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MacRumors
Sep 1, 2007, 09:02 PM
http://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogo.gif (http://www.macrumors.com)

In a very public disagreement, NBC disputed (http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/apple-pull-nbc-shows-itunes/story.aspx?guid=%7B319BB7B3-734C-41D2-BC03-F1B465968708%7D&dist=MostTopHome) Apple's claims (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/08/31/apple-to-stop-selling-nbc-television-shows/) that NBC demanded that a doubling of the wholesale price for their television shows. According to Cory Shields, executive vice president of communications for NBC Universal:
"We never asked to double the wholesale price for our TV shows. In fact, our negotiations were centered on our request for flexibility in wholesale pricing, including the ability to package shows together in ways that could make our content even more attractive for consumers"

The statement continued to claim that NBC had asked Apple to "take concrete steps" to prevent piracy.

NBC will be colaunching a new online video portal this October called Hulu.com (http://www.hulu.com);

Article Link (http://www.macrumors.com/2007/09/01/nbc-disputes-apples-pricing-claims/)



jericho53
Sep 1, 2007, 09:07 PM
Hulu.com will fail.

flopticalcube
Sep 1, 2007, 09:07 PM
Their argument would carry more merit if they were not also launching a competing service. :rolleyes:

likeavaliant
Sep 1, 2007, 09:07 PM
they want apple to take concrete steps to prevent piracy?

they just opened up the floodgates of nbc pirates.
i for one have uh, never, downloaded anything illegally, now i'm sure i just Might download some NBC shows out of spite.

that'll work better than paying for it anyways.

nostaws
Sep 1, 2007, 09:10 PM
I think pirating videos from itunes is not easy.

Also, I am really not surprised. NBC has been trying to do their online stuff for a while now. you could watch heroes from their web site after it had aired.

I don't think anyone can compete with itunes right now. This doesn't bode well for NBC.

Itunes only competition is the torrent.

zap2
Sep 1, 2007, 09:10 PM
iTunes Video's DRM is great, I've never heard it being hacked.


Screw you NBC!

queshy
Sep 1, 2007, 09:11 PM
lol im sure that HULU will take down iTunes.

jonharris200
Sep 1, 2007, 09:12 PM
The heat goes on. :rolleyes:

bigbossbmb
Sep 1, 2007, 09:12 PM
I'm not sure what exactly NBC can expect in terms of "concrete" steps...

I would not be surprised if this is connected with Universal Music's trouble with the itunes store.

aleksivic
Sep 1, 2007, 09:19 PM
"We never asked to double the wholesale price for our TV shows. In fact, our negotiations were centered on our request for flexibility in wholesale pricing, including the ability to package shows together in ways that could make our content even more attractive for consumers"


LOL - I'm pretty sure Apple would let NBC Universal do $1.99 or less which would be attractive to consumers.... although, technically he is not lying... NBC Universal did not ask to double their wholesale price... $4.99 is not double of $1.99 =)

BKKbill
Sep 1, 2007, 09:19 PM
Two major corporations bickering in public. At least here on macrumors we keep it in the family. :p

Jimmdean
Sep 1, 2007, 09:20 PM
"We didn't want to screw you over like that - we wanted to screw you over this other way..."

EricNau
Sep 1, 2007, 09:25 PM
Will Hulu require a paid subscription, or will it offer free on-demand episodes much like ABC offers on their website?

...I've long thought it silly that ABC offers free, full-length episodes online, while also trying to sell the same content through iTunes. ...The choice seems obvious to me.


And quite honestly, I'm a little happy at this news. I never liked the direction the iTunes Store was heading with their TV and movie sales.

stcroixsailor
Sep 1, 2007, 09:29 PM
'a very public disagreement?'

what happened, a shouting match between Steve and NBC on CNN?

Mistershark
Sep 1, 2007, 09:36 PM
'a very public disagreement?'

what happened, a shouting match between Steve and NBC on CNN?

Primetime meets WWE.

I know I speak for us all when I say this has to stop. Compromise is once again portrayed as a noose.

DaBrain
Sep 1, 2007, 09:39 PM
Another recent news announcement as of 7:23pm today:

NBC refutes Apple's price claims, pledges iTunes shows

By Aidan Malley
Published: 07:20 PM EST
NBC Universal has rejected claims by Apple that it wanted to more than double the price of TV shows on iTunes -- and has also contradicted threats that new NBC shows would disappear from the iPod maker's online store.


In a statement to the press, NBC flatly dismissed Apple's contention that the TV studio's ultimate goal had been to charge $4.99 per show, more than twice as much as today's $1.99 rate. The actual goal has been to institute "flexibility in wholesale pricing" and bundle shows together in more "attractive" ways, said NBC's executive vice president of communications, Cory Shields.

The studio also insisted that all of its existing shows would see new episodes available for sale through iTunes in spite of Apple's declaration mid-Friday that it wouldn't carry updated NBC programming for the fall season. The company did not say how it intended to force Apple to agree to the terms, but appeared to use its existing contract as leverage.

"We want consumers to know that all our returning series, including new episodes, will be available on iTunes through the remainder of the contract, which expires in early December," said Shields. "Our content is also available on NBC.com, Amazon.com, and the soon-to-launch hulu.com."

The statement reiterates NBC's cautious approach to renewing its contract with Apple, leaving a window open for the the two firms to resolve their dispute before the end of the contract. But in a counter to Apple's own allegations, NBC argued that its would-be partner was the unreasonable firm in the dispute, attempting to keep prices at its media store fixed in a way that favors sales of iPods and iPhones above the shows themselves.

"It is clear that Apple’s retail pricing strategy for its iTunes service is designed to drive sales of Apple devices," Shields asserted," at the expense of those who create the content that make these devices worth buying."

The confirmation of variable pricing as a sticking point for NBC reveals the seriousness of the issue for its parent company Vivendi. July saw NBC's sister company Universal Music Group drop its long-term contract for iTunes music, choosing instead to offer music "at will" so long as Apple maintained its flat 99-cent song pricing. Warner Music and other larger labels have also made similar arguments, but aren't known to have abandoned their own contracts.

ajpprc
Sep 1, 2007, 09:40 PM
Better anti-piracy controls aren't about the video apple sells, it's about locking down the ipod and iphone so it doesn't play anything but DRM protected content.

rdrr
Sep 1, 2007, 09:40 PM
hmmm packaging? Like we want you to buy crappy shows with this one? That sounds to me like a record company forcing you to buy an album with one hit song and filler.

stoutboy1
Sep 1, 2007, 09:42 PM
I don't get it. NBC wants to make their shows / packages more attractive for itunes customers yet they are launching there own online store... Makes more sense to me to leave it as is on itunes and if they launch there own store they can price how theyd like. Let the consumer decide if NBC's got the better Idea. Doubt it.:apple:

dashiel
Sep 1, 2007, 09:42 PM
********. plain and simple. piracy of over the air broadcast is as easy as ripping a CD to aac/mp3. it's far more difficult and time consuming for someone to buy an itunes video, strip it of DRM and encode it in a more universal codec (though to be fair h.264 is quickly gaining ground). torrent sites usually have content up considerably faster and of considerably better quality than itunes.

TheAnswer
Sep 1, 2007, 09:42 PM
"including the ability to package shows together in ways that could make our content even more attractive for consumers"

In other words...charging double per episode for a show I want to watch, but throwing in an episode of a crap show in with it with hopes that I'll start to watch it.

jbernie
Sep 1, 2007, 09:43 PM
IF and it is a big IF, NBS was wanting to package multiple shows together so maybe you could buy an episode of the office and get an episode of another show that maybe wasn't getting the exposure for free or for a discount say 50c instead of $2 and Apple was refusing then i would go with Apple is hurting the consumer.

If it is just NBC wanting to make the good shows more expensive and the average shows the normal price, then i would still think they have a right to charge for the content at what ever price the consumer is willing to pay, but with that in mind, it doesn't mean they would be successful.

If they are selling a million episodes at $1.99 and only lose say 250,000 sales when the price goes up to say $4.99 then they aren't going to lose.

Westside guy
Sep 1, 2007, 09:44 PM
We never asked to double the wholesale price for our TV shows. In fact, our negotiations were centered on our request for flexibility in wholesale pricing, including the ability to package shows together in ways that could make our content even more attractive for consumers"

I always love the way they word these sorts of statements - I don't imagine they ever DID explicitly ask to "double the price". They might've asked to raise it from $1.99 to $3.99, but nowhere in that statement is the word "double".

Anyone want to lay odds that hulu.com will be Windows+Internet Explorer only?

jettredmont
Sep 1, 2007, 09:44 PM
Will Hulu require a paid subscription, or will it offer free on-demand episodes much like ABC offers on their website?

...I've long thought it silly that ABC offers free, full-length episodes online, while also trying to sell the same content through iTunes. ...The choice seems obvious to me.


Well, "free" but with forced advertisements (don't they require interaction with the ads?) versus $2 to just watch the damned show seems like an obvious choice to me as well. I tried the ABC online route once, and was thoroughly unimpressed. Of course, my Tivo works well enough to keep me from hitting up iTMS but once in a blue moon anyway, but still: when I have to pull the show as a download, I go to iTMS to avoid the Clockwork Orange marketing tactics.


And quite honestly, I'm a little happy at this news. I never liked the direction the iTunes Store was heading with their TV and movie sales.

$2 is too much as it is, for a television show with no extras. If it was, say, $1, I'd download well more than twice as much as I do now.

thomasfxlt
Sep 1, 2007, 09:51 PM
Another recent news announcement as of 7:23pm today:

NBC refutes Apple's price claims, pledges iTunes shows

By Aidan Malley
Published: 07:20 PM EST
NBC Universal has rejected claims by Apple that it wanted to more than double the price of TV shows on iTunes -- and has also contradicted threats that new NBC shows would disappear from the iPod maker's online store.


In a statement to the press, NBC flatly dismissed Apple's contention that the TV studio's ultimate goal had been to charge $4.99 per show, more than twice as much as today's $1.99 rate. The actual goal has been to institute "flexibility in wholesale pricing" and bundle shows together in more "attractive" ways, said NBC's executive vice president of communications, Cory Shields.

The studio also insisted that all of its existing shows would see new episodes available for sale through iTunes in spite of Apple's declaration mid-Friday that it wouldn't carry updated NBC programming for the fall season. The company did not say how it intended to force Apple to agree to the terms, but appeared to use its existing contract as leverage.

"We want consumers to know that all our returning series, including new episodes, will be available on iTunes through the remainder of the contract, which expires in early December," said Shields. "Our content is also available on NBC.com, Amazon.com, and the soon-to-launch hulu.com."

The statement reiterates NBC's cautious approach to renewing its contract with Apple, leaving a window open for the the two firms to resolve their dispute before the end of the contract. But in a counter to Apple's own allegations, NBC argued that its would-be partner was the unreasonable firm in the dispute, attempting to keep prices at its media store fixed in a way that favors sales of iPods and iPhones above the shows themselves.

"It is clear that Apple’s retail pricing strategy for its iTunes service is designed to drive sales of Apple devices," Shields asserted," at the expense of those who create the content that make these devices worth buying."

The confirmation of variable pricing as a sticking point for NBC reveals the seriousness of the issue for its parent company Vivendi. July saw NBC's sister company Universal Music Group drop its long-term contract for iTunes music, choosing instead to offer music "at will" so long as Apple maintained its flat 99-cent song pricing. Warner Music and other larger labels have also made similar arguments, but aren't known to have abandoned their own contracts.

Steve's not used to getting "Jobbed".

My guess is that if he says "no NBC shows" he means it. NBC will need some kind of injunction to get Apple to keep the content online. Apple will have a legal basis to remove them (in their opinion) and just say "screw you". If this thing get this far, a judge will make the decision. I imagine this will settle somehow before it gets to much more out of hand.

frankly
Sep 1, 2007, 09:57 PM
Will Hulu require a paid subscription, or will it offer free on-demand episodes much like ABC offers on their website?

...I've long thought it silly that ABC offers free, full-length episodes online, while also trying to sell the same content through iTunes. ...The choice seems obvious to me.


And quite honestly, I'm a little happy at this news. I never liked the direction the iTunes Store was heading with their TV and movie sales.

The choice may be obvious while you are sitting in front of a computer connected to the Internet. What happens if you want to watch this streamed episode on your iPod???

It cracks me up how in this world of so many different electronic devices that people think everyone does things the same way they do them.

Frank

Stella
Sep 1, 2007, 10:03 PM
NBC will survive without iTunes.

However, iTunes needs content. Since NBC represented 30% show sales, iTMS is very much at a disadvantage.. especially since they will lose shows such as:
* BSG
* Star Gate Atlantis ( possibly the SG1 movies )
* The Office
* Heroes

All these shows are popular. Individual people may think these suck, but they miss the larger picture.

It sucks then iTMS will lose NBC, but NBC and Apple *BOTH* need to be more flexible.

DTphonehome
Sep 1, 2007, 10:03 PM
...I've long thought it silly that ABC offers free, full-length episodes online, while also trying to sell the same content through iTunes. ...The choice seems obvious to me.


Yeah, but with ABC you have to watch on your computer in a window. Can't put it on your TV or iPod. My wife still hasn't watched the Gray's Anatomy finale becuase she doesn't want to watch it on the computer.

Rocketman
Sep 1, 2007, 10:11 PM
HULU TERMS OF USE

Welcome to Hulu.

Hulu.com (the "Site") is operated by N-F NewSite, LLC (Hulu), and materials on the Site are owned by Hulu and its licensors.

Hulu has created this Site for your personal enjoyment and entertainment. However, you are only authorized to access this Site or to use the materials contained in the Site (regardless of whether your access or use is intended) if you agree to abide by all applicable laws, and to these Terms of Use, which together constitute an Agreement between you and Hulu. Please read these Terms of Use carefully and save them. If you do not agree with them, you should leave this Site immediately. Any questions or comments regarding, or problems with, this Site should be sent to the Site Administrator at help@hulu.com.

I emailed them to see what sign-up does. My email is already in the wild.

Date: Sun, 02 Sep 2007 12:57:35 +1000
From: "Hulu" <beta@hulu.com>
Subject: Confirmation from Hulu
X-Originating-IP: [72.15.222.65]
To: "Rocketman" [munged]
List-Unsubscribe: <http://hulu.confirmsubscription.com/u/l-3l44t/8jy[munged]/>

You have successfully submitted [munged] for inclusion on the Hulu private beta invite list.

We will send an invitation as soon as we are ready for you!

Thank you,

Team Hulu

P.S. To remove [munged] from the Hulu private beta invite list, click http://hulu.confirmsubscription.com/u/l-3l44t/8jy[munged]/.

Rocketman

offwidafairies
Sep 1, 2007, 10:28 PM
awesome. love a good cat fight :p

EricBrian
Sep 1, 2007, 10:31 PM
Forbes wrote an article saying that Apple is contractually obligated to show NBC shows through December.

Mgkwho
Sep 1, 2007, 10:32 PM
Na-na-na-na-na, na.

-=|Mgkwho

EricBrian
Sep 1, 2007, 10:34 PM
Forbes wrote an article saying that Apple is contractually obligated to show NBC shows through December:

a source familiar with the situation says that Apple is contractually obligated to sell episodes of all returning NBC TV shows through early December.

zioxide
Sep 1, 2007, 10:54 PM
"In addition, we asked Apple to take concrete steps to protect content from piracy, since it is estimated that the typical iPod contains a significant amount of illegally downloaded material."

So basically they wanted Apple to lock down the iPod so it would only play DRM'd iTunes videos. And Apple said **** no.

And now instead of adding more legal content to the iTunes store at a reasonable price (nobody is going to spend 5 bucks for a ****ing tv episode) to get people to buy it instead of pirate it, they are instead in their infinite wisdom removing all of the legal content so people have no choice but to pirate it.

That makes sense. No wonder NBC has the lowest ratings. They're ****ing morons.

CommodityFetish
Sep 1, 2007, 11:00 PM
NBC will survive without iTunes.

However, iTunes needs content.

I'm afraid you're right - Apple's edge as a distributor (with their ipod lock-in and user interface) has always been precarious. At the end of the day content providers can easily use other distribution channels. People will go other places to get the shows they want to see...

It will be interesting to see how hulu.com is compatible with the ipod (or not...)

avkills
Sep 2, 2007, 11:11 AM
I think NBC is delusional about just how important their TV shows are. Yes I like Heroes, but I think I'll manage if somehow I do no get to watch a episode. And there is no way in hell I am going to pay more than $1.99 for a TV show...will not happen.

I may just end up getting a EyeTV HD thingie and recording them in HD on my G5. Watch them..., archive to H.264 and delete...rinse, lather... repeat.

-mark

seigel
Sep 2, 2007, 11:20 AM
Well, if hulu decides to allow their stuff in canada, that one-ups itunes in my books.

But that aside...I think services like iTunes are important to aggregate distribution of the content. Right now it feels like one only needs one type of TV to watch the content they want...(with some exceptions). If iTunes fails and each station decides to put their own "store" up, then it will be like you need a "TV" for each provider! Then someone will step in and aggregate them again somehow...they are forgetting the the customer is lazy and wants it to be easy to watch what they need!

The one other thing I need to get off my chest, is why they feel they need to make more money off these episodes at this point? The damn things are already paid for by commercials and cable companies in the traditional distribution model. This providing of episodes on the web for an arbitrary price is just a money grab.

Don't get me wrong, I want to consume my content on demand and through my computer, I just wish they'd allow me to more easily!

Cheers
James.

Snowy_River
Sep 2, 2007, 11:23 AM
From the Forbes article:

Aside from pricing issues, NBC has previously indicated that it wants Apple's help in preventing pirated NBC content from being playable on iPods, which hurts its ability to sell downloads of its programming.

So NBC wants them to prevent pirated NBC content from being playable on iPods? How do they propose that they do that? If I bought a DVD set of an NBC TV show and rip it to be able to play it on my iPod, how can the iPod distinguish that (a legal, not pirated show) from an NBC TV show that I downloaded (an illegal, pirated show)? As I see it, there is little or no way for the iPod to do this. Therefore, the only two options for the iPod are to have it allow everything, or nothing. (In this context, nothing being no non-DRM videos.) Any, oh how the 'nothing' option would p-off consumers. I seriously doubt that Apple would even consider going down that path...

twoodcc
Sep 2, 2007, 11:35 AM
Their argument would carry more merit if they were not also launching a competing service. :rolleyes:

exactly my thoughts! some people (or companies) are just too greedy

usarioclave
Sep 2, 2007, 11:58 AM
NBC Universal tries to renegotiate its iTunes arrangement, while Universal declines to sign a long-term contract with iTunes.

That, combined with the interesting article about Columbia records' new co-ceo, shows that the music industry really is (1) running scared, and (2) lashing out at anyone in the business that's successful.

They're scared because their business is melting away, and they don't know what to do. The old way of doing business isn't working, and there is no new way of doing business.

In the article, the guy wants to believe that subscription services are the future. He says that the same way that a drowning man dreams of water in the desert. But a subscription service won't save the labels. Likewise, the music industry focuses their ire on the only successful player in the industry (iTunes). Instead of thinking about iTunes' success and why it's working, they focus on the simple, media (and competitor) driven talk about vendor-lock in.

That's a red herring - you can't get to market dominance by providing something that people don't want or like. You can break out of iTunes DRM so simply that it's silly - and not very many people bother.

So why does iTunes work? Because it's easy, it's convenient, and it has the content that people want. I's probably a combination of the network effect (content) and the fact that there is very little thinking required.

With Windows DRM-based stores, you never know exactly what you can do with the music. If you have a subscription, can you sync it to a device? Can you listen to it on another machine? If you get an album, do you get all the songs (sometimes not)? How much does it cost?

In a record store (oh, a CD store) you look at the price on the cover and you buy it at that price. That price allows you to do pretty much everything you want with the music. In iTunes, you look at the price, and that price allows you to do a lot of things with the music. In Windows DRM-based stores, there are multiple prices depending on what the label allows you to do. That's confusing.

iTunes does have variable pricing, but the variable pricing is off the base price: higher prices translates to more stuff for the consumer. In the EMI case higher prices = better quality, no DRM. That's easy, simple, and can be easily branded (iTunes plus).

So where does that leave the record companies? It leaves them trying to survive in a market they don't understand, with competitors that are smarter than them, selling a product that nobody wants, and behaving in ways that are irrational. Why would you alienate a supplier that provides you with millions of dollars of business? Why prosecute your customers for doing what radio stations have been doing for years (distributing content for free)*?

Before the rock & roll era, the music business wasn't such a big deal. Maybe it's going back to those days, where music is just background and singles. The same thing is happening to radio and TV - the audiences are leaving. The world is changing, and not in ways that help media creators.

Let's put it this way: how much of the industry revenue was people replacing their vinyl with CDs? How much of iTunes revenue is from people moving their collections to digital? That's not a growing business - that's a replacement business.

What should record companies do? Well, it's not my problem. If they want to pay people to think about it I'm available, but realistically speaking record companies aren't willing to change that much. They aren't businesses the way real businesses are - they have a veneer of artistic sensibility that corrupts the way they work and look at the world.

* Radio actually does pay for music via licensing, but that's invisible to the consumer. Everyone used to tape stuff of the radio, and it was free. That perception carried over to the digital realm. Even now, you can turn on your radio and get free music, at a decent audio quality. When I used to buy tapes, each tape had a payment to the music industry embedded in it - for copyright fees, the assumption being I'm buying tapes to record music off the radio. Can I use those payments and apply them to my digital music?

Thanatoast
Sep 2, 2007, 11:58 AM
It sucks then iTMS will lose NBC, but NBC and Apple *BOTH* need to be more flexible.
I respectfully disagree. Apple has a simple, generally well-liked an mostly fair pricing scheme. Two bucks an episode, period.

NBC wants to "bundle", and to have "flexible" pricing. They want to force me to purchase something I don't want along with something I do want - at a price point that could be anywhere fom one dollar to five on any given day.

I much prefer knowing that when I go on iTunes I'm going to find what I'm looking for and be charged two dollars for it, rather than worrying about how popular a particular show is and how much they're going to bend me over.

