First the music, now the television content. It appears that NBC Universal, like Vivendi’s Universal Music Group, believes that it might get more control of pricing if they shop around. Direct control of pricing is rumor to be at the core of both moves.
No one really believes that Apple knows what it’s doing where iTunes is concerned. The big five music distributors want to charge more for popular stuff, presumably less for less popular stuff, though I’m not sure I really believe that would ever happen. The music distributers would basically like to reduce Apple to service provider that they control. They’ll dictate pricing, Apple just provides the infrastructure for them to use.
It’s kind of like, “thanks for building the entire music download industry for us and then creating a market for television content as well, we’ll take it from here.” Until Apple, the music industry wanted nothing to do with downloading music. They had just shut Napster down and they were looking to stomp on the next young, whippersnapper, upstart that tried to deviate from their tried and true business model. Once Apple proved that it could be successful, others ventured in. Most prefer to offer a licensing model which is attractive to some. At this point, it is clear that online music delivery is here to stay. Even the dinosaurs running music companies get it. So, now that they get it, they want to milk it for all the cash it is worth. And they don’t believe Apple is doing that properly.
It will be interesting to see how this next chapter plays out. I’m on my way to the Apple Company Store to buy a Mac mini which I plan to attach to my TV. I expect the Mac mini to quickly become the prime delivery system of choice for audio and video entertainment in my house. iTunes will figure large in that. September 5th Apple will be announcing new products. I can’t wait.
[posted with ecto]