once anyway? Streaming TV shows is the way to go. IMHO.

    Besides you can watch them all now in flash for free.



    You have ads with flash, but there is no way an ad pays anywhere close to $2-$3 per viewer. Sites like Netflix and Redbox are also very unbalanced compared to iTunes. I would think movie studios would want to get off disc based media as fast as possible to avoid these low revenue rentals. You would think the would want to go fully to a streaming or DRM model to regain that revenue. I'm sure they could subsidize a streaming box and still make a ton of additional revenue if they stopped making discs. Although maybe Internet isn't that ambiguous yet. Maybe a subsidized hard drive you bring to a video store? Anyway... DVDs and Blurays are the real threat to movie studios, not digital distribution...



    I would rent more TV shows and movies if they were less expensive. Right now I use Netflix most of the time. They probably rent each DVD a hundred times for each copy they own. That amounts to about 0.02 cents each rental. If they make 0.70 cents per rental on ITunes and pulled people away from Netflix they would make a lot more money.
  • Reply 8 of 71
    daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by TEKSTUD View Post


    Only Disney-owned (SJ its largest shareholder) ABC will go for this. I don't see NBC in for this at all. But who watches these more than once anyway? Streaming TV shows is the way to go. IMHO.



    Besides you can watch them all now in flash for free.



    [CENTER]Yes... Yes you can on (truly modern) devices that have feature hardware/software capable enough to support Adobe Flash.



    Note: inferior technology need not apply.



    [/CENTER]
  • Reply 9 of 71
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stevegmu View Post


    Sounds like a winner. Of course the naysayers will still say $1 is too much...



    I think the $1 TV shows will happen. Unlike other products from Apple, this will be harder to push to consumers so I think they need to find more services to sweeten the pot.





    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    If Redbox really is really seen as competition as the article speculates, I think the real solution would be to offer episode rentals at half that. And it would still be more money than they can get through several other rental schemes.



    For movie rentals, yes, but digital streaming has inherent convenience for consumers and fear for content owners that I don't think we'll see a drop in movie rentals. I don't think we'll see any TV show rentals that are a la carte.



    The quote in the article is odd since it starts off with TV networks and then finishes with RedBox, which I think only rents movies.
  • Reply 10 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    If Redbox really is really seen as competition as the article speculates, I think the real solution would be to offer episode rentals at half that. And it would still be more money than they can get through several other rental schemes.



    How is RedBox competition? Physical DVD rentals v. digital downloads is apples to oranges.
  • Reply 11 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post


    [CENTER]Thanks Apple... But No Thanks



    I prefer watching HD TV episodes free of charge on a far larger display.[/CENTER]



    I know LCD tvs are getting thinner and thinner, but you carry one and a power source around with you?
  • Reply 12 of 71
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stevegmu View Post


    How is RedBox competition? Physical DVD rentals v. digital downloads is apples to oranges.



    They both rent movies. If I have to decide whether to spend $3 from my living room or drive to a RedBox location to see what they have only pay $1, that is competition.



    In the digital rental space, there is other competition for that market segment, but RedBox and iTS are in the same market for movie rentals.
  • Reply 13 of 71
    rhyderhyde Posts: 294member
    Just give me Chuck season 3 and I'll gladly pay the $3/episode. And two files, please (one for ATV and one for the iPhone).
  • Reply 14 of 71
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stevegmu View Post


    How is RedBox competition? Physical DVD rentals v. digital downloads is apples to oranges.



    Yes and no. There is an inherent risk of defining the market too narrowly that you don't see the options people have and the possible choices they can make.



    Besides, I only mentioned it because the article did. I don't know if the author was smoking anything interesting or not.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stevegmu View Post


    I know LCD tvs are getting thinner and thinner, but you carry one and a power source around with you?



    What? Given what you responded to, for OTA (what he meant), just get an EyeTV and it can record and automatically transcode it to an Apple-compatible file, then you can take it with you on any device you want. No network hiccups and all that.



    I doubt a lot of people are itching to download 250MB files directly on an iPad.
  • Reply 15 of 71
    daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stevegmu View Post


    I know LCD tvs are getting thinner and thinner, but you carry one and a power source around with you?



    [CENTER]... or maybe one could just use one of those new-fangled portable computing devices called Laptops that support Adobe FLASH.



    [/CENTER]
  • Reply 16 of 71
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post


    ... or maybe one could just use one of those new-fangled portable computing devices called Laptops.



    That's a great solution for everyone everywhere.
  • Reply 17 of 71
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    Yes and no. There is an inherent risk of defining the market too narrowly that you don't see the options people have and the possible choices they can make.



    Besides, I only mentioned it because the article did. I don't know if the author was smoking anything interesting or not.







    What? Given what you responded to, for OTA (what he meant), just get an EyeTV and it can record and automatically transcode it to an Apple-compatible file, then you can take it with you on any device you want. No network hiccups and all that.



    I doubt a lot of people are itching to download 250MB files directly on an iPad.





    Some people would rather pay a little for convenience...
  • Reply 18 of 71
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by stevegmu View Post


    Some people would rather pay a little for convenience...



    Yes, but some people don't necessarily represent the needs and interests of other people.
  • Reply 19 of 71
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    The only TV Shows I used to purchase on iTunes were things I wanted to watch on the go, or could not get on Hulu.



    I stopped because there is no value in purchasing $2-3+tax TV episodes. Not even close.



    $1 for both SD/HD, but it needs to be widespread, all TV shows, not some half-cocked "test" that won't catch on because no one who is not already purchasing will become aware of it.
  • Reply 20 of 71
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    That's a great solution for everyone everywhere.



    Please stop quoting him, the concerted effort loses when you do.
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