Call it a hunch, but I don't think NBC is planning these changes to benefit the consumer...
It will be interesting to see how hulu.com is compatible with the ipod (or not...)It won't be. Apple doesn't license out the Fairplay DRM to anyone, and the iPod won't play any other DRM. I think RealNetworks reverse engineered it to allow their stuff to play, but I don't remember if they got sued.

phytonix
Sep 2, 2007, 12:02 PM
Yes iTunes needs content. But didn't they say that most content on iPods are not purchased through iTunes? So the leave of NBC wouldn't hurt iPod sales. iTunes sales will be hurt a bit.

mambodancer
Sep 2, 2007, 12:02 PM
Will Hulu require a paid subscription, or will it offer free on-demand episodes much like ABC offers on their website?

...I've long thought it silly that ABC offers free, full-length episodes online, while also trying to sell the same content through iTunes. ...The choice seems obvious to me.


And quite honestly, I'm a little happy at this news. I never liked the direction the iTunes Store was heading with their TV and movie sales.

The difference being that the episodes that you can watch for free carry commercials and can't be downloaded. The site itself (in the case of Hereos and others I have visited) are ridden with commercials and ads where the iTunes store is not.

I suspect that the networks want to repackage their content on their sites so that they can use this as a means to sell more advertising. So, we will either have free episodes of shows that you can watch with commercials and can download (or not). Or pay for the shows that will include commercials. Given the byzantine thinking of corporate America, I suspect their thinking is that consumers are paying for shows with commercials in the form of cable TV then consumers will pay to download the shows (with commercials) too. We'll see.

NBC could have "bundled" their shows by offering iTunes cards at a discount from their site. I'm sure that a code could have been generated so that when you buy NBC content, let's say any 2 shows, or say, one episode of Heroes plus a less popular show then you pay only $3.50 or something.

The arguement that copy protection wasn't rigid enough is rather curious since I've not heard of any way yet to circumvent Apple DRM on iTunes. It also seems to foreshadow NBC's direction in this regard. Obviously they want more DRM and not less. That's certainly the way of the future in their philistine thinking.

uNext
Sep 2, 2007, 12:04 PM
People for some reason dont see the big picture and defend apple.

But in reality itunes need nbc...nbc will still continue to have a channel
with content still coming out regardless of a deal with itunes.
Apple is just the middleman and hold really no strength over networks.
How many middlemans are out there right now?
yeah itunes is the biggest but seriously all it takes is for stuff like this to happen and if networks go to other "middleman" boom there goes our beloved itunes store.

Juts like itunes blossomed into what it is today-other services can do teh same by simply being backed by major networks...

Does uncle steve really think he is hurting nbc?
whos really inflicting the pain here?

and regarding pricing i hope people dont really think it will remain as is forever...
Get serious 2 dollars now but we in the golden era just wait and the 2 dollars will be increased with some type of gimmick behind it for the general public to accept it.
Apple is procrastinating the inevitable.

I think apple wants to keep the pricing leveled simply because they want a cut from sales. Like how they did with drm free tracks and started charging 1.29 im pretty sure apple is pocketing more then 10 cents per drm free track sold. Since they proably charge conversion fees. They most likely want to do the same with video...they are selling it at 1.99 now but if they increase teh quality then they get to pocket more money since their claim will be "improved quality on our part".
they will just put a blanket over your eyes and we will learn to accept it. Not nbc or apple is on the end user side it bottoms down to money. And in a business we are all moving dollars.

NintendoFan
Sep 2, 2007, 12:07 PM
Not to sound like a jerk, but I really want someone to explain to me how you can "steal" NBC shows when anyone in the US can get the shows for free with an antenna?

ajpprc
Sep 2, 2007, 12:26 PM
So as others have pointed out i think apple needs content more than NBC needs to sell their shows through iTunes. The question becomes: what happens if other content providers follow suit and pull their content. I think the answer is: apple tv becomes a DVR, with a significantly lower price and easy over the air transfer to your iPod or mac.

!ˇ V ˇ!
Sep 2, 2007, 12:27 PM
Not to sound like a jerk, but I really want someone to explain to me how you can "steal" NBC shows when anyone in the US can get the shows for free with an antenna?

Same can be said for music over the radio. ;)

!ˇ V ˇ!
Sep 2, 2007, 12:31 PM
The difference being that the episodes that you can watch for free carry commercials and can't be downloaded.

You can download any stream from a web page and edit the commercials out and view in any player of choice. The question is do you want to take the extra trouble that are involved with the steps. :)

DRM is flawed as humans write it and other humans take great joy in breaking it. ;)

LethalWolfe
Sep 2, 2007, 12:40 PM
The one other thing I need to get off my chest, is why they feel they need to make more money off these episodes at this point? The damn things are already paid for by commercials and cable companies in the traditional distribution model. This providing of episodes on the web for an arbitrary price is just a money grab.


Production costs are taking a healthy jump up because of things like moving from SD to HD and increased production value while ad revenue has been steadily declining as the proliferation of a wider variety of media has eroded TV ratings.


Lethal

S_S
Sep 2, 2007, 12:44 PM
Before the rock & roll era, the music business wasn't such a big deal. Maybe it's going back to those days, where music is just background and singles. The same thing is happening to radio and TV - the audiences are leaving. The world is changing, and not in ways that help media creators.

Let's put it this way: how much of the industry revenue was people replacing their vinyl with CDs? How much of iTunes revenue is from people moving their collections to digital? That's not a growing business - that's a replacement business.

Amen brother.

Once I buy the White Album on iTunes Plus I'll never have to buy it again ever... The record companies must really freak out about that. Movement to new formats drives so much profit. Digital is kind of the "end all, be all" of formats. I'm realizing that this is why they want the subscription model so badly. So I can pay for the music I own over and over again. Just like the move from record to tape to CD, but infinate. It must be like the Holly Grail to them. They need to go back an consentrate on what they are supposed to do. Find talent, produce it, and entertain people. Maybe, just maybe, they'll actully enrich the culture we live in.

They are also to busy selling disposable music and artists to kids. I know music has always been sold to the youth and needs that market but by now it really has been reduced to the lowest common denomenator. They put so much money behind enormous atomic flashes in the pan. They want you to hate it in a week so they can sell it to you all over again as quickly as possible.

I know this threads is supposed to be about TV shows but many of these ideas are true for video media.

iTunes scares big media giants because it gives the consumer too much control. Consumers made iTunes + iPod popular by choice. Not even the biggest Mac fanboy would have predicted that in 2001. There was no controling it. It just happened becuase someone got it right for once.

So yeah, the big media companies need to adapt, not go away. All they need to do is realize they have the tools they need to fix the problem. They need to focus on making great content that people will choose to watch or buy. That means encouraging creativity and having the confidence to take a risk. Building an empire from mind contol marketing is a tower of babble waiting to crumble.

inkswamp
Sep 2, 2007, 12:57 PM
NBC should change their initials to CYA. :rolleyes:

No doubt, they also wanted more flexibility in the pricing, but I think Apple's main gripe is that this "flexibility" wasn't intended to benefit the customers, but rather bump the prices up on popular programming. We've heard this before, when the music industry wanted to do the same. I don't think Apple's pricing structure is perfect, but I sure like the keep-it-simple approach.

FWIW, I think the increase in price on shows was NOT intended to rake in more cash for NBC, but rather to drive more viewers back to broadcast TV where NBC's real cash cow is--advertising. Just like the music industry, TV broadcasters are going to see some real upheaval in their business model. It looks to me like NBC is having a knee-jerk response. Instead of getting creative about how to profit from iTunes sales, they want to pull the rug out from under it and drive people back to regular TV where they make an obscene amount of cash from ridiculously inflated advertising prices--something they cannot duplicate on iTunes because of a smaller viewer demographic. (Anyone know if this Hulu.com will include ad breaks? I'm betting it does.)

As for their other point, it's almost a non sequitur. NBC says they are concerned about piracy, and yet they take away the single most popular option out there for people who want to pay for legit downloads. What kind of sense does that make? What other options are out there for those people now?

clevin
Sep 2, 2007, 02:00 PM
Apple should stop making deceptive and misleading ads or statements ASAP. it will backfire eventually.

motulist
Sep 2, 2007, 02:06 PM
NBC will survive without iTunes.

However, iTunes needs content.


I'm afraid you're right - Apple's edge as a distributor (with their ipod lock-in and user interface) has always been precarious. At the end of the day content providers can easily use other distribution channels. People will go other places to get the shows they want to see...

It will be interesting to see how hulu.com is compatible with the ipod (or not...)

I totally disagree. People will NOT go to other places to get the shows they want to see.

You forget why the iPod was a success in the first place. It didn't have the most features, it wasn't the most compatible, it wasn't even available to people using the dominant OS (MS Windows) at the beginning. The iPod was a smash hit because It Just Worked. The vast majority of people will NOT be willing to go to 6 different studio's websites to get the various content they want to download, which come in 6 different formats, which are locked with non-Fairplay DRM and thus totally unplayable on their iPod.

And as far as your question about hulu's DRM, the DRM on media from non-iTunes sources literally can not work with the iPod without Apple licensing the iPod's Fairplay DRM to another company, and that's not gonna happen without a long gigantic legal battle.

clevin
Sep 2, 2007, 02:09 PM
I totally disagree. People will NOT go to other places to get the shows they want to see.

You forget why the iPod was a success in the first place.
lol, customers always go for lower price, not "branded store name". don't confuse simply market rules with brand loyalty.

also, keep in mind iPOD is primarily a music player, its success are mostly a music store success, video market is not that simple.

motulist
Sep 2, 2007, 02:15 PM
lol, customers always go for lower price, not "branded store name". don't confuse simply market rules with brand loyalty.

also, keep in mind iPOD is primarily a music player, its success are mostly a music store success, video market is not that simple.

I have no clue how you interpreted what I wrote in the way that you did. I said zero about brand loyalty. I said people use the iPod and iTunes because it is easy to learn and simple to use. I said people will not use the alternatives because it will not work with the device they already use (iPod) and the other companies download services are almost universally less easy and convenient to learn and use.

luminosity
Sep 2, 2007, 02:16 PM
Question: How likely is it that NBC's programming will yanked from iTunes sometime this week? I need to grab some stuff (like BSG), but I'm about to do a reinstall of Tiger, and want to wait until I do that before I download anything.

clevin
Sep 2, 2007, 02:24 PM
I said people will not use the alternatives because it will not work with the device they already use (iPod) and the other companies download services are almost universally less easy and convenient to learn and use.
oh my apology, thats a very valid point, only way to speculate the anwser to your question is
1. understand the market influence of "video" iPOD, how much market share?
2. make sure if NBC will sell their shows in a format that can not be played on an video iPOD.

I don't have answer to any of these questions, do you have any information?
Question: How likely is it that NBC's programming will yanked from iTunes sometime this week? I need to grab some stuff (like BSG), but I'm about to do a reinstall of Tiger, and want to wait until I do that before I download anything.

there is a contract until Dec. of this year.

gusapple
Sep 2, 2007, 02:27 PM
It seems that everything affiliated with the name Universal hates Apple, no matter who owns the company. Strange.....

motulist
Sep 2, 2007, 02:35 PM
oh my apology, thats a very valid point, only way to speculate the anwser to your question is
1. understand the market influence of "video" iPOD, how much market share?

iPods have over 80% of the portable media player market (iirc), and that looks unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.


2. make sure if NBC will sell their shows in a format that can not be played on an video iPOD.

It's basically a certainty that any video download service that NBC offers their shows through will either be DRMed (and thus unplayable on iPods) and/or have regular commercial breaks in the video file.

And even if the video files were offered by the studios without DRM, and without commercials and in a file format compatible with the iPod, the user will still have to search around to find the content they want scattered across all the different studio's different websites and download systems in order to find the content they want, and still then have to manually load the collected video files into iTunes and then load them onto their iPods.

In other words, it ain't gonna happen. The whole reason why the iPod and iTunes is a smash hit is because they make consuming media simple and easy.

clevin
Sep 2, 2007, 02:43 PM
iPods have over 80% of the portable media player market (iirc), and that looks unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.

I guess you deliberately ignore my word of "video" ipod, 80% is total iPod market share(I think its 70%, I would like to see your source of that 80% please), but are you expecting any iPod nano/mini/shuffle users to play any videos?

EDIT: you remind me, we should not narrowing this video store thing on VIDEO iPOD neither, Im sure there are many people out there (maybe even majority) just want to watch shows on their computer.

second point. let me remind you, NBC has enough resource letting people know they can buy videos from "HULU.com", don't worry that part.

DRM, thats a valid question, and we shall see.

I guess you don't have answers for any of the question I listed. I sure can see you have many biased guess tho.

Westside guy
Sep 2, 2007, 02:46 PM
So NBC wants them to prevent pirated NBC content from being playable on iPods? How do they propose that they do that? If I bought a DVD set of an NBC TV show and rip it to be able to play it on my iPod, how can the iPod distinguish that (a legal, not pirated show) from an NBC TV show that I downloaded (an illegal, pirated show)?

Dude, where have you been for the past, say, five years?

You cannot legally rip a DVD to play it on your iPod (I'm not saying it's morally wrong - of course morally it's fine). I have no doubt that, in the context of the current discussion, NBC considers your rip from a legally-purchased DVD to be just as "pirated" as if you grabbed it off Pirate Bay, Kazaa, etc.

This is just another round of the losing battle the old-media dinosaurs insist on continuing to fight - they're still trying to stuff the genie back into the bottle.

synth3tik
Sep 2, 2007, 02:46 PM
I doubt that Apple is just making this crap up.

And if they statment was true why would they also say "We are starting up a new service". I think Hulu will fail.

By wanting to charge twice as much for their shows MBC is promoting piracy.:mad:

lol, customers always go for lower price, not "branded store name". don't confuse simply market rules with brand loyalty.

also, keep in mind iPOD is primarily a music player, its success are mostly a music store success, video market is not that simple.

That is true, but NBC has left me with a bunch of unfinished shows, shows that I was waiting to see new seasons. Since they have done this I will not five them another dime, If it can between iTMS and some other site I would still pick iTunes, although I think NBC has lost me as a consumer totally.

clevin
Sep 2, 2007, 02:50 PM
I doubt that Apple is just making this crap up.
By wanting to charge twice as much for their shows MBC is promoting piracy.:mad:
basically, its whom you want to trust, obviously you selected apple, I don't, since I don't think NBC is that stupid to sell their show for $4.99 when all other networks sell shows at $1.99. GE didn't grow big by being stupid.

want to test who is right? wait for NBCU's hulu.com, see how muh they charge per episode.

Goldenbear
Sep 2, 2007, 02:51 PM
lol, customers always go for lower price, not "branded store name". don't confuse simply market rules with brand loyalty.

also, keep in mind iPOD is primarily a music player, its success are mostly a music store success, video market is not that simple.

So just how did the iPod become so dominant, when there were/are many other players that are cheaper and have more features? :rolleyes:

gusapple
Sep 2, 2007, 02:52 PM
I doubt that Apple is just making this crap up.

And if they statment was true why would they also say "We are starting up a new service". I think Hulu will fail.

By wanting to charge twice as much for their shows MBC is promoting piracy.:mad:



That is true, but NBC has left me with a bunch of unfinished shows, shows that I was waiting to see new seasons. Since they have done this I will not five them another dime, If it can between iTMS and some other site I would still pick iTunes, although I think NBC has lost me as a consumer totally.

I think that both sides probably have credibility to what they are saying. Maybe NBC said that they wanted to have their 30 minute shows sell for $1.99 while their hour longs shows sell for $3.99? Just thinking aloud.

PVguy
Sep 2, 2007, 02:53 PM
"but rather to drive more viewers back to broadcast TV where NBC's real cash cow is--advertising."

The air waves around here went dark Jan 1, 2004. The only station still up was channel 39, run by an evangelical church. We went ahead and got a satellite dish (there is no cable either) but we haven't watched NBC or ABC or CBS or Fox in 3 years. Since they turned off the translator stations, and have not built a new transmitter that can reach us, we can't. So phooey on them, as they obviously do not want us to watch either their content or their advertisers.

Their stuff must be fit for "big city" eyes only. :p

synth3tik
Sep 2, 2007, 02:53 PM
basically, its whom you want to trust, obviously you selected apple, I don't, since I don't think NBC is that stupid to sell their show for $4.99 when all other networks sell shows at $1.99. GE didn't grow big by being stupid.

want to test who is right? wait for NBCU's hulu.com, see how muh they charge per episode.

Remember though that that is their own service and if they charge $1.99 that would give them the same amount they wanted Apple to give. I selected Apple because I KNOW better then to trust networks. I think this whole thing was just an ecuse to roll out hulu, which will suck.

clevin
Sep 2, 2007, 02:55 PM
So just how did the iPod become so dominant, when there were/are many other players that are cheaper and have more features? :rolleyes:

wow. let me think, of course I can argue with your point, but

are you saying
for same movie, lets say "LotR-1.avi" people would rather pay$15 at ITMS, rather than pay $10 at a different store?

There are alot of difference between iPOd and other music player, but there is LITTLE difference between a movie you buy from two stores when they are actually SAME movie.

Remember though that that is their own service and if they charge $1.99 that would give them the same amount they wanted Apple to give.

I understand, but for an end-user customer, should I care? its business, and good for NBC as well as for end-users.

I read too much misleading statements from apple, I felt offended by that, I don't like being fed misleading informations.

spydr
Sep 2, 2007, 02:59 PM
I hope NBC manages to retain their sore loser trophy they get in the primetime TV rankings every year.

Now I rank them at par with the "brainwashers" at FOX.

Good luck with your Hulu on Zune announcement - you will be greeted with a deafening silence.

Jaqen
Sep 2, 2007, 03:00 PM
Who cares? Just go to a torrent site and download your favorite episodes a few hours after it airs. In some cases, you can get it before it airs due to some shows airing in places like Canada a day earlier! And when the season is over, you can just grab the whole season in one go. Buying data from itunes is such a ripoff and always will be until DRM dies. There are far too many issues with paying to buy digital music/movies/tv shows for me to take the dive.

I don't know which side of this quarrel we should be angry at, I like both Apple and NBC. NBC has my favorite shows by far.

motulist
Sep 2, 2007, 03:01 PM
I guess you deliberately ignore my word of "video" ipod, 80% is total iPod market share(I think its 70%, I would like to see your source of that 80% please), but are you expecting any iPod nano/mini/shuffle users to play any videos?

EDIT: you remind me, we should not narrowing this video store thing on VIDEO iPOD neither, Im sure there are many people out there (maybe even majority) just want to watch shows on their computer.

second point. let me remind you, NBC has enough resource letting people know they can buy videos from "HULU.com", don't worry that part.

DRM, thats a valid question, and we shall see.

I guess you don't have answers for any of the question I listed. I sure can see you have many biased guess tho.

No, I didn't deliberately ignore that word, it's just logic dictates that it need not be mentioned. Just think it through, there's no way that the portable video player market isn't a huge majority of iPods.

Second point, I never said anything about people not knowing that hulu existed. Playforsure was around too, and they blitz the media, and no one cared, it was a huge flop. My point is people aren't going to go to serveral DIFFERENT places to track down all the different shows they want to watch that are made by different studios. Itunes store is a success because all the different shows from all the different studios are all found in the place, in iTunes.

Someone else made this great analogy recently. iTunes is like a supermarket, in one store you find foods made by all the different manufactures by GM, Kraft, Mars. If people could only buy kraft foods at a separate kraft store that only sold kraft-manufactured products, no one would go there. They'd shop wherever offered one easy convenient place that offers them a good variety of foods that they want.

And then you personal insult me with an ad hominem attack, but you're totally backwards. None of my arguments are biased guesses, they are all well reasoned speculation about future events. YOU are the one who is arguing without backing up any of your ideas with solid reasoning. Which is why I am (probably) not going to be responding to anything else you have to say in this thread.

synth3tik
Sep 2, 2007, 03:07 PM
[/QUOTE]
I understand, but for an end-user customer, should I care? its business, and good for NBC as well as for end-users.

I read too much misleading statements from apple, I felt offended by that, I don't like being fed misleading informations.[/QUOTE]

This end user will care. The really really nice thing about the iTMS is the lack of ads, you know that this other site will be full of ads, and who said NBC could even pull this off. I don't see them doing it in a way that is constructive for the consumer. If I was the producer of a show (Now that would be cool) and I heard that the network airing my show was to get more money from the costomer (whether through iTMS or hulu) I would expect the money I get to also go up, but I really don't see NBC doing that.

Westside guy
Sep 2, 2007, 03:10 PM
Someone else made this great analogy recently. iTunes is like a supermarket, in one store you find foods made by all the different manufactures by GM, Kraft, Mars. If people could only buy kraft foods at a separate kraft store that only sold kraft-manufactured products, no one would go there. They'd shop wherever offered one easy convenient place that offers them a good variety of foods that they want.

You're ignoring the giant disconnect in the center of these sorts of disputes. While it's true these media companies are like Kraft or Nabisco, they each think they're William Sonoma.

synth3tik
Sep 2, 2007, 03:10 PM
Who cares? Just go to a torrent site and download your favorite episodes a few hours after it airs. In some cases, you can get it before it airs due to some shows airing in places like Canada a day earlier! And when the season is over, you can just grab the whole season in one go. Buying data from itunes is such a ripoff and always will be until DRM dies. There are far too many issues with paying to buy digital music/movies/tv shows for me to take the dive.

I don't know which side of this quarrel we should be angry at, I like both Apple and NBC. NBC has my favorite shows by far.

That was my first thought, but I don't really want to wait until the whole season is complete to get a decemt quality download, and therfor end up giving them money. NBC is only promoting piracy IMO

jabu31
Sep 2, 2007, 03:10 PM
See i just knew that NBC might start their own website to sell their shows for $5 a pop. To hell with them i never watched any of their shows. besides now If i were interested in any show offered on the network i would not buy a episode for $5. Especially when i can simply Tivo it and watch it again for free!:D

To hell with NBC and their capitalist extortion scheme!:mad::mad:

clevin
Sep 2, 2007, 03:11 PM
No, I didn't deliberately ignore that word, it's just logic dictates that it need not be mentioned. Just think it through, there's no way that the portable video player market isn't a huge majority of iPods.
well, I have no argument against pure guess. Just repeat my another point, I GUESS many, if not most, people just want to buy shows for their computer, not potable video players.
[/QUOTE]
Someone else made this great analogy recently. iTunes is like a supermarket, in one store you find foods made by all the different manufactures by GM, Kraft, Mars. If people could only buy kraft foods at a separate kraft store that only sold kraft-manufactured products, no one would go there. They'd shop wherever offered one easy convenient place that offers them a good variety of foods that they want.
lets see. I actually agree ITMS is like walmart, so called one-stop hceap shopping, but here is the fact
HULU is combination of NBCU and NewsCorp, which means NBC, Si-Fi, Fox, etc. Its not exactly a problem that requires users to "check everywhere", rather, it will be like another one-stop-shopping for many people too. after all, NBCU's shows occupy 40% of ITMS' selling, now plus fox.

also, without middle man, A.K.A. Apple, NBCU can lower their price also. Isn't price a shining attraction of walmart other than "all-in-one"?

above are all guessing, we can debating all the reason that favoring each side. eventually, only market can tell.


I don't see them doing it in a way that is constructive for the consumer.
NBC hasn't done nothing yet! do you actually know all their plans? other than what apple told you that NBC "would" do?

leumluath
Sep 2, 2007, 03:12 PM
NBC: [QUOTE=zioxide;4120925]"In addition, we asked Apple to take concrete steps to protect content from piracy, since it is estimated that the typical iPod contains a significant amount of illegally downloaded material."

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer: "The most common format of music on an iPod is stolen."

So, who do you suppose NBC has been talking with?

mdntcallr
Sep 2, 2007, 03:15 PM
Apple is notoriously difficult to work with for content companies, whether Music or in video area. They set a way to do business, but do not allow for any compromise or input from outside companies.

My bet is that NBC wanted actually reasonable terms, but Apple is so damned stubborn that they stonewalled them.

I genuinely believe apple is in the wrong here. It is part of how they do business and they do treat many outside companies as partners.

Sorry, i love macs, apple tv and my iphone, but... to do business work with them, they are acting more poorly than Microsoft.

ictiosapiens
Sep 2, 2007, 03:18 PM
These dumb short sighted studios... Thinking they are holding the pot by the handdle...

Well, if the studios get too funny, all Apple needs to do, is bundle a dvd ripping software embedded with itunes(just as you do with music) and enable itunes to convert divx(etc) to continue to sell ipods... To be honest I don't know why they haven't done this already.

Potus
Sep 2, 2007, 03:21 PM
""It is clear that Apple’s retail pricing strategy for its iTunes service is designed to drive sales of Apple devices," Shields asserted," at the expense of those who create the content that make these devices worth buying."
ya think? Wow, Shields is a genius figuring that out.

LethalWolfe
Sep 2, 2007, 03:42 PM
To be honest I don't know why they haven't done this already.
Because that would most likely get Apple hauled into court for violating the DMCA.


Lethal

MarcelV
Sep 2, 2007, 03:45 PM
My bet is that NBC wanted actually reasonable terms, but Apple is so damned stubborn that they stonewalled them.I am not involved in the deal here, but I am familiar with content providers in the digital arena, and think I know what NBC is referring to. Phrases like 'flexibility in wholesale pricing' and [Apple to] 'take concrete steps to prevent piracy' are key here. The networks increasingly want to push the streaming concept. In that case, they will be able to control what episodes are available and when. So, flexible pricing refers to, by example, 1.99 for rental for 30 days. And 'take concrete steps to prevent piracy' means Apple will need to ensure that it expires on the iPod after 30 days. Doesn't that sound a lot like Play For Sure and the Zune DRM? IMHO, it's no coincidence. Oh, you want not to expire the episode, that will be $4.99.

This battle is not new. In Cable and Satellite, this is the same battle (getting old btw). Who has the power, carrier or content provider? Both play a game, and both play it fairly hard. And at the end, both need eachother. The content provider need their distribution channels, but distribution channels will need content.

No content provider has been successful in the digital arena to be a carrier, too. That has iTunes going for itself.

ictiosapiens
Sep 2, 2007, 03:47 PM
Because that would most likely get Apple hauled into court for violating the DMCA.


Lethal

Pardon my ignorance, but why does the DMCA apply to dvds and not to music cds?

gnasher729
Sep 2, 2007, 04:04 PM
Forbes wrote an article saying that Apple is contractually obligated to show NBC shows through December:

a source familiar with the situation says that Apple is contractually obligated to sell episodes of all returning NBC TV shows through early December.

"A source familiar with the situation" - isn't that the bloke who blabbed out the whole story at a time when it was still considered confidential by both sides?

mashny
Sep 2, 2007, 04:06 PM
hmmm packaging? Like we want you to buy crappy shows with this one? That sounds to me like a record company forcing you to buy an album with one hit song and filler.


I agree 100% with this. For years, the record industry was losing money because people were pirating music in abundance online. Then the industry said someone needed to come up with a viable online music distribution. After other companies failed, Apple launched iTunes, which became a cultural/technological/social phenomenon. Apart from its technical ease, Steve Jobs understood the psychology of pricing (unlike media companies who only understand gouging). He understood that there's a delicate balance between the maximum price a consumer is willing to pay, and piracy. And it's sooooo easy to priate music. Even DRM-"protected" music can easily be pirated by simply doing a line out from your sound card. The astounding success of Job's business model compared to the ever-dwindling influence and sales of the music industry should tell NBC/Universal/GE all it needs to know about how to sell music.

The thing that the record industry can't stand is that they no longer have the draconian control over the artists and the public that they've enjoyed for the last fifty or sixty years.

For a bit more information on why hula.com is going to have a very hard time, check out http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/jobs-nbc-dont-cheat-me/story.aspx?guid=%7BF6263B58-8B79-46B1-9498-3085C5DC88B6%7D

And for a very interesting analysis of the whole Apple vs. Universal battle, check out http://roughlydrafted.com/RD/RDM.Tech.Q3.07/CE1CC43B-A0E6-45EC-ADB1-4F0C5481244D.html

j763
Sep 2, 2007, 04:06 PM
uhhhhh yeeeaaahhhh..... hulu.com is going to be really popular :rolleyes:

buddhistMonkey
Sep 2, 2007, 04:07 PM
I read too much misleading statements from apple, I felt offended by that, I don't like being fed misleading informations.
You've mentioned this a couple of times now. Tell us, Mr. Vista Basic, which "misleading informations" (sic) are offending you, exactly?

On a separate topic, I predict that Hulu will fail. Why? Because NBC is involved. If this episode has shown us anything, it's that NBC doesn't understand its own consumer base. As it is, they're going to have to hobble to the starting line now, having just shot themselves in the foot. I wonder, too, what kind of iPod-incompatible DRM they plan to use — hopefully it will work on a Zune, so that they can tap into the hundreds of Zune owners out there.

gusapple
Sep 2, 2007, 04:11 PM
You've mentioned this a couple of times now. Tell us, Mr. Vista Basic, which "misleading informations" (sic) are offending you, exactly?

Snap! Ouch! Don't get too hostile!

gnasher729
Sep 2, 2007, 04:14 PM
Pardon my ignorance, but why does the DMCA apply to dvds and not to music cds?

It applies to CDs. iTunes doesn't rip or play any CDs with effective copy protection.

Stella
Sep 2, 2007, 04:24 PM
<deleted - post already posted!>

mashny
Sep 2, 2007, 04:38 PM
I'm sure it's been mentioned already, but anyone competing with Apple faces a Catch-22: Since the iPod owns about 70% (give or take) of the player market, any competitor who offers non-iPod compatible content immediately alienates about 70% of its potential audience. But any competitor who offers iPod-compatible content helps boost, or at least maintain, Apple's dominance in the digital media field. The iPod now has the advantage in players that Microsoft has in computers: a huge user base. That, in itself, is an extraordinary "barrier to entry."

There's also a lot to be said for one-stop shopping (how many of you go to shopping malls?). Much as I hate Wal-Mart, that's probably its biggest asset after its low prices. Yes, everyone could pull their content from iTunes, leaving it a weak player in the distribution field, but the average music listener is not going to go to fifty different sites to try to find what he wants. I've bought several songs I hadn't intended on buying, from different companies, on iTunes because of some promotional picture or because, while there, I said to myself, "Oh, I wonder if iTunes has _____." There's a price to be paid for convenience, only now it's the providers who are paying that price, not the consumers. And for most companies, there's nothing more dangerous than a powerful consumer.

Henry Ford famously said, "You can have a Ford in any color as long as it's black." That's the attitude of the record labels/studios today.

LethalWolfe
Sep 2, 2007, 04:44 PM
Pardon my ignorance, but why does the DMCA apply to dvds and not to music cds?

Part of the DMCA's greatness is that it makes it illegal to in any way break, by-pass, circumvent, reverse engineer, etc., any form of copy protection. DVDs have copy protection where as the vast majority of CDs don't.


Lethal

Loge
Sep 2, 2007, 04:54 PM
It applies to CDs. iTunes doesn't rip or play any CDs with effective copy protection.

iTunes has ripped the few CDs I have with copy protection just fine. I guess you could say that they had ineffective copy protection. :p

mashny
Sep 2, 2007, 04:57 PM
Part of the DMCA's greatness is that it makes it illegal to in any way break, by-pass, circumvent, reverse engineer, etc., any form of copy protection. DVDs have copy protection where as the vast majority of CDs don't.


Thing is, that won't stop people from cracking it and distributing that crack for free on the web.

Not only that, but when the CSS protection scheme (used to "protect" DVDs) was cracked by DeCSS, and the film industry went to court to stop its distribution, the California appeals court ruled that DeCSS technology and the website posting DeCSS was protected by the First Amendment.

Three words for DMCA: Mac The Ripper.

spookje
Sep 2, 2007, 04:58 PM
I think NBC just wants to have everything streamed. Only this makes it hard to rewatch a movie later on, and when internet is failing or not available where you are. Like evil firewalls blocking it. Really annoying. I don't like streaming this or more internet dependency.

Also those alternatives they suggest in the article are all Windows only as far as I know. Amazon's is Windows only. Maybe they can convince Microsoft to get the DRM working under MacOSX?

frankly
Sep 2, 2007, 05:06 PM
I'm afraid you're right - Apple's edge as a distributor (with their ipod lock-in and user interface) has always been precarious. At the end of the day content providers can easily use other distribution channels. People will go other places to get the shows they want to see...

It will be interesting to see how hulu.com is compatible with the ipod (or not...)

That may be the case with TV shows but I don't think the same applies to music. The public has made a determination that the iPod is their music player of choice and if they are going to buy music electronically then iTunes is their store of choice.

I don't think that the iPod Video, iPhone, or Apple TV have even begun to reach the same critical mass as the iPod and therefore Apple does not enjoy the same position of power when it comes to negotiating for rights to video. At the same time, I don't think that anyone else has this power either, including the networks. I just don't think that a critical mass of the public has decided to watch their TV in this manner yet, not with the popularity of Tivo and DVD purchases.

Frank

LethalWolfe
Sep 2, 2007, 05:11 PM
Thing is, that won't stop people from cracking it and distributing that crack for free on the web.

Not only that, but when the CSS protection scheme (used to "protect" DVDs) was cracked by DeCSS, and the film industry went to court to stop its distribution, the California appeals court ruled that DeCSS technology and the website posting DeCSS was protected by the First Amendment.

Three words for DMCA: Mac The Ripper.

Did I say the DMCA kept people from ripping DVDs? No, I just said that the reason Apple won't let your rip DVDs like you rip CDs is because of the DMCA. Apple doesn't want to get buried in DMCA lawsuits and lose court rulings like 321 Studios did. The legal precedent was set when a CA court ruled that the DMCA supersedes the publics long protected ability to "space-shift" content from one medium to another.


Lethal

frankly
Sep 2, 2007, 05:31 PM
lets see. I actually agree ITMS is like walmart

also, without middle man, A.K.A. Apple, NBCU can lower their price also. Isn't price a shining attraction of walmart other than "all-in-one"?

First of all please don't ever compare anything Apple does to Walmart. That is just wrong on so many levels. Target maybe, but Walmart, :eek:

Second, at the ITMS a huge majority (upwards of 80%) goes to the content maker, with only a small percentage going to Apple. They make money from the ITMS but not much over what it costs them to run the store. They created the store simply as a way to sell more iPods.

Frank

mashny
Sep 2, 2007, 05:33 PM
Did I say the DMCA kept people from ripping DVDs? No, I just said that the reason Apple won't let your rip DVDs like you rip CDs is because of the DMCA. Apple doesn't want to get buried in DMCA lawsuits and lose court rulings like 321 Studios did. The legal precedent was set when a CA court ruled that the DMCA supersedes the publics long protected ability to "space-shift" content from one medium to another.


I understand that. Of course Apple shouldn't and wouldn't break the protection on DVDs. All I meant was that despite the studios' best efforts, people will continue to pirate movies if there's not a reasonably-price digital alternative, especially if the studios insist on the rental model of distribution. Even if Apple decides to play nice with the studios and offer movies for rental, it still comes out ahead.

frankly
Sep 2, 2007, 05:34 PM
Apple is notoriously difficult to work with for content companies, whether Music or in video area. They set a way to do business, but do not allow for any compromise or input from outside companies.

My bet is that NBC wanted actually reasonable terms, but Apple is so damned stubborn that they stonewalled them.

I genuinely believe apple is in the wrong here. It is part of how they do business and they do treat many outside companies as partners.

Sorry, i love macs, apple tv and my iphone, but... to do business work with them, they are acting more poorly than Microsoft.

Did you ever stop to think for a minute that maybe Apple needs to act t his way with these content providers because before Apple came along with their way of simplifying the process for the end user (one price, one set of ways to use your purchases) they had NO SUCCESS whatsoever. This is exacerbated by the ridiculous failures of other companies that have come along AFTER the ITMS and tried to mix pricing and use policies up. Again, they have failed where Apple has succeeded. Please give them some credit for having thought this through and not just doing it their way because they are jerks.

Frank

teflon
Sep 2, 2007, 05:36 PM
"It is clear that Apple’s retail pricing strategy for its iTunes service is designed to drive sales of Apple devices," Shields asserted," at the expense of those who create the content that make these devices worth buying."

Umm... DUH. Of course iTunes it's use to drive sales of iPods and iPhones, Apple even said it's to complement those devices. At the expense of the content creators? Yeah right. They're making it sound like Apple wants to sell it at $.50 each and make them lose money. A season pass already costs more than a DVD, but costs less to produce- no physical disks, extras, cover arts, cases, transportation of the DVDs etc. They're already gaining more money, but I guess it's never enough.

People for some reason dont see the big picture and defend apple.

But in reality itunes need nbc...nbc will still continue to have a channel
with content still coming out regardless of a deal with itunes.
Apple is just the middleman and hold really no strength over networks.
How many middlemans are out there right now?
yeah itunes is the biggest but seriously all it takes is for stuff like this to happen and if networks go to other "middleman" boom there goes our beloved itunes store.

Juts like itunes blossomed into what it is today-other services can do teh same by simply being backed by major networks...

Does uncle steve really think he is hurting nbc?
whos really inflicting the pain here?

and regarding pricing i hope people dont really think it will remain as is forever...
Get serious 2 dollars now but we in the golden era just wait and the 2 dollars will be increased with some type of gimmick behind it for the general public to accept it.


All the major studios backed services like Yahoo Music, Play For Sure stores and Zune marketplace, they had a lot of choices in music too, but they did not boom so to speak. There is no other middleman that can compete with iTunes right now. I can't think of a single store that comes even close to getting iTunes in terms of market share.
And of course no one expects TV shows to be still $2 in 10 years. It's called inflation. But if it does rise, then all the episodes would rise, there wouldn't be individual episodes that have different prices, or rental services, packaged together shows, etc.

oh my apology, thats a very valid point, only way to speculate the anwser to your question is
1. understand the market influence of "video" iPOD, how much market share?
2. make sure if NBC will sell their shows in a format that can not be played on an video iPOD.

I remember on one keynote SJ said that iPod has 67% while the Zune had 2% of the market when he was addressing concerns about the Zune. Also, it is for sure that NBC's shows won't be compatible with iPods, unless they have commercials on them. There's no way that NBC will release a DRM-free, ad-free show that costs $1.99. Then they're getting a worse deal than they're at iTunes, and they would be seen as even more of a hypocrite as they're obviously not improving the piracy problem by opening up their products.


second point. let me remind you, NBC has enough resource letting people know they can buy videos from "HULU.com", don't worry that part.


And Microsoft had enough resources to let people know they can buy music from Zune Marketplace, didn't make much of a difference did it?

wow. let me think, of course I can argue with your point, but are you saying for same movie, lets say "LotR-1.avi" people would rather pay$15 at ITMS, rather than pay $10 at a different store?

There are alot of difference between iPOd and other music player, but there is LITTLE difference between a movie you buy from two stores when they are actually SAME movie.


Actually, a lot of people would pay more just for the convenience. If cheaper is the way, then why do people buy music or videos from iTunes at all? You can easily download them for free, DRM free. But because it's convenient, safe and legal, people buy it. Many people would not bother to go to another site, sign up, set up an account, just to get a few shows. Maybe some would, but most would just turn into illegal downloading. And who says there wouldn't be a difference between the tv shows? It's very likely the NBC will bundle the shows with adds, or package shows together. If they're doing it the same way they're doing it on Apple there's little reason for them to pull out other than power play.

mashny
Sep 2, 2007, 05:41 PM
First of all please don't ever compare anything Apple does to Walmart. That is just wrong on so many levels. Target maybe, but Walmart, :eek:

Second, at the ITMS a huge majority (upwards of 80%) goes to the content maker, with only a small percentage going to Apple. They make money from the ITMS but not much over what it costs them to run the store. They created the store simply as a way to sell more iPods.

Frank

Yeah, I know, Wal-Mart is the devil. I never shop there (living in New York City, I don't even think there is one here).

Apple's low margin on ITMS is an advantage for the company in that it gives it more leverage when negotiating with content providers: Even if a company pulls out of iTunes, Apple doesn't lose much. Moreover, this is where the Catch-22 I mentioned in my prior post comes into play.

Whatever happens, whoever is "right," it is the consumers who will decide whether Apple or NBC (and other content companies) will prevail. So far, the consumers like Apple. One thing I love about ITMS is that I don't feel like I'm being taken advantage of by some big corporate machine. That's worth a lot to me, and probably to other consumers. Plus, since I love my iPod, I have no interest in buying content that is not compatible with it.

nkawtg72
Sep 2, 2007, 05:53 PM
I'm sure I'm only repeating what many others may have already said, but I haven't read everyone's reply.

I personally have never bought into this paying for TV shows, whether it's off iTunes or anywhere else for the matter. Movies are another thing, they're editted for on-air broadcast, so buying them is really the only decent way of getting a good version of one.

I can't help but think that this is actually the source of the debate between Apple and NBC. NBC doesn't think they're making enough money selling a show I can record for free off-the-air.

Personally I think NBC is shoveling some pretty smelly %$#@%, when they complain about "concrete piracy protection." Who do they think they're fooling here. They're not loosing money because of people like me who record a show off-the-air and are not willing to pay for it. Piracy steals money when someone other than NBC distributes it over the internet illegally. Do you think someone who would do that, would pay for the show in the first place?! I doubt it. They'll record it just like I do, convert it to half a dozen different formats and start dumping it online in places. The "piracy" debate is a smokescreen for not being able to sell the unsellable.

What we have here is NBC trying to make Apple look like the bad guy, for something they(NBC) just needs to learn there is no money in. NBC is wanting to "bundle" shows. In my mind that means HIGHER prices. It doesn't matter how many shows you put in the package, NBC is still going to put more $$$ in their pocket. Do you really think that it costs them one more penny to add a show or multiple shows to a package??!!!! NOOOO. It's just that it gives them an excuse to raise the prices, which I think APPLE is obviously opposed to.

Apple has routinely, in my opinion, represented consumers honestly against the music and broadcast industry. This isn't the first time a "client" has tried to get Apple to raise prices, and Apple has fought them. Apple stands to gain nothing by raising prices. The % breakdowns have shown Apple only takes a very very small cut of the $$$ with the sale of content from ITMS, which goes to cover operating costs. Apple's $$$ interests here are providing a source of content for the millions upon millions of iPod/iPhone and iTunes users out there that have to buy those iPods/iPhones and hopefully Macs from Apple.

I think Apple sees that if NBC raises prices of their content on ITMS and at the same time provides it through other outlets, then it could potentially drive away customers at ITMS.

When Apple says they are fighting NBC because NBC wants to raise prices, I believe Apple. NBC can call it packaging all they want, but at the end of the day they are expecting customers to pay more for the sale of an item than they were previously.

As for me. I've never shared anything I've recorded and then transferred to my Mac and then iPod. So as far as I'm concerned NBC can go take their crap somewhere else and try and sell it. If I want something from TV on my iPod, I'll encode it myself for free, why pay NBC to do it, and pay Apple to download it to me.

chelsel
Sep 2, 2007, 06:28 PM
I'm so glad to see a major company standing up to Apple. This should be good for consumers everywhere.

Cliff.

ErikGrim
Sep 2, 2007, 06:33 PM
lol, customers always go for lower price, not "branded store name". don't confuse simply market rules with brand loyalty.lol, take marketing 101. Price is just one of many factors guiding consumer's purchase decisions and far from the most important one.

The Toon Master
Sep 2, 2007, 06:35 PM
Right..., and i own a Zune and eat Human Brains...

Silly NBC, your BS is not tolerated in these parts

mrkramer
Sep 2, 2007, 06:39 PM
lol, customers always go for lower price, not "branded store name". don't confuse simply market rules with brand loyalty.


If that was true, then Apple would have already discontinued the iPod as everyone would be buying the cheaper MP3 players out there. they also would probably be out of business, as most home users at least would not buy their computers and get the cheap dell/insert other PC maker here's PCs. plus their is a lower pric out there than iTunes, free from the torrent sites and people still buy from iTunes.

mashny
Sep 2, 2007, 06:46 PM
I'm so glad to see a major company standing up to Apple. This should be good for consumers everywhere.

Cliff.

Yep, we all know how fair the record companies have always been to the consumer (and the artist).

I'm sure NBC will put the consumer first in its hulu.com venture. I'm sure that when they "package" their material, it will be so that the consumer gets the best price for their content.

Do you own a Zune by any chance?

clevin
Sep 2, 2007, 06:53 PM
You've mentioned this a couple of times now. Tell us, Mr. Vista Basic, which "misleading informations" (sic) are offending you, exactly?

glad to, Mr. SJ's lawyer:

apple claims windows has 144,000 virus, which is false,

apple give users impression that OSX is not threatened by trojan, worms, virus, spywares and malwares, which is not true

apple claims safari to be best browser for windows, secure from day 1, which is not true, apple claims safari to be 2x faster than IE7, 1.6x faster than firefox, 3x faster than opera, which is not true

apple gives user the impression that they can jump to google map just from browser instantly on their iphone, which is not true

apple gives users the impression that NBC want to sell tv shows for $4.99/episode, which is not true


And Microsoft had enough resources to let people know they can buy music from Zune Marketplace, didn't make much of a difference did it?


indeed, I guess when I said "resource", I was focused on "public broadcasting channels like NBC", after all, TV is the most influential media nowadays. NBC just need to show hulu.com's ads twice/hour.
Actually, a lot of people would pay more just for the convenience. If cheaper is the way, then why do people buy music or videos from iTunes at all?
its a interesting idea, but are you suggesting NBC's hulu.con will be super in-convenience? I guess I have the patience to wait and see rather than making predictions.
lol, take marketing 101. Price is just one of many factors guiding consumer's purchase decisions and far from the most important one.
....yeah, I understand your argument, price isn't the most important factor... but are you suggesting there are indeed many other factors in this case that make much difference?

Joedy
Sep 2, 2007, 07:03 PM
From Roughlydrafted.com, the most eloquently concise rationale for the NBC spat:

No wonder Universal and other labels are freaking out. Like Prince, Jobs is making money distributing and popularizing music at increasingly lower prices, and earning enough money to continue doing it.

At the same time, the labels are increasingly dependent upon Apple, the only company selling any significant amount of their music online, and increasingly, a large proportion of all of the music they represent.

Universal can only demand the right to offer some of its albums exclusively to other retailers first, in the hopes of scalping consumers with high CD prices before ultimately making it available for Apple to sell at volume incentivizing prices in iTunes.


A very well written article, indeed.

-joedy

synth3tik
Sep 2, 2007, 07:06 PM
glad to, Mr. SJ's lawyer:

apple claims windows has 144,000 virus, which is false,

apple give users impression that OSX is not threatened by trojan, worms, virus, spywares and malwares, which is not true

apple claims safari to be best browser for windows, secure from day 1, which is not true, apple claims safari to be 2x faster than IE7, 1.6x faster than firefox, 3x faster than opera, which is not true

apple gives user the impression that they can jump to google map just from browser instantly on their iphone, which is not true

apple gives users the impression that NBC want to sell tv shows for $4.99/episode, which is not true


could you give some references on these. Obviously NBC is disputing the iTunes thing, but besides for NBC saying it's not true what else leads you to this. Is NBC a company that is unable to mislead consumers? Do you have something that says there are not 144,000 viruses under windows, do you have benchmarks to show Safari not being twice the speed of IE? Do you have a chart or something showing that other browsers are safer for windows users? Can you show something were Apple said you could go from safari to the "google map" application instantly? from my understanding just like at home you select an address which is a hyper-link and it brings you to the google maps site. I have done this plenty. Do you have anything besides NBC saying Apple is lying to counter Apples claim.

I mean I could say that Apple mislead me when they said iMovie '08 was new and improved, but really I have nothing but opinion to add to that claim.

I am starting to think that you work Public Relations for NBC

Potus
Sep 2, 2007, 08:03 PM
"The Apple-NBC story in a nutshell is that NBC Universal executives did a bad impersonation of Marlon Brando and made Jobs an offer that he couldn't accept."
http://tinyurl.com/2u6pey

frankly
Sep 2, 2007, 08:36 PM
"The Apple-NBC story in a nutshell is that NBC Universal executives did a bad impersonation of Marlon Brando and made Jobs an offer that he couldn't accept."
http://tinyurl.com/2u6pey

Sorry but that was a lame article. I especially love how the guy keeps going back and forth between calling iTunes an Internet distribution channel (correct) and a seller of Web-based video (incorrect). I'm also not sure how allowing users to watch Desperate Housewives is a collateral benefit of the Apple-NBC relationship since ABC programming was available long before NBC programming. It's just hard to know whether or not there are any valid points in his article when he gets so many things wrong.

Frank

wnurse
Sep 2, 2007, 08:45 PM
hmmm packaging? Like we want you to buy crappy shows with this one? That sounds to me like a record company forcing you to buy an album with one hit song and filler.

If you don't want to buy their crappy shows, why are you upset they may want to charge you more than 1.99?. I mean, if you feel this way, then if itunes offered it for free, you wouldn't get it right?.

You are hilarious!!!.. why do fans of apple get upset when other companies does not see the world the way apple does?. What is the emotional connection?. I'm really puzzled. You think Steve Jobs feelings is as hurt as yours?.. please, this is a business decision.. next!!.

wnurse
Sep 2, 2007, 08:50 PM
I don't get it. NBC wants to make their shows / packages more attractive for itunes customers yet they are launching there own online store... Makes more sense to me to leave it as is on itunes and if they launch there own store they can price how theyd like. Let the consumer decide if NBC's got the better Idea. Doubt it.:apple:

Imagine if apple let people sell the ipod for whatever price they want (btw, they don't.. they tell retailers how to price the ipod).. you know why?.. cause wal-mart would bankrupt them in a minute. Wal-mart could give away the entire revenue of apple and not feel it. They could offer ipods for 0 and not care. You say, well, apple makes money anyway.. yes, but not as much. They don't sell the ipods to wal-mart for retail.. they sell at wholesale.. which means, they could never get retail for an ipod on their website.. they would not only have to sell wal-mart the ipod at wholesale but sell it on apple.com to the consumer at a price close to wholesale too!!!.. they'd make a profit, just not as much...

I like when people suddenly bring the market into question when it's itunes vs some other service but don't see the contradiction in apple controlling ipod prices.. NBC would want to control the pricing of their video for the same reason apple wants to control the pricing of their ipods. You don't seem to mind apple control but you object to nbc control of their assets?. Why?.
It's their asset, not Apple. Apple does not own NBC shows. Why should they get to dictate how it is sold?.

wnurse
Sep 2, 2007, 09:00 PM
Actually they claimed it was safer, which by comparison was true. Of course, it was new too. Again, you are free to dispute their speed claims, but only if you provide real-world benchmarks others can back up. Otherwise, you are making stuff up to feed your point, which is pretty weak already.
=)


Actually, johnJR, not to nitpick but apple did claim safari was BETTER, not safer. Safer is your interpretation but apple actually did say that safari is the best browser on windows, which, even the most ardent apple fans knows to be patently false. Safari is not even the best browser on macOSX. Most serious web users do not use safari.. it is not the best at anything. As to safer?. On windows?. How?. As to safer on macosx... internet explorer is safer on mac osX than on windows.. I'm sure when steve jobs was boasting about safari, it was not about safe.. He claimed it was faster, better, etc. I love apple computers (i only use windows if i have to) but i wouldn't be caught dead using safari or internet explorer (so it's not like i prefer internet explorer). I'd rather use firefox or opera or something else.. apple created safari and then left it to die. It has not had an important update in the mac world for a very long time.

Analog Kid
Sep 2, 2007, 09:03 PM
I posted this in the last thread about NBC, but I'll link it here too. It's the best explanation of the economics I could find and it predates the current hubub:
Why a download costs $1.99 and why the networks want more (http://www.engadget.com/2005/10/27/the-clicker-television-physics-and-the-1-99-price-point/)

Better anti-piracy controls aren't about the video apple sells, it's about locking down the ipod and iphone so it doesn't play anything but DRM protected content.
Bingo. Microsoft whispered in their ear that they got away with charging computer manufacturers for shipping machines without an OS installed because it was "obvious" they were intended to use pirated versions of Windows. "Obviously" the only reason people would buy an iPod it to listen to pirated music.
Steve's not used to getting "Jobbed".

My guess is that if he says "no NBC shows" he means it. NBC will need some kind of injunction to get Apple to keep the content online. Apple will have a legal basis to remove them (in their opinion) and just say "screw you". If this thing get this far, a judge will make the decision. I imagine this will settle somehow before it gets to much more out of hand.
When have you seen a lawsuit resolved in less than 4 months? It'll cost Apple to play this kind of brinksmanship, but I think they feel it's worth it to both strong-arm NBC and avoid dumping their users in mid-season.
I'm afraid you're right - Apple's edge as a distributor (with their ipod lock-in and user interface) has always been precarious. At the end of the day content providers can easily use other distribution channels. People will go other places to get the shows they want to see...
The iPod can probably survive without iTMS. It was popular before iTMS, and will remain so after the fact. There's a question about what will happen in the distant future when CDs and such aren't the standard distribution technique, but I have to believe the iPod's future is more dependent on music than TV.
So NBC wants them to prevent pirated NBC content from being playable on iPods? How do they propose that they do that? If I bought a DVD set of an NBC TV show and rip it to be able to play it on my iPod, how can the iPod distinguish that (a legal, not pirated show) from an NBC TV show that I downloaded (an illegal, pirated show)? As I see it, there is little or no way for the iPod to do this. Therefore, the only two options for the iPod are to have it allow everything, or nothing. (In this context, nothing being no non-DRM videos.) Any, oh how the 'nothing' option would p-off consumers. I seriously doubt that Apple would even consider going down that path...
It's possible they could watermark the content at broadcast and ask Apple to block anything they find with the watermark that isn't licensed. Ripping from DVD is not entirely legal, by the way.
lol, customers always go for lower price, not "branded store name". don't confuse simply market rules with brand loyalty.

By that argument, BitTorrent is the obvious customer choice here. From that point of view, the content providers better do everything they can to boost Apple's brand loyalty.
basically, its whom you want to trust, obviously you selected apple, I don't, since I don't think NBC is that stupid to sell their show for $4.99 when all other networks sell shows at $1.99. GE didn't grow big by being stupid.

want to test who is right? wait for NBCU's hulu.com, see how muh they charge per episode.
How does that prove anything? The question is what deal NBC wanted with Apple-- what they do elsewhere proves nothing. It's well known that content providers are already paranoid about Apple's growing influence-- it's quite likely they'd try to break that up with discriminatory pricing.

also, without middle man, A.K.A. Apple, NBCU can lower their price also. Isn't price a shining attraction of walmart other than "all-in-one"?

You keep repeating this mantra that Apple is raising the price of the content appreciably. They're not. I'm not going to dig it up again, but I've posted the breakdown in a previous thread. Apple's cut is something like 50 cents for a 200-400MB file, compared to the 30 cents for a 20MB file they get for music. From this comes the payment to the credit card company (which scales with price), the cost of bandwidth (which scales with file size), the cost of redundant reliable storage (which scales with file size), the cost of personnel (which is fixed relative to these parameters) and probably a dozen other things I'm not accounting for.

Apple isn't the traditional middleman-- they aren't looking to make a profit on the content itself. They're trying not to lose money on the content while they use it sell iPods (and despite anything NBC or the RIAA says, the content providers don't deserve a cut of iPod revenues anymore than they deserve a cut of disc player, radio or television revenues). It's the definition of synergy.

Apple isn't making an appreciable difference to the cost of the download.

frankly
Sep 2, 2007, 09:04 PM
If you don't want to buy their crappy shows, why are you upset they may want to charge you more than 1.99?. I mean, if you feel this way, then if itunes offered it for free, you wouldn't get it right?.

You are hilarious!!!.. why do fans of apple get upset when other companies does not see the world the way apple does?. What is the emotional connection?. I'm really puzzled. You think Steve Jobs feelings is as hurt as yours?.. please, this is a business decision.. next!!.

Wow, you totally missed the point on that one. The person was saying that NBC would want to package crappy shows with a show that we do want to buy. Now, we only want the good show but instead of paying $1.99 for the one good show that we want they would want us to pay $4.99 for some "great" package deal that they have set up that has the one great show with three crappy shows. We would still only watch the one show but we would have to pay 2.5x as much for it. Get it now???

I love how people that aren't even smart enough to comprehend a simple scenario such as this think they are smart enough to tell me that I am stupid because I like Apple products. Get a life and don't worry about what other people like. I don't see how it affects you.

Frank

frankly
Sep 2, 2007, 09:06 PM
Imagine if apple let people sell the ipod for whatever price they want (btw, they don't.. they tell retailers how to price the ipod).. you know why?.. cause wal-mart would bankrupt them in a minute. Wal-mart could give away the entire revenue of apple and not feel it. They could offer ipods for 0 and not care. You say, well, apple makes money anyway.. yes, but not as much. They don't sell the ipods to wal-mart for retail.. they sell at wholesale.. which means, they could never get retail for an ipod on their website.. they would not only have to sell wal-mart the ipod at wholesale but sell it on apple.com to the consumer at a price close to wholesale too!!!.. they'd make a profit, just not as much...

I like when people suddenly bring the market into question when it's itunes vs some other service but don't see the contradiction in apple controlling ipod prices.. NBC would want to control the pricing of their video for the same reason apple wants to control the pricing of their ipods. You don't seem to mind apple control but you object to nbc control of their assets?. Why?.
It's their asset, not Apple. Apple does not own NBC shows. Why should they get to dictate how it is sold?.

Bzzzztttt, wrong answer. Walmart would simply become the #1 distributor of iPods and Apple would continue to sell them to Walmart for the current wholesale price while Walmart took a loss on the products. Exactly how long do you think it would make business sense for Walmart to do that???

Frank

frankly
Sep 2, 2007, 09:09 PM
Actually, johnJR, not to nitpick but apple did claim safari was BETTER, not safer. Safer is your interpretation but apple actually did say that safari is the best browser on windows, which, even the most ardent apple fans knows to be patently false. Safari is not even the best browser on macOSX. Most serious web users do not use safari.. it is not the best at anything. As to safer?. On windows?. How?. As to safer on macosx... internet explorer is safer on mac osX than on windows.. I'm sure when steve jobs was boasting about safari, it was not about safe.. He claimed it was faster, better, etc. I love apple computers (i only use windows if i have to) but i wouldn't be caught dead using safari or internet explorer (so it's not like i prefer internet explorer). I'd rather use firefox or opera or something else.. apple created safari and then left it to die. It has not had an important update in the mac world for a very long time.

Wow, you are completely uninformed. Since the 3.0 update to Safari, which is the only version that works on Windows and the version I'm currently using on my Mac, Safari has become better than Firefox. Firefox used to be my primary browser on both platforms as well but I switched to Safari with the 3.0 update. It is a very good browser and keep in mind that this version is still in beta so it will only get better. With the release of Safari on Windows and on the iPhone Apple has gotten very serious about Safari development. You just haven't been paying attention.

Frank

mashny
Sep 2, 2007, 09:12 PM
If you don't want to buy their crappy shows, why are you upset they may want to charge you more than 1.99?. I mean, if you feel this way, then if itunes offered it for free, you wouldn't get it right?.

You are hilarious!!!.. why do fans of apple get upset when other companies does not see the world the way apple does?. What is the emotional connection?. I'm really puzzled. You think Steve Jobs feelings is as hurt as yours?.. please, this is a business decision.. next!!.


I don't think the issue is the $1.99 price per se, but that NBC is not concerned about pricing their shows in a manner that is consumer friendly, thus encouraging piracy, which is the very thing they claim they are trying to prevent. Steve Jobs understands the importance of how human psychology relates to pricing digital media – how else to explain the extraordinary success of iTunes in a world where anyone can get anything for free by illegally downloading it? As you mention, it is a business decision, and Apple/iTunes has prospered greatly because of Steve Jobs's incredible business acumen. The world has changed since the record labels controlled everything, and there are several reasons why NBC might have to realize that it would be a good "business decision" to play by Apple's rules:

NBC/Universal is reeling from a world in which, after rapidly-dwindling CD sales, they no longer have a vertical monopoly over the music production/packaging/distribution business. At least as far as music goes, any company that does not make their downloads iPod compatible risks alienating about 75% of their potential market. If they make their music iPod compatible, they help maintain Apple's dominance. And, judging from Apple's success in the music business over the past compared to that of the record labels, it seems that Apple is much more in tune with the desires and psychology of the music consumer. Not only that, but their business model and foresight have put them in a very advantageous position – since they make very little profit on iTunes, and since they have about 75% of the digital player market, they are not financially hurt if a label pulls out of its agreement with Apple. Whether this will also be true for the video iPods coming out on Wednesday remains to be seen. If the video iPod is as well received as the music iPod, Apple will have an edge in negotiating video content as well.

NBC/Universal has not come to terms with this new world or business model. As long as consumers continue to love their iPods, the record labels will have to make some concessions to Apple. Whereas in the past the record labels had the luxury of saying, "If you don't like our terms, screw you," illegal downloads now preclude that trump card – a fact Apple understands very well.

NBC/Universal/GE is walking a line between either agreeing to iTunes' consumer-friendly prices (and the iPod's ubiquity) or losing ALL revenue to illegal downloads. Because of illegal downloading, the consumer now has some control over the record labels; the model has shifted. Like it or not, Apple may represent the only viable option for NBC.

The question to ask is why Apple has been so incredibly successful with the iPod and iTunes since it is this that gives them their negotiating power. The reason is simply that they make great products and give the music consumer what he wants at a fair price, without overly-intrusive DRM (or no DRM in the case of EMI). When the iPod first came out, and iTunes was in its infancy, no one forced people to buy iPods. People saw it as, finally, a great way to store their CD music on an easy-to-use player. And iTunes, far from being a retail powerhouse, was simply an extremely powerful and convenient way to store, catalogue, and play one's music collection. Apple saw why the music labels and retailers were failing and understood what needed to be done. It is now reaping the rewards of its vision.

I may be wrong about Apple's strengths, but the phenomenal growth of iTunes (about 3 billion downloads) and the iPod (over 100 million sold), and the release of the video iPod indicate that Apple will maintain its control. In the end, the consumer/illegal downloader will determine the future of the iTunes vs. NBC battle.

clevin
Sep 2, 2007, 09:13 PM
could you give some references on these. Obviously NBC is disputing the iTunes thing, but besides for NBC saying it's not true what else leads you to this. Is NBC a company that is unable to mislead consumers? Do you have something that says there are not 144,000 viruses under windows, do you have benchmarks to show Safari not being twice the speed of IE? Do you have a chart or something showing that other browsers are safer for windows users? Can you show something were Apple said you could go from safari to the "google map" application instantly? from my understanding just like at home you select an address which is a hyper-link and it brings you to the google maps site. I have done this plenty. Do you have anything besides NBC saying Apple is lying to counter Apples claim.

I mean I could say that Apple mislead me when they said iMovie '08 was new and improved, but really I have nothing but opinion to add to that claim.

I am starting to think that you work Public Relations for NBC

ah yes, I do appreciate the fact you are politely asking for evidence.

all the claims about viruses, safari's security, speed, these issues all have more than one posts here at MR, in which we discussed how apple said, what source apple cited, and what source really said vs. what apple told use source said.

I have to admit about iphone's google map is a hearsay event, I read it from some google search weeks ago. I couldn't not find proof for that now.

There is nothing to disrespect apple's extraordinary design, simply saying apple's PR is half truth at best.

To accuse NBC want to sell their show at $4.99/episode based on apple's claim, isn't reliable at all, not to mention I have to assume NBC being business idiot to reach the number apple claimed.

If I have to choose between "apple lied" and "NBC/GE is business idiot", I have to choose former.

You keep repeating this mantra that Apple is raising the price of the content appreciably.
no, I do not accuse apple of raising price, actually $1.99 is a very cheap price IMHO.

I was simply saying NBC will not charge $4.99 to kill its own business when all other networks shows are selling for $1.99. Saying NBC can lower the price because of their ownership of the network is different from accusing apple charging more. Im very practical on this, its all business.

Thomas2006
Sep 2, 2007, 09:38 PM
Will Hulu require a paid subscription, or will it offer free on-demand episodes much like ABC offers on their website?
The following is from the "FEES AND PAYMENT" section of their terms of service

Hulu reserves the right at any time to charge fees for access to portions of the Site or the Site as a whole. However, in no event will you be charged for access to the Site unless we obtain your prior agreement to pay such charges. Thus, if at any time the Site requires a fee for portions of the Site that are now free, the Site will give you advance notice of such fees and the opportunity to cancel the account before such charges are imposed.

I expect the site will start out free then as sections get popular they will charge people to access them.

Stella
Sep 2, 2007, 09:50 PM
Just like .Mac ( was iTools!) :-D
I expect the site will start out free then as sections get popular they will charge people to access them.

EricNau
Sep 2, 2007, 09:53 PM
Well, "free" but with forced advertisements (don't they require interaction with the ads?) versus $2 to just watch the damned show seems like an obvious choice to me as well. I tried the ABC online route once, and was thoroughly unimpressed.

The difference being that the episodes that you can watch for free carry commercials and can't be downloaded. The site itself (in the case of Hereos and others I have visited) are ridden with commercials and ads where the iTunes store is not.
Hardly.

ABC's online shows have 4, 30-second commercials for the average hour long episode. That's it. 2 minutes of ads for an hour of TV - that's far less advertising than you'll ever find on your TV.

In fact, you can actually stream ABC shows in HD for free! ...Does the iTunes Store even offer HD? ;)

Analog Kid
Sep 2, 2007, 09:55 PM
Bzzzztttt, wrong answer. Walmart would simply become the #1 distributor of iPods and Apple would continue to sell them to Walmart for the current wholesale price while Walmart took a loss on the products. Exactly how long do you think it would make business sense for Walmart to do that???

Frank
I think you're missing his point here, Frank. The question is who sets the sales price. Apple doesn't appear to sell their iPods to retailers at wholesale and let them set their price, they seem to also insist on a sales price. Prices are too consistent across retailers to suggest otherwise.

frankly
Sep 2, 2007, 10:06 PM
Hardly.

ABC's online shows have 4, 30-second commercials for the average hour long episode. That's it. 2 minutes of ads for an hour of TV - that's far less advertising than you'll ever find on your TV.

In fact, you can actually stream ABC shows in HD for free! ...Does the iTunes Store even offer HD? ;)

1) This still doesn't alleviate the problem of having to be at your computer and online in order to watch them.
2) Is the HD streaming new or are you making that up because the last time I viewed a show on ABC's website (a few months ago) there was no option for HD.

Daiden
Sep 2, 2007, 10:06 PM
I encourage people who feel strongly about this issue to write a well thought out e-mail to Jeffery Zucker (mailto:jeff.zucker@nbcuni.com), CEO at NBC.

frankly
Sep 2, 2007, 10:08 PM
I think you're missing his point here, Frank. The question is who sets the sales price. Apple doesn't appear to sell their iPods to retailers at wholesale and let them set their price, they seem to also insist on a sales price. Prices are too consistent across retailers to suggest otherwise.

I got your point. You missed my point. You tried to state that by Walmart giving iPods away that it would force Apple to lower the price on their website. I contend that they could just as easily keep it the same and just let everyone go to Walmart to get it for free until Walmart came to their senses. It wouldn't put a burden on their customers since everyone has a Walmart within a reasonable distance from their house. Again, how long do you think Walmart would keep up that crap?

Frank

Analog Kid
Sep 2, 2007, 10:08 PM
no, I do not accuse apple of raising price, actually $1.99 is a very cheap price IMHO.

I was simply saying NBC will not charge $4.99 to kill its own business when all other networks shows are selling for $1.99. Saying NBC can lower the price because of their ownership of the network is different from accusing apple charging more. Im very practical on this, its all business.
You didn't quote the part of my comments that address your distinction here, Clevin. My whole comment on this was that NBC can't really lower their price by controlling the network. I didn't say you were accusing Apple of overcharging, I said NBC will incur the same expenses as Apple does-- so your comments that NBC can lower their prices by cutting out the middle man are only true to the extent that they can deduct Apple's profits from the equation and that won't really make a material difference because Apple's profits on this are next to nothing.

If you want to take a practical business look at this you should have pointed out that NBC will have to charge more to make the same profit per download as they get through Apple because they don't have the efficiency of an already existing infrastructure as Apple does, they won't have the composite volumes that Apple does, and they're going to have to spend a small fortune on advertising to raise awareness of their service whereas everyone with an iPod can find the iTMS.

NBCs move is about control, not a calculation on additional profit per download.

frankly
Sep 2, 2007, 10:09 PM
I encourage people who feel strongly about this issue to write a well thought out e-mail to Jeffery Zucker (mailto:jeff.zucker@nbcuni.com), CEO at NBC.

Sounds like a good idea but without having more information we wouldn't be able to write a letter that held much weight.

EricNau
Sep 2, 2007, 10:12 PM
1) This still doesn't alleviate the problem of having to be at your computer and online in order to watch them.
2) Is the HD streaming new or are you making that up because the last time I viewed a show on ABC's website (a few months ago) there was no option for HD.
1) You're right. That's true. Although, I'm going to dare to say that if you have time to watch TV, your probably at home and probably online. (Yes, yes, I know there are always exceptions.)

2) The HD streaming is new (and quite nice, if your computer and bandwidth can support it). But you don't have to take my word - go to abc.com and see for yourself. :)

Analog Kid
Sep 2, 2007, 10:17 PM
I got your point. You missed my point. You tried to state that by Walmart giving iPods away that it would force Apple to lower the price on their website. I contend that they could just as easily keep it the same and just let everyone go to Walmart to get it for free until Walmart came to their senses. It wouldn't put a burden on their customers since everyone has a Walmart within a reasonable distance from their house. Again, how long do you think Walmart would keep up that crap?

Frank
It wasn't my point originally, it was wnurse's, but that aside, I believe his point is that Walmart could undersell Apple by reducing the margin they take on a sale except they can't because Apple won't allow them to.

Walmart drives down prices by setting their suppliers wholesale price and reducing their costs (through often unethical means). Apple won't play this game and therefore Walmart doesn't sell iPods. I don't want to speak for wnurse on this, but I think he was finding an apt parallel between that and the NBC/Apple disagreement (save the unethical bit...).

I don't think the scenarios are completely parallel given the differences between physical product and what essentially boils down to data, and how the market for content is convulsing while the market for physical product is simply evolving. There's also the point that it's kinda hard to download an iPod for free while it's pretty straightforward to download a TV show from the Net.

frankly
Sep 2, 2007, 10:19 PM
1) You're right. That's true. Although, I'm going to dare to say that if you have time to watch TV, your probably at home and probably online. (Yes, yes, I know there are always exceptions.)

2) The HD streaming is new (and quite nice, if your computer and bandwidth can support it). But you don't have to take my word - go to abc.com and see for yourself. :)

You can dare to say that you would be home if you were going to watch TV but that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about watching online vs. watching something downloaded from iTunes which you can TAKE WITH YOU on your iPod or laptop and watch on the train, on your lunch break, etc.

I checked out the HD streaming and I'm not sure if it was because I was doing something else online or not but the program stuttered while playing. I will try again later. BTW, I have an extremely fast Internet connection, 8Mbps+ so that isn't the issue. And if I am having issues on my fast connection then it begs the question as to why someone would want to do this as opposed to downloading and watching without problems at their convenience.

Frank

clevin
Sep 2, 2007, 10:22 PM
NBCs move is about control, not a calculation on additional profit per download.
I agree its all about control, but essentially, or, eventually, the purpose of business is $$$. control is only a method.

NBC is the owner of the content, there is nothing stop them from delivering the videos at lower price just to grab the market, (despite what some people might suggest, I don't think user will say no to one ads or two in exchange for 20c discount)

Im not NBC strategist, but once they are the owner, there are alot of pricing method they can use to attract customers.

frankly
Sep 2, 2007, 10:22 PM
It wasn't my point originally, it was wnurse's, but that aside, I believe his point is that Walmart could undersell Apple by reducing the margin they take on a sale except they can't because Apple won't allow them to.

Walmart drives down prices by setting their suppliers wholesale price and reducing their costs (through often unethical means). Apple won't play this game and therefore Walmart doesn't sell iPods. I don't want to speak for wnurse on this, but I think he was finding an apt parallel between that and the NBC/Apple disagreement (save the unethical bit...).

I don't think the scenarios are completely parallel given the differences between physical product and what essentially boils down to data, and how the market for content is convulsing while the market for physical product is simply evolving. There's also the point that it's kinda hard to download an iPod for free while it's pretty straightforward to download a TV show from the Net.

Again, you're missing the point. I said that even IF Walmart could lower the price to whatever they wanted it wouldn't force Apple to lower their wholesale price.

Second, Walmart DOES sell iPods.

EricNau
Sep 2, 2007, 10:30 PM
You can dare to say that you would be home if you were going to watch TV but that's not what we're talking about here. We're talking about watching online vs. watching something downloaded from iTunes which you can TAKE WITH YOU on your iPod or laptop and watch on the train, on your lunch break, etc.

I checked out the HD streaming and I'm not sure if it was because I was doing something else online or not but the program stuttered while playing. I will try again later. BTW, I have an extremely fast Internet connection, 8Mbps+ so that isn't the issue. And if I am having issues on my fast connection then it begs the question as to why someone would want to do this as opposed to downloading and watching without problems at their convenience.

Frank
I just checked and its working fine for me (on my CD MacBook w/ 2 GB RAM) at about 2 Mbps.

LethalWolfe
Sep 2, 2007, 10:38 PM
I got your point. You missed my point. You tried to state that by Walmart giving iPods away that it would force Apple to lower the price on their website. I contend that they could just as easily keep it the same and just let everyone go to Walmart to get it for free until Walmart came to their senses. It wouldn't put a burden on their customers since everyone has a Walmart within a reasonable distance from their house. Again, how long do you think Walmart would keep up that crap?

Frank
Not to take this thread way OT, but Wal-Mart is infamous for selling certain products at a loss to increase customer traffic and undercut competing stores as well as for dictating prices to suppliers even if that means pushing the supplier near, if not into, bankruptcy.


Lethal

frankly
Sep 2, 2007, 10:39 PM
I just checked and its working fine for me (on my CD MacBook w/ 2 GB RAM) at about 2 Mbps.

I checked again and it worked better this time but still not at the same quality that a downloaded version would. Also, unless I have my computer connected to my television the HD stream isn't that great. 1280x720 on a computer screen still doesn't take up the whole screen. My screen is 1680x1050 so unless they were streaming 1080 then I'm not going to get a great benefit.

Frank

frankly
Sep 2, 2007, 10:43 PM
Not to take this thread way OT, but Wal-Mart is infamous for selling certain products at a loss to increase customer traffic and undercut competing stores as well as for dictating prices to suppliers even if that means pushing the supplier near, if not into, bankruptcy.


Lethal

And again, I don't think they would be able to wield this kind of power over Apple. Apple is a HUGE company with plenty of money, income, profits, etc. Also, Apple currently sells iPods in soooooo many places. So, if they told their other retailers to just sit tight while Walmart played itself out they would be able to continue selling to the others after Walmart was finished. Or better yet, they could just tell Walmart to go scratch and sell the iPod everywhere else. Remember, it was a long time before Walmart started selling the iPod which means that Apple is clearly in the power position here. You know that after years of Apple telling them, sorry we're not going to sell it to you for less, that they finally gave in and began selling them anyway. That is why you see iPods at Walmart for maybe $5 less than other retailers.

If more companies stood up to Walmart then maybe we wouldn't have a permanent underclass of people being created in the form of underpaid Walmart employees.

Frank

EricNau
Sep 2, 2007, 10:55 PM
I checked again and it worked better this time but still not at the same quality that a downloaded version would. Also, unless I have my computer connected to my television the HD stream isn't that great. 1280x720 on a computer screen still doesn't take up the whole screen. My screen is 1680x1050 so unless they were streaming 1080 then I'm not going to get a great benefit.

Frank
On that note, wouldn't it be great if we could stream HD content from abc.com through Apple TV? ...But alas, we have to buy the low-res version from iTunes instead. :(

MacAerfen
Sep 2, 2007, 11:14 PM
To quote Ben Kenobi from Star Wars "What I told you was the truth, from a certain point of view". Thats basically what we are getting here. Both companies telling the truth from their point of view.

NBC wants to bundle their programs to increase price flexibility. They want to use the successful NBC shows to prop up the less successful ones or promote new ones. Lets use "BSG" as an example. So the season premier week is coming up and NBC is launching two shows the same week as the "BSG" premier. So they sell you a bundle deal for 4.99 which includes the season premier of "BSG" and series premier of "lame comedy1" and "lame drama 1". NBC is saying well you save money by going that route. You get to buy 3 shows for $1.69 each saving 30 cents per show for a 90 cent saving if you bought all three. Thats just an example and you can bet shows that garner very high ratings will be flexibly priced higher because well it sells more. And you can be sure they won't be offering bundles where you can select the three shows you want.

Apple is saying but thats going to rip the customer off and is charging over double for an episode. Apple is saying that because if you do not want or like the other 2 episodes in your bundle then you basically did pay more than double the cost for it. They know full well that you won't be getting an offer for BSG/Heroes/The Office all in one. Apple is all about the end user experience. They want you to be able to find in a consistant, easy way what you want, pay what you expect to pay and be on your way. Take a look at the Leopard beta, all the finder windows and most of the Apple applications have a unified look to them now. They do not want 5 versions of the same item in different flavors to confuse the customer. IE. buying bundled files for this price , which are locked and cant be opened on anything but that specific computer, or buying bundled files for a premium that can be copied to another computer but not your ipod.

As for the copy protection claim thats NBC trying to use Apple to curb piracy for them. They want Apple to lock the iPod so that it doesn't play non DRM protected videos. That Apple will not allow because it ruins it for legitimate uses. You make a video on iMovie you want to share with a friend or show on their tv using the iPod. Not going to happen as it is not DRM made. And no it can't be without Apple giving the fairplay technology to everyones computer and sure as we need oxygen to breath someone would find and exploit that. You want to take your legitimate purchased DVD and use a program to convert it to play on your iPod. Nope, afterall you should pay NBC to do that for you... Apple wants you to be able to take your items and with as much ease as possible use them, thats Apple's marketing niche. Simplicity.

So those that want to say well you are just an Apple fanboy and want to defend Apple, stop and think for a few minutes. How does Apple benefit by the prices increasing (and I am sorry but bundling does not lower the price if I am just being forced to pay for items I didn't want to buy in the first place) and locking the iPod. It does not benefit in any way. It looses customers who do not want to pay the extra for items they don't, do not like having to try and find the 'right' version of the file they want. It looses sales of iPods because people won't buy them if they can not use the content they already have on em. If it was Apple wanting more money why would they risk loosing money by NBC leaving ? And if this was some crazy ploy by Apple why are they not loosing all their other networks? Why have the other networks not spoken up and tried to embarrass Apple. After all if Apple recieved bad press by all the networks it would most likely force Apple to give in.

No sorry any way this is spun its NBC trying to find creative ways to up their profit margin and Apple saying "Not with our customers". And no I am not naive enough to believe Apple is doing that out of the goodness of their hearts. It is smart business. In this age of companies going out of their way to come up with creative ways to rip people off any company that goes on the moral high ground of looking out for customers are going to be popular.

LethalWolfe
Sep 2, 2007, 11:20 PM
And again, I don't think they would be able to wield this kind of power over Apple. Apple is a HUGE company with plenty of money, income, profits, etc. Also, Apple currently sells iPods in soooooo many places. So, if they told their other retailers to just sit tight while Walmart played itself out they would be able to continue selling to the others after Walmart was finished. Or better yet, they could just tell Walmart to go scratch and sell the iPod everywhere else. Remember, it was a long time before Walmart started selling the iPod which means that Apple is clearly in the power position here. You know that after years of Apple telling them, sorry we're not going to sell it to you for less, that they finally gave in and began selling them anyway. That is why you see iPods at Walmart for maybe $5 less than other retailers.

If more companies stood up to Walmart then maybe we wouldn't have a permanent underclass of people being created in the form of underpaid Walmart employees.

Frank
Apple is in a relatively unique position of being the primary seller of it's own products to the public so I don't think Wal-Mart could pull a power play on Apple either, but I was just saying that Wal-Mart uses tactics like that to succeed. And Wal-Mart is so big, and sells so much that, for all practical purposes, they could pretty much undercut any other B&M retailer indefinitely. Here (http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/77/walmart.html) is a good, but long, read about Wal-Marts SOP and the ripple effects it has.


Lethal

MikeTheC
Sep 2, 2007, 11:53 PM
The MikeTake

Two major corporations bickering in public. At least here on macrumors we keep it in the family. :p

"We didn't want to screw you over like that - we wanted to screw you over this other way..."

Damn. I almost feel out of my chair over that one, fellas. Thanks for the laugh. You are so right, it's scary.


Steve's not used to getting "Jobbed".

And that's because he's very, very careful about what he does, where he does it, and the context surrounding his doing it. Nevertheless, it's a ballsy strategy and I support Steve in it because, amongst other reasons, I have no love for any members of the Entertainment Injustistry.


Not to sound like a jerk, but I really want someone to explain to me how you can "steal" NBC shows when anyone in the US can get the shows for free with an antenna?

Same can be said for music over the radio. ;)

I feel strongly about this. Another poster, nkawtg72, in my post here effectively elaborates on it. But yes, I have a hard time paying for something that is otherwise available "for free", especially something that has already been completely paid for by advertisers. Talk about double-dipping.


Production costs are taking a healthy jump up because of things like moving from SD to HD and increased production value while ad revenue has been steadily declining as the proliferation of a wider variety of media has eroded TV ratings.

Lethal, let's try not to forget it isn't and has never been a case of the general public screaming for HD. The broadcast industry made this bed a long time ago, and now they're having to sleep in it. The unfortunate part is that they're making others (local broadcasters) spend their money to upgrade their already-paid-for, fully-working equipment for no real or legitimate reason. It's amazing to me how effective the broadcast industry/entertainment industry (yeah, redundant I know) has been in brainwashing the general public into going along with this and spending hundreds of millions on at least one, if not two, three or even four generations of tv equipment because of this whole HD rigamarole.

I don't now, and I don't ever plan to "upgrade" from the 1994 RCA ProScan 27" I presently own and (truth be told) never really use anyway.


Amen brother.

Once I buy the White Album on iTunes Plus I'll never have to buy it again ever... The record companies must really freak out about that.

--- <snip> ---

They put so much money behind enormous atomic flashes in the pan. They want you to hate it in a week so they can sell it to you all over again as quickly as possible.

--- <snip> ---

iTunes scares big media giants because it gives the consumer too much control. Consumers made iTunes + iPod popular by choice. Not even the biggest Mac fanboy would have predicted that in 2001. There was no controling it. It just happened becuase someone got it right for once.

Yes, yes, and a big fracking YOU BETTA BUH-LIEVE IT!!!


NBC should change their initials to CYA. :rolleyes:

No doubt, they also wanted more flexibility in the pricing, but I think Apple's main gripe is that this "flexibility" wasn't intended to benefit the customers, but rather bump the prices up on popular programming. We've heard this before, when the music industry wanted to do the same. I don't think Apple's pricing structure is perfect, but I sure like the keep-it-simple approach.

FWIW, I think the increase in price on shows was NOT intended to rake in more cash for NBC, but rather to drive more viewers back to broadcast TV where NBC's real cash cow is--advertising. Just like the music industry, TV broadcasters are going to see some real upheaval in their business model. It looks to me like NBC is having a knee-jerk response. Instead of getting creative about how to profit from iTunes sales, they want to pull the rug out from under it and drive people back to regular TV where they make an obscene amount of cash from ridiculously inflated advertising prices--something they cannot duplicate on iTunes because of a smaller viewer demographic. (Anyone know if this Hulu.com will include ad breaks? I'm betting it does.)

As for their other point, it's almost a non sequitur. NBC says they are concerned about piracy, and yet they take away the single most popular option out there for people who want to pay for legit downloads. What kind of sense does that make? What other options are out there for those people now?

You know, Inkswamp, the only real issue I have with your post is that you've left me nothing to say. Yes, you're absolutely right. Couldn't agree more.


I totally disagree. People will NOT go to other places to get the shows they want to see.

You forget why the iPod was a success in the first place. It didn't have the most features, it wasn't the most compatible, it wasn't even available to people using the dominant OS (MS Windows) at the beginning. The iPod was a smash hit because It Just Worked. The vast majority of people will NOT be willing to go to 6 different studio's websites to get the various content they want to download, which come in 6 different formats, which are locked with non-Fairplay DRM and thus totally unplayable on their iPod.

And as far as your question about hulu's DRM, the DRM on media from non-iTunes sources literally can not work with the iPod without Apple licensing the iPod's Fairplay DRM to another company, and that's not gonna happen without a long gigantic legal battle.

Now here is someone who was actually awake in class and paying attention. I've made comments here and elsewhere before to the effect of what you've just said. Anyone who goes around saying that the iPod is popular only because of clever marketing by Apple (a.k.a. Apple is somehow doing something wrong to the general public, or acting like some kind of "evil" company because they want to achieve success at something) pretty much just got their argument -- nay, their entire worldview of this situation -- nullified by what you just said. The iPod is popular for ONE SIMPLE REASON: right enormous crap-loads of people ALL OVER THE WORLD like it a lot. This is a perfect textbook example of why any product in the world ever SHOULD be successful.


basically, its whom you want to trust, obviously you selected apple, I don't, since I don't think NBC is that stupid to sell their show for $4.99 when all other networks sell shows at $1.99. GE didn't grow big by being stupid.

want to test who is right? wait for NBCU's hulu.com, see how muh they charge per episode.

Clevin, I have a question: If you didn't select Apple, then what are you doing posting here on a Mac-related message board?

Now, as far as GE being stupid or not, well, one can judge; however I would offer that GE was smart enough to get rid of Bob Nardelli. And that earns 'em at least one or two points in my book.


I'm sure I'm only repeating what many others may have already said, but I haven't read everyone's reply.

I personally have never bought into this paying for TV shows, whether it's off iTunes or anywhere else for the matter. Movies are another thing, they're editted for on-air broadcast, so buying them is really the only decent way of getting a good version of one.

I can't help but think that this is actually the source of the debate between Apple and NBC. NBC doesn't think they're making enough money selling a show I can record for free off-the-air. [emphasis added]

Personally I think NBC is shoveling some pretty smelly %$#@%, when they complain about "concrete piracy protection." Who do they think they're fooling here. They're not loosing money because of people like me who record a show off-the-air and are not willing to pay for it. Piracy steals money when someone other than NBC distributes it over the internet illegally. Do you think someone who would do that, would pay for the show in the first place?! I doubt it. They'll record it just like I do, convert it to half a dozen different formats and start dumping it online in places. The "piracy" debate is a smokescreen for not being able to sell the unsellable.

What we have here is NBC trying to make Apple look like the bad guy, for something they(NBC) just needs to learn there is no money in. NBC is wanting to "bundle" shows. In my mind that means HIGHER prices. It doesn't matter how many shows you put in the package, NBC is still going to put more $$$ in their pocket. Do you really think that it costs them one more penny to add a show or multiple shows to a package??!!!! NOOOO. It's just that it gives them an excuse to raise the prices, which I think APPLE is obviously opposed to.

Apple has routinely, in my opinion, represented consumers honestly against the music and broadcast industry. This isn't the first time a "client" has tried to get Apple to raise prices, and Apple has fought them. Apple stands to gain nothing by raising prices. The % breakdowns have shown Apple only takes a very very small cut of the $$$ with the sale of content from ITMS, which goes to cover operating costs. Apple's $$$ interests here are providing a source of content for the millions upon millions of iPod/iPhone and iTunes users out there that have to buy those iPods/iPhones and hopefully Macs from Apple.

I think Apple sees that if NBC raises prices of their content on ITMS and at the same time provides it through other outlets, then it could potentially drive away customers at ITMS.

When Apple says they are fighting NBC because NBC wants to raise prices, I believe Apple. NBC can call it packaging all they want, but at the end of the day they are expecting customers to pay more for the sale of an item than they were previously.

As for me. I've never shared anything I've recorded and then transferred to my Mac and then iPod. So as far as I'm concerned NBC can go take their crap somewhere else and try and sell it. If I want something from TV on my iPod, I'll encode it myself for free, why pay NBC to do it, and pay Apple to download it to me.

nkawtg72, I couldn't agree more, except with one particular point: "Piracy steals money when someone other than NBC distributes it over the internet illegally."

No, that isn't like stealing money from NBC, or any other broadcaster. And it isn't stealing money because NBC has already made money by the advertiser sponsoring the show with their ads! Moreover, every eyeball is an additional eyeball, so if you "steal" a copy and watch it, then you're one more person who sees the ad than would have seen it originally.

Now, if someone D/L'd the thing and then redistributed it for a fee, then for me that would be a somewhat morally/ethically gray area, but at the end of the day I'd have to say, just to be fair, the entity in question should have to pay at least some of that money back to NBC. However, they should be able to keep enough of it to defray expenses and turn a reasonable profit. Mind you, we're probably talking no more than maybe 20¢ - 30¢ as being a reasonable "finders fee", but still why shouldn't they be allowed to profit through such enterprising efforts?


Ultimately, folks, it's a sad commentary on the world we live in when our society can give such legitimacy to fighting and arguing these kinds of battles (instead of just laughing the instigators right out of the room) and shows that "the powers that be" have done a fine job of brainwashing us all. Oh well. I continue to wish Steve and his crew the best of luck and success.

Cleverboy
Sep 3, 2007, 12:07 AM
No sorry any way this is spun its NBC trying to find creative ways to up their profit margin and Apple saying "Not with our customers". And no I am not naive enough to believe Apple is doing that out of the goodness of their hearts. It is smart business. In this age of companies going out of their way to come up with creative ways to rip people off any company that goes on the moral high ground of looking out for customers are going to be popular.Exactly right. Here's my take on all this...

Until iTunes, you could NOT buy a single track of music unless the company had published the song in the format called, aptly... a "single". The single died for a number of reasons, mostly, it wasn't financially viable from the manufacturing end.

Prior to iTunes, you couldn't purchase a single episode of a TV Show, or a single music video. These are NEW products that have only previously been available in aggregate. Apple still has provisions for variable pricing on "seasons" or "albums". It's still there. Most music albums are $9.99, but some aren't. What Apple doesn't practice variable pricing on, are the smallest increments of their sales. These are things that represent "impulse buys" for most people.

iTunes enjoys many thousands of impulse buys every hour of every day. They regularly have sales on music albums and audiobooks, further creating "attractive" values for consumers. The idea of futzing with the pricing on their "impulse buy" products, is fairly silly if you think about it. It's like McDonald's having a dollar menu with $1.30 items speckled throughout it. Also, its important to note, that uniformity of pricing works for and against. It means that while you can get most all library title movies for $9.99, some movies that are clearly not popular, ALSO cost $9.99, where they might otherwise go at 2 for $9.99. I think the trade-off is perfectly fine though. Sometimes, simply NOT BUYING something, doesn't really send a specific message. That's where popular retailers come in to encourage better value from their sales experience and customer feedback.

If iTunes has strict pricing requirements in specific sections of its product catalog, its their prerogative. Some items to a business' structure really aren't negotiable, others are. This just means that we won't see certain products on iTunes. I think that's perfectly fine.

The comments people make that this is "wrong" strike me as really strange though. It's like getting mad at Walmart because they won't carry Bose sound systems. Or criticizing McDonald's for not carrying shrimp or caviar. If a certain movie is determined by a studio to cost $20, and it can't stomach EVER selling it for $9.99, *even if* they aren't paying physical costs, that's fine. Don't sign with iTunes. More than a few people laugh at Amazon for listing new movies at $21.99 digital downloads, when the DVDs cost exactly the same, and allow much more playback flexibility, content and value. --But the studios are very scared of undermining their soundscan numbers and need to be strongly encouraged to embrace the new realties in the digital marketplace.

Like ABC said, they need to focus on creating MORE ways to distribute content, not LESS. They need to make getting their content really easy, or like in Jurrassic Park, "Life finds a way." The moment they rely on "restriction" and not "incentive", they're going against the very forces of nature. Lightning /electricity finds the shortest route to the ground. You either give it an easier path, or you get a shock.

That's my opinion. I don't blame them, but no one said transitioning to the future would be easy. If they keep fighting it however, they're going to be fighting every step of the way.

~ CB

nkawtg72
Sep 3, 2007, 12:11 AM
I can't believe the number of people on here talking about business and marketing that obviously have no clue. I'm not going to say that Frankly has everything right, because I've not read all his posts, but he sure seems to have his glasses cleaner than the rest of you.

If any of you think that Apple can in fact tell a company what they can sell a product for, try again. The FTC would be on them like a pack of wolves. And to suggest that there is some law out there that says Apple has to sell to or provide it's products to just anyone (business) that wants to sell them, try again there also. Apple can choose to distribute it's products through whatever channel it finds most prudent. Last time I checked I can't buy a Ford at a Porsche dealer, am I out bitchin' about that?! The fact that WalMart or anyone for that matter is selling Apple products, is ONLY because Apple wants them to. It's called Brand awareness. Apple sees that by letting these outlets sell Apple products, many times for less, it gets the Apple brand in the eyes of those that don't visit Apple.com or the local Apple store on a regular basis.

Frankly is right. The whole WalMart babble by Wnurse is just stupid. WalMart pays a wholesale price for Apple products based on a contract they voluntarily enter in to with Apple. No one is holding a gun to their head saying to "Stock Apple products on your shelves." WalMart chooses to do it, because they are in the business of creating traffic in their store. Apple has been the WORLD's most recognized brand for years. WalMart sees it in their best interest to stock Apple, because they know people will be in their store looking for them. The only reason the price they sell Apple for is only slightly lower than what you can get it for at Apple is....why not!!!! If you're largest competitor is selling it for $x.xx, then why sell it for substantially less and hurt your wallet? Undersell your competition just enough to hopefully encourage someone to buy it from you instead.

How many of you have walked into a MicroCenter or elsewhere a week after a new Apple product has been released and shipped? Ever noticed that the now outdated stuff is still stocked and priced higher than the newest version Apple has released?! It's because the store has $$$ invested in it. It's not Apple telling them they can't lower the price. They paid for it, and now they can't lower it without loosing money. Is that Apple's fault too?

To get on topic with this NBC thing for a minute. Maybe most of you are too young, or maybe I'm too old (36), but have you forgotten that broadcasters are not in the business of entertaining. They are in the business of advertising. TV has always and will always be there for the purpose of advertising. Do you think your $.75 keeps that newspaper you buy in business. NO!!!! The advertising in it does. They just stick news in there to get you to look at it, then hope you see an advertisement you like that'll get you to spend money somewhere else, which in turn generates more advertising.

So back to NBC. Do you honestly think anything in NBCs motives has anything whatsoever to do with improving the consumers experience!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA. Get educated if you do. I'll give them this much, they own the content. They can do with it what they want. Just like Apple can distribute through whoever they want, so can NBC. Apple has shown that it is possible to sell OFF-THE-AIR programming that most people have already paid a cable provider to see on a tv, but they're doing it commercial free. If you recall that broadcasters are in the business of advertising and not entertaining, then you'll understand why NBC wants to control the content more than what they've allowed Apple to do so far. I'm guessing that what they want to do is raise the price at Apple (for whatever their mis-guided reasons are), then provide the same content somewhere else at a more competitive price BUT with ads. They make more off the ads than they do the content itself.

It's funny how people want to give Apple grief for not going for this, but last time I checked I don't recall my bill with Comcast constantly being raised and lowered at the whim of a badgering broadcaster, so why should Apple put up with it. If NBC wants to take their stuff somewhere else, then go for it. I bet Comcast would tell NBC to stick it too if they were demanding Comcast jack up my prices. I'll argue with myself on that one, even I don't trust Comcast anywhere near as much as I trust Apple to have my best interests in mind, but I'm just trying to give a supporting example.

I personally don't understand buying TV shows when I can record what I want for FREE off-the-air?! If I like it that much then I get it on the computer and then onto my iPod. TOTALLY legal too!!!!! I'm not selling it, it's personal use and gotten legally either over the airwaves or off the cable/dish or from that DVD I paid for.

I don't care who you are really, if you don't like Apple or if you don't like NBC, I think you're all nuts for paying for TV shows in the first place and you get what you deserve. ( I do agree that doesn't fit ALL people. Some buy the TV shows for convenience so they don't have to watch/record/encode it themselves. But there again lies the beauty of the ITMS model ).

Movies are a whole other story, those are production companies who don't make their money from advertising (product placement aside) but instead they make their money from entertaining. If I had to see 5 commercial breaks during my 2 1/2 hour visit at a theater I'd never go back. Buying a movie offline or in a store is like buying a candy bar, the movie IS the intended source of revenue. If I had to watch 45seconds of commercials before I could leave the 7-11 counter with my Snickers, I'd have to kick someone's a$$. The first time a production company tells Apple they have to put ads/commercial breaks in the movies you download, how many of you will tell Apple to grow up when they fight that too?!

It comes down to this, NBC wants more $$$. They see a chance to change the rules to pad their wallets more than they've already been able to do so with/through Apple. If Apple doesn't want to play their game, they don't have to. WalMart doesn't sell p0rn mags, are you suggesting the p0rn industry should have some say in what WalMart sells. NBC can tell Apple how they want things, but Apple can also tell NBC to stick it.

At the end of the day it'll either hurt one or both of them, and neither cares about the other, just their own wallet. The fact that I like, or don't like, Apple or NBC doesn't have anything to do with it. These are two businesses out trying to make money that comes from my wallet. My interest lies with my wallet.

To be honest though I do think the whole music, broadcast, and film industry owes Apple a big thank you anyway. Apple may not have thought of it, or created it, but they certainly invested in and showed that the old way of selling intellectual property was going the way of the dinosaur and now everyone wants on the bandwagon. Which is good too. It's called capitalism, and everybody wants a piece of it.

Cheers

nkawtg72
Sep 3, 2007, 12:35 AM
okay more of you wrote while i was typing out my above post and i see that more of you do have clean glasses like Frankly.

i agree with the argument someone had with something i said and didn't put into words too good. when it comes to "free" content that is technically was paid for by advertisers when it was broadcast, i agree that piracy would have to involve the exchange of $$$$.

if i go to the library and i take information (intellectual property) from a book and use it in my school report is that "piracy"? Not if I site it appropriately. I have a hard time (I don't know the details in the laws) thinking that a broadcaster should have any room to complain that their intellectual property that was paid for by advertisers for the purpose of broadcasting is now being re-distributing by someone else who is NOT profiting from it. If anything, it's free advertising for the broadcaster. Now if i were selling NBC property to others, hence profiting from their labors, without NBCs permission, then that would be another story. But I already know, there's probably holes in the opinion, but i thought i'd share it anyway.

adios

LethalWolfe
Sep 3, 2007, 12:40 AM
I feel strongly about this. Another poster, nkawtg72, in my post here effectively elaborates on it. But yes, I have a hard time paying for something that is otherwise available "for free", especially something that has already been completely paid for by advertisers. Talk about double-dipping.
"Completely paid for by advertisers" is not quite accurate as a few shows make a ton of profit, some shows do better than breaking even, a lot of shows tank while never earning a dime and things like News consistent are loss leaders. Content providers are always looking for ways to hedge their bets as they never know if they have a stud or a dud until it hits the airwaves.


Lethal, let's try not to forget it isn't and has never been a case of the general public screaming for HD. The broadcast industry made this bed a long time ago, and now they're having to sleep in it. The unfortunate part is that they're making others (local broadcasters) spend their money to upgrade their already-paid-for, fully-working equipment for no real or legitimate reason. It's amazing to me how effective the broadcast industry/entertainment industry (yeah, redundant I know) has been in brainwashing the general public into going along with this and spending hundreds of millions on at least one, if not two, three or even four generations of tv equipment because of this whole HD rigamarole.
Yer missing the mark just a bit here. The long story short looks a bit like this. First off, The Federal government has mandated all broadcasters to switch from analogue to digital over-the-air broadcasting and that's the primary reason stations are having to retool. Even if there was no such thing as HD a ton of money would still get spent switching from analogue to digital b'casting gear. Secondly, consumer electronic manufacturers are the ones primarily behind the initial push for HD. Heck, you could buy HDTVs when the only HD content available was a handful of D-VHS movies. Even now SD content vastly out numbers HD content on TV (and will for years). Now that HD is finally starting to "catch on" w/the public (mostly thru consumer electronics companies end-of-lifing their SD TVs) you see content providers now switching to HD since there is a market for it and the equipment on the product side is becoming more mature and more affordable (relatively speaking of course).


I don't now, and I don't ever plan to "upgrade" from the 1994 RCA ProScan 27" I presently own and (truth be told) never really use anyway.

I don't plan on buying new TVs until my SD ones break so please don't mistake for an early adopter or gadget freak.


Lethal

nkawtg72
Sep 3, 2007, 12:56 AM
"Completely paid for by advertisers" is not quite accurate as a few shows make a ton of profit, some shows do better than breaking even, a lot of shows tank while never earning a dime and things like News consistent are loss leaders. Content providers are always looking for ways to hedge their bets as they never know if they have a stud or a dud until it hits the airwaves.

Lethal

Have you ever heard of Public Broadcasting. There is a reason it is called that. The broadcasting is PAID FOR by the viewer. Granted there are businesses that get advertising in by helping fund the actual production of certain programs, but the reason there are no commercials is advertising $$$ are not paying for the broadcasting.

I agree that there are some shows that rake in the bucks for the alphabet soup channels and others, and there are some that don't. That is the dilemma the broadcasters face on a daily basis "which shows are attracting the advertisers?!!!" Last time I checked, no friend of mine has ever sent TBS a check for $x.xx because they wanted to show TBS how much they enjoy Andy Griffith.

The Ratings show the industry which shows are popular and the advertisers fight over the chance to advertise there for major bucks. NBC complaining about pricing on ITMS is a smoke screen. All that crap could be free if it had ads. The fact that you are paying anything is testament to the fact that NBC wants to make as much money as possible on as many of their shows as possible. In their defense, not doing so would be stupid too. But don't hate Apple because they don't want it going on in their house.

nkawtg72
Sep 3, 2007, 01:07 AM
SPIKE TV just recently (may still be doing it) was hosting on late night a series of shows that were being produced where they were asking the viewers to give feedback on what they liked or didn't like, or ways to improve what was there.

SPIKE openly said, if you don't like it, we'll remove it, and whatever comes out on top will stay on air. What do you suppose the reason for this was? Advertising!!!!! What better source than the viewers themselves to know where to put a bunch of ads.

My Comcast bill covers the cost of Comcast to supply me with the broadcaster signals. Advertisers pay for the broadcasts.

When I buy something on ITMS, part goes to Apple to cover distribution costs, and the rest goes to the Intellectual Property owner, instead of $$$ from an advertiser.

Cleverboy
Sep 3, 2007, 01:13 AM
I can't believe the number of people on hear talking about business and marketing that obviously have no clue. I'm not going to say that Frankly has everything right, because I've not read all his post, but he sure seems to have his glasses cleaner than the rest of you. Sorry... BAD FORM to cast a general criticism to everyone in the thread. You need to point out some specific people making a specific argument or you're just taking mindless potshots.

If any of you think that Apple can in fact tell a company what they can sell a product for, try again. The FTC would be on them like a pack of wolves. I'm sure they have their ways. For instance, I know for a fact that Apple somehow prevents people from selling its products at deep discounts. I remember going into a Microcenter, and having the sales person tell me specifically that Apple is always screwing with them on what price they can list items for (very nervously). Also, I'm amazed at how consistant Apple's product prices are amongst the various online sellers NOT on eBay. Lastly, and this is an aside, but I can't believe you've never seen this, but many stores regularly note that the manufacturers WILL NOT LET THEM list a certain price next to a product, and require visitors to click through to see the discounted price. Also, this occurs in different commercials as well, "We can't show you the price but--". While they end up selling it for a lower price, they aren't clearly prevented from offering the item specifically for that price and only escape this requirement by skirting around the agreement on technical grounds.

The only reason the price they sell Apple for is only slightly lower than what you can get it for at Apple is....why not!!!! If you're largest competitor is selling it for $x.xx, then why sell it for substantially less and hurt your wallet? Undersell your competition just enough to hopefully encourage someone to buy it from you instead.Nope. Dude... Apple is influencing them with an agreement. Don't be naive.

To get on topic with this NBC thing for a minute. Maybe most of you are too young, or maybe I'm too old (36), Someone will laugh at you for implying that 36 is old.

--broadcasters are not in the business of entertaining. They are in the business of advertising. TV has always and will always be there for the purpose of advertising. Do you think your $.75 keeps that newspaper you buy in business. NO!!!! The advertising in it does. They just stick news in there to get you to look at it, then hope you see an advertisement you like that'll get you to spend money somewhere else, which in turn generates more advertising.This is true. I like these numbers:
http://www.alleyinsider.com/2007/08/apple-vs-nbc-lo.html
REVENUE

Est. annual revenue for iTunes video sales: 100M x $1.99 = $200 million.
LESS: NBC portion: $200 million x 35% = $70 million
iTunes video revenue post NBC defection: $130 million

OPERATING PROFIT

Of the $70 million of NBC video revenue, we estimate that Apple keeps a bit less than a third, or $20 million, and pays about $50 million to NBC.


I'm guessing that what they want to do is raise the price at Apple (for whatever their mis-guided reasons are), then provide the same content somewhere else at a more competitive price BUT with ads. They make more off the ads than they do the content itself. I TOTALLY agree with you. That's EXACTLY what they're doing. It's been noted elsewhere by analysts that the "iTunes" model is not long for this world, and that the ad supported model with streams is far more lucrative. It's one of the reasons ABC began patenting its industry leading system. My feeling is that NBC is clearly attempting, in a Machiavellian fashion, to transition people to Hulu, but confusion the iTunes value-proposition model. I'm very sure Apple expected this would happen. The Hulu beta starts in October. Instead of throngs of people cut off mid-season in early December, without content to download, and perhaps leaping onto Hulu, were I Apple, I would simply cut the cord on new seasons before it starts. Why sell incomplete products. Why disable "season passes" and sow consumer confusion? It's moronic.
I personally don't understand buying TV shows when I can record what I want for FREE off-the-air?!Don't knock it. Simply put, people pay for convenience. I'll gladly pay $1.99 to have something on my iPod/iPhone instead of ripping and compressing it myself. I remember trying to hurredly get Mr. & Mrs. Smith on my iPod before leaving for a new trip. Pain in the ass. I barely converted the Incredibles in time, but all my Lost episodes from iTunes just copied over. Sure, if NBC wants to screw themselves, I'll gladly invest in EyeTV and El Gatos H.264 USB encoder. Until then, I'd like to think they want my money, and even my goodwill.

NBC can tell Apple how they want things, but Apple can also tell NBC to stick it.Exactly.

To be honest though I do think the whole music, broadcast, and film industry owes Apple a big thank you anyway. Apple may not have thought of it, or created it, but they certainly invested in and showed that the old way of selling intellectual property was going the way of the dinosaur and now everyone wants on the bandwagon. Which is good too. It's called capitalism, and everybody wants a piece of it.Agreed. Apple is certainly "the small screen", but they really helped light a fire out in the real-world consumer landscape. By employing hardware/software model, they can afford to offer content at prices that allow it to mostly break-even. Meanwhile, the industry makes its handy profit and keeps truckin'.

~ CB

nkawtg72
Sep 3, 2007, 01:36 AM
Nope. Dude... Apple is influencing them with an agreement. Don't be naive.

~ CB

i appreciate your comments. However i don't feel i'm the one being naive here. think about what you're saying in regards to retail outlets selling Apple products. Chicken or the egg, it doesn't matter which came first, but both parties (Apple and the retailer) VOLUNTARILY entered into the arrangement. I wouldn't let half the sales people I meet in a retail outlet sell me a toothpick. Do you think they are honestly trying and wanting to sell you that Apple product at the lowest possible price and as close to the wholesale price they paid for it, but BIG BAD APPLE WON'T LET THEM!!!! The reason they don't want you to see $$$, is they don't want you to know just how much they paid for it. They more they come down on the price, the lower their commission gets too, have you ever thought of that. I doubt that salesperson will be willing to take how less $$$ to his wife and kids for the sake of giving you the chance to do that very thing.

Respectfully, that to me is naive. Last time I checked, the floor salesmen at MicroCenter weren't included in the negotiation process with Apple. Say what they want, they don't know anymore about it than what I may be claiming to know. Of course their going to blame the price on Apple, high or not. Anything they can do to make it look like they've done everything in THEIR power to get you the best deal possible on PRODUCT A,B,C, etc etc etc, they will do. That is why they are called SALESPEOPLE, they are there to sell not be your friend. Not knocking the profession, there are a lot of good people doing it.

Car industry deals with this by having what they call the MSRP. The Manufacturers SUGGESTED Retail Price. How high over the wholesale cost do you think they place that figure? I don't know, but the point is, they create the $$ amount to give dealerships the ability to be your friend. Look at the ads...."$1500 below MSRP", etc. What counts is the fact that they sell that car for more than what they paid for it. They have cost involved too. They can sell it for a dollar more than what they paid, it wouldn't be enough.

MicroCenter isn't about to tell you what they paid and then explain all their costs and why they are charging you just as much as what Apple happens to be selling it for. It's a business deal for both. Apple gets in the public eye in more stores and retailers benefit from the popularity of the Apple brand by bringing people in the store.

-----------------

addded:
i'm not saying Apple doesn't leverage pricing with retailers. I'm merely saying that no one puts a gun to their heads and makes them agree to it. if they agree to it, it's because they believe that although it may not be "THE BEST DEAL", it still will benefit them.

this has gotten off topic with NBC and we're talking about Apple products. As for NBC, you're actually accusing Apple of doing with their products exactly what NBC is wanting to do with their "products". My opinion on that, is good luck. if NBC wants to cut bait from Apple, then go right ahead. maybe they'll be successful, maybe they won't. but Apple is making that decision to NOT be a part of something, much like MicroCenter or others could do with Apple's products in their stores.


--------------
sorry, lots of typos above, but i'm too tired to go back and correct them all :)

Analog Kid
Sep 3, 2007, 02:01 AM
also, without middle man, A.K.A. Apple, NBCU can lower their price also. Isn't price a shining attraction of walmart other than "all-in-one"?
I agree its all about control, but essentially, or, eventually, the purpose of business is $$$. control is only a method.

NBC is the owner of the content, there is nothing stop them from delivering the videos at lower price just to grab the market, (despite what some people might suggest, I don't think user will say no to one ads or two in exchange for 20c discount)

Im not NBC strategist, but once they are the owner, there are alot of pricing method they can use to attract customers.
This is where micro-quoting starts to lead to problems... It's good to edit down quotes to the relevant piece, but you need to keep a consistent train of thought. You keep clipping smaller and smaller pieces out of peoples posts and refute that part while ignoring context.

Your original comment was that NBC could reduce their prices once they got rid of the middle man. My point is that it probably won't get any cheaper for them without Apple.

As far as whether they may reduce prices for other business reasons, that's absolutely possible-- but it's not why they're pulling out of iTMS. They could offer their content at lower prices, packaged however they choose, through other outlets. Apple doesn't have exclusive distribution rights, as evidenced by all the other networks selling through alternate vectors.

NBC is pulling out of iTunes, or trying to price iTunes out of the market, to eliminate a channel they don't like. They have every right to do this, of course. It's their content. We're losing a distribution channel that is consumer friendly, and we're about to see a shattering of digital content distribution into a bunch of different websites each with different interfaces, quirks, and rules of use. This isn't any kind of win for the consumer though, and I personally think it's a bad business move.

What I'm not looking forward to is the flurry of press releases going back and forth over how it wasn't bad management but Apple and BitTorrent which are responsible for collapsing profits in the entertainment industry right before the people making these decisions pull the golden rip cords on their golden parachutes.

Analog Kid
Sep 3, 2007, 02:09 AM
Again, you're missing the point. I said that even IF Walmart could lower the price to whatever they wanted it wouldn't force Apple to lower their wholesale price.

Second, Walmart DOES sell iPods.
Yeah, I just tracked back to the original point and you're right, I misread the argument. As far as selling iPods, I haven't been in any of their stores, but couldn't find them online.

paulbaker
Sep 3, 2007, 03:08 AM
Listen to yourselves.....

Hey people, read a book and spend time with your kids. Screw TV anyway, its rotting your brain! Watch some news if you have to, then go outside! I read a remark in another forum of just how great the graphics outside are.

Look, I love Apple, and I pay for music too, although I know several people who swear by LimeWire.


Seriously, I have not seen one episode of Heroes, and I really could care less. I'm not trying to say that TV is the Devil, I'm just saying that "people" feed this beast.

My ten year old daughter asked if I could take her to the store to get a bottled water...
I said, give me a dollar and I will get you a glass of iced water from the fridge..

I'm just saying, there is a whole lot of ranting here. My advice, do something else.

Analog Kid
Sep 3, 2007, 03:24 AM
I feel strongly about this. Another poster, nkawtg72, in my post here effectively elaborates on it. But yes, I have a hard time paying for something that is otherwise available "for free", especially something that has already been completely paid for by advertisers. Talk about double-dipping.
...
nkawtg72, I couldn't agree more, except with one particular point: "Piracy steals money when someone other than NBC distributes it over the internet illegally."

No, that isn't like stealing money from NBC, or any other broadcaster. And it isn't stealing money because NBC has already made money by the advertiser sponsoring the show with their ads! Moreover, every eyeball is an additional eyeball, so if you "steal" a copy and watch it, then you're one more person who sees the ad than would have seen it originally.

Now, if someone D/L'd the thing and then redistributed it for a fee, then for me that would be a somewhat morally/ethically gray area, but at the end of the day I'd have to say, just to be fair, the entity in question should have to pay at least some of that money back to NBC. However, they should be able to keep enough of it to defray expenses and turn a reasonable profit. Mind you, we're probably talking no more than maybe 20˘ - 30˘ as being a reasonable "finders fee", but still why shouldn't they be allowed to profit through such enterprising efforts?



i agree with the argument someone had with something i said and didn't put into words too good. when it comes to "free" content that is technically was paid for by advertisers when it was broadcast, i agree that piracy would have to involve the exchange of $$$$.

if i go to the library and i take information (intellectual property) from a book and use it in my school report is that "piracy"? Not if I site it appropriately. I have a hard time (I don't know the details in the laws) thinking that a broadcaster should have any room to complain that their intellectual property that was paid for by advertisers for the purpose of broadcasting is now being re-distributing by someone else who is NOT profiting from it. If anything, it's free advertising for the broadcaster. Now if i were selling NBC property to others, hence profiting from their labors, without NBCs permission, then that would be another story. But I already know, there's probably holes in the opinion, but i thought i'd share it anyway.

adios
Ok, there are two parts of this "it's free if it's been broadcast" argument that are wrong. First, and most directly, you're depriving the network of ad revenue during reruns, or by viewing downloaded material rather than viewing the broadcast. This has been a problem with time shifted viewing in general, and advertisers have generally taken the view that people tend not to be good at skipping commercials, or if they do they at least see them in fast forward. If you're viewing material from which the ads have been deleted then the method of payment has been eliminated. Ads are paid for based on expected viewers, if advertisers anticipate that their ads will be stripped out of the content they have no reason to pay for it. Networks account for the revenue from the initial airing as well as subsequent deliveries-- reruns, DVD sales, syndication.

Second, the deals that are struck now will be the foundation for the deals that are struck once on-demand viewing becomes more widespread. For now, whatever people are doing online really only has a minor impact on broadcast viewership, but we can be pretty sure that 10 years from now the balance will be different.
If any of you think that Apple can in fact tell a company what they can sell a product for, try again. The FTC would be on them like a pack of wolves.
Why would the FTC get involved?

surferfromuk
Sep 3, 2007, 03:27 AM
Ipod still is and always was mainly about music.

Until we get to the point where they can stop you ripping a CD into iTunes Apple and iPod will continue to be the best digital media player on the planet. Nothing these funny little TV companies can do will stop this.

I would also hazard a guess that 80% of people who want to watch video on their iPods, rather than say on the TV, are quite capable and more than willing to either

a) rip the DVD or
b) download it from a torrent.
c) Capture it locally from their own TV stream

AND...if that's not enough...

If all this ever get's to the point where it begins to really bug the cr*p out of Steve Jobs he will probably just buy them for cash and have done with the whole damned thing...

Remember Steve always wins....

LethalWolfe
Sep 3, 2007, 03:27 AM
Have you ever heard of Public Broadcasting. There is a reason it is called that. The broadcasting is PAID FOR by the viewer. Granted there are businesses that get advertising in by helping fund the actual production of certain programs, but the reason there are no commercials is advertising $$$ are not paying for the broadcasting.

I agree that there are some shows that rake in the bucks for the alphabet soup channels and others, and there are some that don't. That is the dilemma the broadcasters face on a daily basis "which shows are attracting the advertisers?!!!" Last time I checked, no friend of mine has ever sent TBS a check for $x.xx because they wanted to show TBS how much they enjoy Andy Griffith.

The Ratings show the industry which shows are popular and the advertisers fight over the chance to advertise there for major bucks. NBC complaining about pricing on ITMS is a smoke screen. All that crap could be free if it had ads. The fact that you are paying anything is testament to the fact that NBC wants to make as much money as possible on as many of their shows as possible. In their defense, not doing so would be stupid too. But don't hate Apple because they don't want it going on in their house.

I think you need to take a deep breath and spend a bit more time reading peoples posts before firing off a bunch of replies. I don't see how this reply makes much since considering what I've said especially the part about me hating Apple. I haven't voiced an opinion either way on who I think is "wrong" or "right".


Lethal

happylittlemac
Sep 3, 2007, 06:32 AM
Most people are kinda missing the point and it's very simple matter, it's all about making more money and control, NBC want to price gouge and as any large media conglomerate they are addicted to control. The media industry is like a retarded 12 year old with a crack habit :p

MarcelV
Sep 3, 2007, 08:03 AM
My Comcast bill covers the cost of Comcast to supply me with the broadcaster signals. Advertisers pay for the broadcasts.
This is inaccurate. Comcast is paying a per subscriber or a flat fee per month/year (based on contract) to the content providers. So, does Warner Cable, DishNetwork, Directv, and all other Cable/Satellite providers. And content providers bundle channels to discount the carry fees.

Cleverboy
Sep 3, 2007, 10:32 AM
Do you think they are honestly trying and wanting to sell you that Apple product at the lowest possible price and as close to the wholesale price they paid for it, but BIG BAD APPLE WON'T LET THEM!!!! The reason they don't want you to see $$$, is they don't want you to know just how much they paid for it.I'll agree that this is the reason when it comes to cars, but what you're missing, is that there is also something else very much at play. If I were to guess, I'd say it was "brand degradation". I worked for the online retailer SmartBargains, and it was said very clearly to me, that they get legal threats when they slip up and accidentally solicit consumers with low prices for a particular brand. They're required to show the brand on one page, and the price on another (or not mention the brand at all). I understand though, this is different than Apple saying what they can and can't sell something for, but it certainly is Apple influencing what something can be listed for in terms of posting a simple product and price on the same page. This becomes so problematic, retailers tend to avoid doing it whenever possible. Make sure you don't miss the details there.

this has gotten off topic with NBC and we're talking about Apple products. As for NBC, you're actually accusing Apple of doing with their products exactly what NBC is wanting to do with their "products". My opinion on that, is good luck. if NBC wants to cut bait from Apple, then go right ahead. maybe they'll be successful, maybe they won't. but Apple is making that decision to NOT be a part of something, much like MicroCenter or others could do with Apple's products in their stores.True. Consumers have a right to complain though. How the system works. Not often enough either if you ask me. Protests and letter campaigns change corporate behavior as negative opinions tend to degrade their brand. Y'know? Just saying.

~ CB

Cleverboy
Sep 3, 2007, 10:46 AM
Do you think they are honestly trying and wanting to sell you that Apple product at the lowest possible price and as close to the wholesale price they paid for it, but BIG BAD APPLE WON'T LET THEM!!!! The reason they don't want you to see $$$, is they don't want you to know just how much they paid for it. Ah, found it. Time for a dose of reality regarding how manufacturers affect what price items are listed at when sold.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/help/help.html/ref=map_popup/103-8926195-7207868?ie=UTF8&topic=map
Manufacturers sometimes ask that retailers not display a price if it drops below a certain amount. The "click here to see price" message indicates that the price of the item is so low that the manufacturer requested that it not be advertised (that is, displayed). In a brick-and-mortar store, you would probably have to ask a salesperson what the price of the product is. At Amazon, by clicking on "click here to see price" you are essentially asking to see the price, at which point we show it to you.
I also found elsewhere what the repercussions are of going below what is referred to as the "Minimum Advertised Price" policy, and they can be severe and I doubt limited to this:
As an authorized dealer we are subject to manufacturers Minimum Advertised Price (MAP) policies. These items can not be advertised or shown on websites for less than MAP prices by authorized dealers. Otherwise we will lose our dealership status. Any sellers that advertise below MAP are not authorized dealers and may have lost their dealership status. If you find an advertised price below Just Deejays's customer or member price it is from illegal non authorized "Gray" sellers. Their products will not have manufacturer warranties, may be used and sold as new, refurbished, B stock or knock offs. Meaning, that the manufacturer may say that all products sold by the establishment are not covered under the manufacturer's warranty.

So, if someone tells you that the price you see a product listed at has NOTHING to do with what the manufacturer wants, and is ONLY subject to what the dealer/store wishes to list the item at, they don't know what they're talking about, unfortunately. There are guidelines out there.

As relates to NBC, yes... I'm sure that they have MAP policies as well regardless of what Apple's wholesale price is. So, definitely put that in the mix, if you're not already. When a song is listed in iTunes, its very likely that the price that appears isn't arbitrary, but exists inside of a range sanctioned by the provider. It may not be up to Apple alone to list a song at 25 cents, unless their sales agreement allows for that wide of a range below cost (although there are indirect ways around this, as shown above from Amazon's "polite" description).

~ CB

Snowy_River
Sep 3, 2007, 11:56 AM
Disclaimer: IANAL

Dude, where have you been for the past, say, five years?

You cannot legally rip a DVD to play it on your iPod (I'm not saying it's morally wrong - of course morally it's fine). I have no doubt that, in the context of the current discussion, NBC considers your rip from a legally-purchased DVD to be just as "pirated" as if you grabbed it off Pirate Bay, Kazaa, etc.

This is just another round of the losing battle the old-media dinosaurs insist on continuing to fight - they're still trying to stuff the genie back into the bottle.

Actually, I'm speaking from the grounds of "Fair Use". Under Fair Use case law, it is legal to reproduce an entire copyrighted work for the purpose of noncommercial time- or space-shifted viewing

Did I say the DMCA kept people from ripping DVDs? No, I just said that the reason Apple won't let your rip DVDs like you rip CDs is because of the DMCA. Apple doesn't want to get buried in DMCA lawsuits and lose court rulings like 321 Studios did. The legal precedent was set when a CA court ruled that the DMCA supersedes the publics long protected ability to "space-shift" content from one medium to another.


Lethal

I haven't heard of that case, but, given that, there is a conflict in case law, and it will have to be fought out, perhaps all the way to the Supreme Court, because space-shifting and time-shifting are both protected forms of Fair Use, under case law, which the DMCA has written in that it's not supposed to affect:

Nothing in this section shall affect rights, remedies, limitations, or defenses to copyright infringement, including fair use, under this title.

...
It's possible they could watermark the content at broadcast and ask Apple to block anything they find with the watermark that isn't licensed. Ripping from DVD is not entirely legal, by the way.
...

But that would still violate Fair Use. If I used a DVR to record content directly off a TV broadcast so I could watch it on my way to work while riding the train, my right to do that is covered by Fair Use (not withstanding the afore mentioned conflicts in case law). So, again, we come back to the issue of how to distinguish between legal content and pirated content. And the answer is that there is no real way to do so.

And, ripping DVDs is not entirely illegal either, by the way. Case law on this point is not settled yet.

...

nkawtg72, I couldn't agree more, except with one particular point: "Piracy steals money when someone other than NBC distributes it over the internet illegally."

No, that isn't like stealing money from NBC, or any other broadcaster. And it isn't stealing money because NBC has already made money by the advertiser sponsoring the show with their ads! Moreover, every eyeball is an additional eyeball, so if you "steal" a copy and watch it, then you're one more person who sees the ad than would have seen it originally.
...

So, I think we need to review a little about how broadcast economics work. The way the current model works is that broadcasters get a rating on how popular a certain program is based on how many people are watching it when it's being broadcast. Based on this rating, they then have a price that they can charge for the advertising spots during this program. If 100 people are avid fans of a program, but 60 of them are downloading the program (legally or illegally) and not watching during the broadcast, then the programs rating is low and the price for the ad space is low. Therefore, from NBC's perspective, people who are downloading a program illegally are stealing from them, as they can't charge as much for the ad space, and are therefore making less money.

An interesting perspective is given when you take into account the fact that (at least according to something I read about six months ago) the networks make more money per viewer off of iTS downloads than they do off ad space during a broadcast. So where does that leave this whole debate?

:)

seashellz
Sep 3, 2007, 12:19 PM
great-one more 'also-ran' DL service that will be RIP-ing 6 months after launch, like ZUNE...
which either gone or on life support...Apple has the branding name recogntion.
is why

Cleverboy
Sep 3, 2007, 12:38 PM
Ipod still is and always was mainly about music.

Until we get to the point where they can stop you ripping a CD into iTunes Apple and iPod will continue to be the best digital media player on the planet. Nothing these funny little TV companies can do will stop this.

I would also hazard a guess that 80% of people who want to watch video on their iPods, rather than say on the TV, are quite capable and more than willing to either

a) rip the DVD or
b) download it from a torrent.
c) Capture it locally from their own TV stream

AND...if that's not enough...

If all this ever get's to the point where it begins to really bug the cr*p out of Steve Jobs he will probably just buy them for cash and have done with the whole damned thing...

Remember Steve always wins....Well, consider this. Apple is CONSTANTLY trying to partner with companies and respect their wishes, etc, etc. The first iPods shipped with a little note that said, "Don't Steal Music". I remember thinking at the time, "Wow, that's odd. Um, whatever..." iPod make it very difficult to copy OFF media that you didn't purchase through iTunes, therefore proving the media is yours. Apple has gone out of its way to work with partners. With CDs they've allowed users to RIP... MIX... and BURN to their hearts content, just as they've been doing, only easier.

No, here is where the dark clouds and lightning appear. There is ONE singular direction that Apple has steadfastly avoided, and it has been primarily to the benefit of content providers. Apple has said, "Hey, we work with content providers, allowing them to reselll their content to our iTunes customers." Right? That's the message. See it on TV, buy it on iTunes! Meanwhile, third party manufacturer El Gato has been consistantly releasing a product with such tight synergies with Apple's offerings, as to be uncanny. Digital Video Recording. It's what many people wanted apple TV to be.

There is a drum beat over this. Apple has continued to support the reselling of content, even though users would truly love to simply record broadcasts and playback them back on their iPods. It's the same thing as using a VCR except the media companies don't see additional revenue from it. --So, Apple continues to deny and refuse the entire DVR angle to their product line, and the NBC's of the world insist that Apple is the one who is greedy and only cares about their own profits.

Right. We'll see what happens when cable-cards are in full-effect. We'll see how long Apple can keep holding out from implementing technology it knows it has every legal right to do, and ignores in an effort to satisfy its partners. Content reselling IS the ideal model, when partners are cooperative with the format. If partners begin to defect, Apple will need to strongly consider its other options for getting content playing on its devices.

~ CB

nkawtg72
Sep 3, 2007, 03:30 PM
Ah, found it. Time for a dose of reality regarding how manufacturers affect what price items are listed at when sold.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/help/help.html/ref=map_popup/103-8926195-7207868?ie=UTF8&topic=map
I also found elsewhere what the repercussions are of going below what is referred to as the "Minimum Advertised Price" policy, and they can be severe and I doubt limited to this:
Meaning, that the manufacturer may say that all products sold by the establishment are not covered under the manufacturer's warranty.

So, if someone tells you that the price you see a product listed at has NOTHING to do with what the manufacturer wants, and is ONLY subject to what the dealer/store wishes to list the item at, they don't know what they're talking about, unfortunately. There are guidelines out there.

As relates to NBC, yes... I'm sure that they have MAP policies as well regardless of what Apple's wholesale price is. So, definitely put that in the mix, if you're not already. When a song is listed in iTunes, its very likely that the price that appears isn't arbitrary, but exists inside of a range sanctioned by the provider. It may not be up to Apple alone to list a song at 25 cents, unless their sales agreement allows for that wide of a range below cost (although there are indirect ways around this, as shown above from Amazon's "polite" description).

~ CB

maybe you should read what i wrote again. you have accused apple of PRICE FIXING and telling retailers what price they HAVE TO or maybe are PERMITTED to sell an Apple product at. your research into SHOWING PRICES does not have anything to do with that. So fine maybe Apple will ask a retailer to not "publicly advertise or display" a sales price when it's gone below a certain amount, but you're actually saying that Apple is NOT letting retailers sell low in the first place. how do those two things have anything to do with one another?

if i'm missing something there please fill me in again.

nkawtg72
Sep 3, 2007, 03:44 PM
I think you need to take a deep breath and spend a bit more time reading peoples posts before firing off a bunch of replies. I don't see how this reply makes much since considering what I've said especially the part about me hating Apple. I haven't voiced an opinion either way on who I think is "wrong" or "right".


Lethal

don't be so easily offended. no where in my post did i state your specific username. this is a forum, where you should expect to read opinions. i made a GENERAL (refer to Webster's) statement on "not hating Apple, blah blah blah", that was not necessarily directed at you but someone who may in fact have it out for Apple.

as for taking a deep breathe, maybe you have time to read all 160 posts, but i do not. i'm not expecting you to agree with me, again this is a forum. i merely saw some posts that i felt i wanted to provide a counter arguement to.

if you feel that reading ALL the posts should be a requirement before replying then why don't you ask MR to redesign the site to force someone to thread through each and every response before they have the option to reply themselves.

honestly, i think not being so easily offended in an OPEN FORUM is the better route.

nkawtg72
Sep 3, 2007, 03:55 PM
Apple continues to deny and refuse the entire DVR angle to their product line, and the NBC's of the world insist that Apple is the one who is greedy and only cares about their own profits.
~ CB

i've been using my Macs as DVRs for years. iMovie is perfect for recording TV, DVDs, or any other analog footage you pipe into your computer. the fact that Apple hasn't made a device specifically designed to function as a DVR doesn't mean they "refuse the entire DVR angle to their product line," as you put it.

maybe Apple is playing both sides of the fence here, i don't know. by not having a DVR product they feel they can keep the industry happy, but by providing a means to do it, their entire Mac line of products, they can keep the end users happy.

you prove my arguement yourself by bringing up Elgato. last time i checked you HAVE TO USE A MAC with your Elgato product, they don't even work on PCs. i've not heard of any attempt on Apple's part to prevent any Elgato device from functioning properly when connected.

nkawtg72
Sep 3, 2007, 04:00 PM
This is inaccurate. Comcast is paying a per subscriber or a flat fee per month/year (based on contract) to the content providers. So, does Warner Cable, DishNetwork, Directv, and all other Cable/Satellite providers. And content providers bundle channels to discount the carry fees.

i'm changing my frist response to this where i said.....
"that is exactly what i said. my fees go to COVER COMCASTs cost of doing business. i just didn't specify the cost they are covering like you did."

i'm confused are you saying that Comcast is not a Content Provider like all those others you listed? you say they are paying a fee to content providers...did you mean to say that comcast is paying a fee to broadcasters? comcast pays fees to broadcasters for the rights to provide the content to their subscribers. those fees are then passed on to me through my subscriber fees, plus some might i add so comcast can make a profit.

so maybe we are saying the same thing here, i'm not sure. but my point is that advertising pays for the broadcast (from the NBC, Spike, CNN, etc of the world), and the end users pay for the actually distribution through the content providers (comcast, dish, etc).

so the stakeholders here are the 1) advertisers, 2) broadcasters, 3) content providers (distribution), 4) viewers.

1. advertisers make there money from the potential sale of the products they are advertising
2. broadcasters make their money (hopefully), by bringing in more advertising dollars and distribution fees than what it actually costs them to operate.
3. content providers (distribution) make their money on subscriber fees, which they too hope will be higher than what it costs them to pay for the rights to get the content from the broadcasters.
4. and the end user makes no money in the deal, but walks away hopefully satisfied with what they have been viewing and has cost them so much these days to get

Potus
Sep 3, 2007, 04:38 PM
Under the current model, the viewer is the product (#viewers per segment), content is the lure that brings the product (the viewer) to the advertiser. The content is only relevant insofar as it is a successful lure, ergo the vast wasteland.

nkawtg72
Sep 3, 2007, 04:52 PM
Ok, there are two parts of this "it's free if it's been broadcast" argument that are wrong. First, and most directly, you're depriving the network of ad revenue during reruns, or by viewing downloaded material rather than viewing the broadcast. This has been a problem with time shifted viewing in general, and advertisers have generally taken the view that people tend not to be good at skipping commercials, or if they do they at least see them in fast forward. If you're viewing material from which the ads have been deleted then the method of payment has been eliminated. Ads are paid for based on expected viewers, if advertisers anticipate that their ads will be stripped out of the content they have no reason to pay for it. Networks account for the revenue from the initial airing as well as subsequent deliveries-- reruns, DVD sales, syndication.

Second, the deals that are struck now will be the foundation for the deals that are struck once on-demand viewing becomes more widespread. For now, whatever people are doing online really only has a minor impact on broadcast viewership, but we can be pretty sure that 10 years from now the balance will be different.

Why would the FTC get involved?

there is a reason i put FREE in quotes. i'm not saying it literally is FREE. i am simply emphasizing that the broadcast coming to my home was ORIGINALLY paid for by advertisers. those advertisers entered a contract where they made a cost/benefit analysis of how much that ad would cost as it related to how much exposure their product would get.

my recording a show and watching it later at its most basic element deprives them of nothing. IF I WERE TO ILLEGALLY DOWNLOAD IT FROM ONLINE then you would be correct in that. only a small fraction of programs are actually re-aired, and when they are, they are aired at different times which means a whole different set of advertisers will be covering the cost of the broadcast. if you are suggesting that the ad paying for the show that ran today is suppose to cover the cost of re-airing it later, then that means it should run commercial free when it does re-air. you're trying to make it more complicated than it really is.

i could be wrong here, but DVDs, reruns, syndication are not thoroughly considered like that on the frontend. you don't enter a horse in the race while it's still in the womb, you make sure it can walk first. a very large precentage of shows just don't make it and go by the wayside. to suggest that the broadcasters were counting on DVD sales, syndication, action figures, before they even knew whether the public would like it, i think would be a reach. they'll make sure they can cover the costs up front, anything later on will be more money in the pockets.

its an Action-Reaction business. something is broadcast, then there is an ad to difer the cost and hopefully to also generate a profit for the broadcaster. what i think you are mixing into the equation is the ADDITIONAL sources of revenue that the broadcasters now have at their disposal.

those are, DVD, online download, ON-Demand viewing (like Comcast or Pay-per-view). what is happening now is NBC has been trying to generate additional revenue by providing their content AGAIN through one of these other sources. they chose to do that through ITMS, no one made them. every penny they make through a sale on ITMS is almost literally profit for them since the ORIGINAL cost of broadcast and creation of the show was covered by the advertisers when it first aired.

NBC obviously feels they should be and can be making more off these additional methods, like ITMS, and is trying to squeeze it a little more. that's fine. it's a free market and it's their intellectual property. they can sell it for whatever price and through whatever source they want. in the end though the consumer will decide just how successful this strategy will be. NBC is obviously leaving all options open, since the fine print on HULU says that they reserve the right to charge for any number of scenerios in the future.

again, not pointed at any one person (on this forum), but i just don't see why NBCs decision should have any negative reflection an Apple. "technically" Apple is at the same level as Comcast or any other content provider. if they don't want to do business with NBC on the terms that NBC is asking then they have that right. last i checked, Apple is not the one here trying to raise prices on the content on their site that people are buying, NBC is. no matter how NBC wants to explain it, Apple is simply saying "not here you won't".

lastly, if you don't know the part the FTC plays in the context for which i stated, maybe you should research it. we were discussing PRICE FIXING by Apple through retailers. and the FTC is a consumer protection element of the government, who would find great interest in such behaviour by Apple, if that were in fact occuring.

nkawtg72
Sep 3, 2007, 04:55 PM
Under the current model, the viewer is the product (#viewers per segment), content is the lure that brings the product (the viewer) to the advertiser. The content is only relevant insofar as it is a successful lure, ergo the vast wasteland.

good point. viewers are the product that the broadcasters are selling to the advertisers. the content providers (comcast, etc) are the farmers leading the cattle (the viewer) off to slaughter.

Analog Kid
Sep 3, 2007, 07:04 PM
But that would still violate Fair Use. If I used a DVR to record content directly off a TV broadcast so I could watch it on my way to work while riding the train, my right to do that is covered by Fair Use (not withstanding the afore mentioned conflicts in case law). So, again, we come back to the issue of how to distinguish between legal content and pirated content. And the answer is that there is no real way to do so.

And, ripping DVDs is not entirely illegal either, by the way. Case law on this point is not settled yet.

I don't think content providers can violate fair use. Users have the right to use content fairly, but the providers don't need to make that easy. That why DAT and DVD were locked down, like other technologies before and since.

That's what I meant by "not entirely" legal-- there's a conflict in law that, for the time being, is being enforced in favor of content providers. Eventually someone will need to have the balls to risk taking it to the Supreme Court, but for now Mac The Ripper is being kept off reputable sites. Content providers also seem loathe to have the status quo tested-- they seem to back down when users look willing to fight.

If things keep following their current track, the precedent may well be RIAA v Apple.
there is a reason i put FREE in quotes. i'm not saying it literally is FREE. i am simply emphasizing that the broadcast coming to my home was ORIGINALLY paid for by advertisers. those advertisers entered a contract where they made a cost/benefit analysis of how much that ad would cost as it related to how much exposure their product would get.

my recording a show and watching it later at its most basic element deprives them of nothing. IF I WERE TO ILLEGALLY DOWNLOAD IT FROM ONLINE then you would be correct in that. only a small fraction of programs are actually re-aired, and when they are, they are aired at different times which means a whole different set of advertisers will be covering the cost of the broadcast. if you are suggesting that the ad paying for the show that ran today is suppose to cover the cost of re-airing it later, then that means it should run commercial free when it does re-air. you're trying to make it more complicated than it really is.

i could be wrong here, but DVDs, reruns, syndication are not thoroughly considered like that on the frontend. you don't enter a horse in the race while it's still in the womb, you make sure it can walk first. a very large precentage of shows just don't make it and go by the wayside. to suggest that the broadcasters were counting on DVD sales, syndication, action figures, before they even knew whether the public would like it, i think would be a reach. they'll make sure they can cover the costs up front, anything later on will be more money in the pockets.

its an Action-Reaction business. something is broadcast, then there is an ad to difer the cost and hopefully to also generate a profit for the broadcaster. what i think you are mixing into the equation is the ADDITIONAL sources of revenue that the broadcasters now have at their disposal.

those are, DVD, online download, ON-Demand viewing (like Comcast or Pay-per-view). what is happening now is NBC has been trying to generate additional revenue by providing their content AGAIN through one of these other sources. they chose to do that through ITMS, no one made them. every penny they make through a sale on ITMS is almost literally profit for them since the ORIGINAL cost of broadcast and creation of the show was covered by the advertisers when it first aired.

NBC obviously feels they should be and can be making more off these additional methods, like ITMS, and is trying to squeeze it a little more. that's fine. it's a free market and it's their intellectual property. they can sell it for whatever price and through whatever source they want. in the end though the consumer will decide just how successful this strategy will be. NBC is obviously leaving all options open, since the fine print on HULU says that they reserve the right to charge for any number of scenerios in the future.

again, not pointed at any one person (on this forum), but i just don't see why NBCs decision should have any negative reflection an Apple. "technically" Apple is at the same level as Comcast or any other content provider. if they don't want to do business with NBC on the terms that NBC is asking then they have that right. last i checked, Apple is not the one here trying to raise prices on the content on their site that people are buying, NBC is. no matter how NBC wants to explain it, Apple is simply saying "not here you won't".

lastly, if you don't know the part the FTC plays in the context for which i stated, maybe you should research it. we were discussing PRICE FIXING by Apple through retailers. and the FTC is a consumer protection element of the government, who would find great interest in such behaviour by Apple, if that were in fact occuring.
TV shows, like any other product, are budgeted based on all projected revenue. When a company manufactures a product, a lot of effort is put into figuring out what the return on investment will be. What the expected revenue versus R&D, cost to manufacture, cost of support, etc. The same will be true for media content. There is certainly a model for what they expect the long term revenue outlook to be. It's never exact, but it's estimated.

That's why they run pilots, and market studies.

It's also the revenue from current products that fund future ventures. Advertisers are going to be reluctant to put a lot of money into untested programming, and they certainly won't be paying before the product is aired, so the first season is filmed based on revenues from existing products.

Then there are the knock-on effects of declining viewership. Advertisers pay to have people see the ads, and if Nielsen tells them less people are watching, they pay less.

My point being that piracy does not need to involve commercial sale to deprive the content provider of income, which is how I read the posts by yourself and MikeTheC. There are all kinds of grey areas here, such as time shifted viewing where the viewer can essentially skip commercials themselves if they choose to. The courts have ruled that recording the program and then viewing it is legal, even if the advertiser loses exposure because of it. I believe they've also ruled against technologies that permit a recorder to automatically remove the commercials. What isn't a grey area is downloading content from a P2P with the advertisements stripped and viewing it in lieu of the original broadcast-- the broadcaster is losing income, or will be when they figure out how to track it better.

This, by the way, is the reason P2Ps are seen as a way of making a statement to the networks. If they didn't deprive them of income, they wouldn't be much of a threat.

As far as price fixing goes, I might suggest you do some research on that yourself... "Price fixing" is a term of art and doesn't necessarily mean what the words themselves appear to. Price fixing is collusion among competitors. You are perfectly welcome to set the price of sale on your own products and control your own distribution channel, if you feel that is in your best interest. Most manufacturers don't do that because they feel that if their resellers reduce cost by reducing their margins, it will result in greater sales. Apple feels differently. They wouldn't allow subsidies of the iPhone because they thought it "devalued" their product.

If Apple and Microsoft agreed to set prices on the iPod and Zune to be the same (or the same relative to each other), that would be price fixing. It's anti-competitive.

Cleverboy
Sep 3, 2007, 07:13 PM
maybe you should read what i wrote again. you have accused apple of PRICE FIXING and telling retailers what price they HAVE TO or maybe are PERMITTED to sell an Apple product at. your research into SHOWING PRICES does not have anything to do with that. So fine maybe Apple will ask a retailer to not "publicly advertise or display" a sales price when it's gone below a certain amount, but you're actually saying that Apple is NOT letting retailers sell low in the first place. how do those two things have anything to do with one another?

if i'm missing something there please fill me in again.Nope, you missed my point. In fact, I specifically outlined that this IS NOT limiting what the product can be sold at, but what the product can be listed at, which is what you were talking about earlier about why prices are hidden. You're trying to have it both ways. I can see you'll argue in circles on this point, instead of backing off, and restating what you DID mean to say. I even quoted you. Wild whacky stuff. I'm not the one who needs to re-read anything, FYI. I perfectly understand that you got one point WRONG, and the OTHER you are correct on, which I acknowledged in my post. Sigh. Oh, well.

~ CB

Cleverboy
Sep 3, 2007, 07:39 PM
i've been using my Macs as DVRs for years. iMovie is perfect for recording TV, DVDs, or any other analog footage you pipe into your computer. the fact that Apple hasn't made a device specifically designed to function as a DVR doesn't mean they "refuse the entire DVR angle to their product line," as you put it.

maybe Apple is playing both sides of the fence here, i don't know. by not having a DVR product they feel they can keep the industry happy, but by providing a means to do it, their entire Mac line of products, they can keep the end users happy.

you prove my arguement yourself by bringing up Elgato. last time i checked you HAVE TO USE A MAC with your Elgato product, they don't even work on PCs. i've not heard of any attempt on Apple's part to prevent any Elgato device from functioning properly when connected.Hm? I put out a very clear line of discussion, that didn't have a lot to do with what you were saying. I was talking to "surferfromuk" and quoted him. What is this "proved my point" hooey coming from? :confused:

Did I say anything about Apple disabling people from doing anything?

I'm hesitant to restate what my point was because it sounds like you're not reading things properly, which would make more explantion useless... but I'll try. I'm saying that APPLE WILL NOT RELEASE A DVR PRODUCT. I am NOT saying that Apple will magically make it *impossible* for DVR technology to function on the Mac (?????) How retarded would that be? (I almost want to shake you for emphasis). The farthest Apple has gone in anything remotely like this, is with its OWN products. For instance, you can't take a snapshot of a DVD window using Apple's DVD player. But you can with third-party DVD file players. Otherwise the Mac is, and will ever be, friendly to digital video manipulation. It's even been noted that iMovie will in certain cases, allow you to use a non-CSS DVD (as one from a mini-DVD camera) as a video source when importing content. Clearly, Apple is trying to balance consumer capabilities with protecting content rights.

Here's some greater context. I've been arguing with a friend of mine forever about the evolution of Apple TV, and its clear to ME Apple is avoiding the DVR angle (I hope we're clear on what that means). People have been using Mac Minis as DVR's for a while, and commenting on how nice a solution it can be. --Which beggars the question, why Apple doesn't simply build it in? ONE possible argument is that they don't want to squash the third-party market space (there is a somewhat legendary rumor of the Photoshop alternative Apple keeps in a drawer somewhere, in case Adobe ever pulls out of the platform). ANOTHER possible argument, is that this is *far* from their focus as a company. A THIRD, is that they do not want to step on the toes of content partners and risk very touchy-feely lawsuits and end up eroding any remaining good-will from studios.

I don't truly believe that any ONE reason is *THE* reason, but I think the third reason is probably the most important, considering that Steve Jobs serves on the Board of Directors for Disney.

My friend, meanwhile, thinks very strongly, that Apple will begin selling an integrated large screen LCD television with the MacOS/Frontrow built into it, and presumeably with DVR capabilities eventually. I personally think he's on crack on all counts, but I like him anyway. He's good people. :)

My conclusion is that for those reasons I mentioned, Apple is actively avoiding a specific type of product. There has also been a lot of discussion that Apple should BUY TiVo. That's been a great old chestnut. On one level the synergies work, but on another, it has the serious potential of being seen as an "act of war" with content providers who already see Apple's electronic gadgets as parasitic to their interests. :eek:

Don't immediately take these points as "counter" to anything you've said, nkawtg72. I'm just clarifying my wholly separate and non-reactionary opinion on DVRs (at least non-reactionary to anything you've been saying).

~ CB

MikeTheC
Sep 3, 2007, 09:07 PM
I'm trying to think of where to begin with this...

First off, while it may not be illegal, double-dipping (i.e.: having a show paid for by advertising revenue and then paid for again by viewers) is something that, at the very least, many people find offensive. And, honestly, I am amongst that group. If you want to sell me content (and assuming I am willing to pay for it and then agree to pay for it), then no harm, no foul.

Now, you can say that a given show wasn't fully underwritten by advertisers, and it may be true (however the fact of the matter is that ultimately the jury is still out on that one based on the complete and total inability of external third parties such as ourselves to have access to independently-verifiable numbers) but we'll never know for sure, and I for one highly doubt (other than for, say the pilot of a show, and even then I have my doubts) any show you see on TV isn't at a minimum breaking even in advertising.

Absent any evidence to the contrary, I'm going on the safer bet that TV networks such as NBC, CBS and ABC (and obviously others) wouldn't dane to run their business in anticipation of profit for even a second. I'll accept in principle that I may be wrong on this point, but I doubt it.

The Entertainment Injustistry has a frightfully huge lobbying presence on The Hill and elsewhere. They've also got a frightening amount of power and leverage (thank you United States government and the other zombie governments of the world too stupid to see past their own greed and do the right thing(s) ), and then on top of it all, they also have the ability to exert a hideous amount of mental sway/influence on the general public, since it's they themselves which serve as the conduits through which much of the so-called "discourse" on such matters flows, one-to-many, out to the general public.

I care little for the supposed wrongs done to the E.I. by us, the members of the general public, considering what they have been doing to us all these years. And I'll give you an example of this paragraph and the one before it right now...

If you look at many of the TV shows which have come on the air either right before or at any point after the wide-spread adoption and accessibility of broadband Internet connectivity in any given country (but let's just limit this to the U.K., the U.S. and Australia for the moment) what you find is that the shows which have attained the highest ratings, largest amount of views, and have earned the greatest public respect are the ones which are also "pirated" the most via the Internet. Doctor Who and Battlestar Galactica are probably the two most outstanding examples of this phenomena that I can easily site, though probably Robot Chicken and Desperate Housewives and a few others are out there, too. They have had enormous ratings, their high download rates notwithstanding. And in the case of Dr. Who, when you'd expect unauthorized Internet viewing to have had a negative impact on views, the actual results are, in fact, quite the opposite.

Same thing with Battlestar Galactica. It's a critically-acclaimed, Peabody-award-winning TV show with some of the highest ratings (if not the highest) on SciFi, and certainly a top contender overall. The first season was paradoxically shown exclusively in England before it was shown in America, even though it is considered to be an American TV show. And you know what? The ratings were amazing when it did finally show in the U.S.

I'm sorry, but I simply do not buy into the argument that unauthorized viewing is having a spoiling factor as it's only effect. What you find is that shows which suck are found out a lot sooner, and don't get watched as much (because people tell other people who tell other people "Hey, this show sucks.") and conversely shows that are great shows get even better viewership than they otherwise might because of this same infrastructure.

Now, while it's true that Apple is not giving access to content on a pro bono basis, nor are they in it without the intent to make a business out of the process, at least Apple isn't trying to screw their customer base, but rather they've figured out that, "Hey, you know, if we just do the right thing and make the customer happy, they'll of their own free will prefer to do business with us over the other guy." I wish more businesses (Home Depot, Microsoft or Sony, anyone?) could figure this basic tenet out.

Snowy_River
Sep 4, 2007, 12:57 AM
I don't think content providers can violate fair use. Users have the right to use content fairly, but the providers don't need to make that easy. That why DAT and DVD were locked down, like other technologies before and since.

That's what I meant by "not entirely" legal-- there's a conflict in law that, for the time being, is being enforced in favor of content providers. Eventually someone will need to have the balls to risk taking it to the Supreme Court, but for now Mac The Ripper is being kept off reputable sites. Content providers also seem loathe to have the status quo tested-- they seem to back down when users look willing to fight.

If things keep following their current track, the precedent may well be RIAA v Apple.
...

I guess I would argue that content providers can violate fair use, but there's just no penalty for it. My point was the for NBC to ask Apple to look for a broadcast watermark and not allow iTunes or the iPod to play any videos that have it would violate the principle of fair use, and Apple has shown themselves to be fairly strongly against that. At every turn, they want their platform to be as open as possible, and to limit DRM as much as possible. That was all I was trying to say. I realize that I didn't say it very well.

It will be interesting to see what comes of the legal question. With the periodic recurrence of legislation that would effectively strike down the DMCA, and some statements that have come out of the Supreme Court, I don't see this as being an issue that will stand up to a strong legal challenge. That's probably why content providers are inclined to back down. As soon as they try to fight, it will go to the courts and precedent will be set, and, based on the direction the wind is blowing lately, it could well be set against them.

I'm trying to think of where to begin with this...

First off, while it may not be illegal, double-dipping (i.e.: having a show paid for by advertising revenue and then paid for again by viewers) is something that, at the very least, many people find offensive. And, honestly, I am amongst that group. If you want to sell me content (and assuming I am willing to pay for it and then agree to pay for it), then no harm, no foul.
...

Okay, we need to clarify this point. NBC (or any other network) wanting to be paid for you downloading a TV show is NOT double dipping. For every person who watches a downloaded program instead of watching the same program on broadcast lowers the overall broadcast rating of the show. This rating effects how much NBC can charge for advertising during that show. So, take the extreme case, if everyone watched, say, Heroes by downloading, then the broadcast rating of Heroes would be zero. NBC, therefore, wouldn't be able to give the advertising time away. By your measure, all of those downloads ought to be free. In that case Heroes would vanish because it would have no revenue associated with it.

Now, as I've already posted (though please don't ask me to post a link, as this is from an article that I read something like six months ago), it is true, at least according to an analyst, that if everyone watched Heroes by downloading it from iTunes at $1.99 per episode, NBC would make more money than they make from the advertising during the entire season of Heroes were those same people watching on broadcast. However, that's an argument about how much they should charge, not whether they should charge. Personally, I have no problem with $1.99 per episode. It seems a relatively fair price, and I don't have a problem with the fact that they make a little more money that way. I would have a problem with any significant price raise, or some kind of expiring media, etc. (I might be able to stomach $2.49, but not much more than that. And the rental model doesn't appeal to me, unless it was something like $0.49 to rent an episode for a few days. That's what the local store would charge me - $1.99 for a TV DVD rental that has 4 episodes on it, and I get it for 4 days.)

hulugu
Sep 4, 2007, 01:41 AM
Apple is notoriously difficult to work with for content companies, whether Music or in video area. They set a way to do business, but do not allow for any compromise or input from outside companies.

My bet is that NBC wanted actually reasonable terms, but Apple is so damned stubborn that they stonewalled them.

I genuinely believe apple is in the wrong here. It is part of how they do business and they do treat many outside companies as partners.

Sorry, i love macs, apple tv and my iphone, but... to do business work with them, they are acting more poorly than Microsoft.

I'm not going to pretend that Apple is acting out altruism here, but I think our interests as consumers dovetails rather nicely with Apple's. Apple is, as has been widely repeated here and elsewhere, interested in selling iPods (or iPhones/:apple:TV, etc.) and therefore uses content as a way to drive sales. Since Apple has so little apparent interest in charging for music and video they are more likely to keep prices lower and be especially wary of complex pricing schemes or packages which could backfire and ruin the sale of iPods.
Meanwhile, NBC and Universal are selling content and are now increasingly afraid of Apple's control as a middle-man, but more importantly, they are hoping to make more money per download because they see a revenue-stream growing and they're not making the same percentages they're used to.
NBC and Universal want to charge you more for less. They want to raise prices on popular shows and albums, and they'll lower the pricing on a few back-catalogue items just to pretend they're even-handed. In reality, however, Heroes and Kanye West's new album, will rise in price.
As for casting Apple as the bad guy, Apple is acting in their own best interests while using the studio's requirement for DRM against them. Remember without Apple digital downloads wasn't going to happen and, we'd have gotten at best, some variation of Rhapsody—except for OSX users who without Apple would have gotten jack squat.

If NBC and Universal really care about the consumer, they'll add additional content or features to the current downloads, similar to EMI with iTunes Plus. The consumer spends a little more for something extra, but EMI makes a little more all by adding value to the current product. That's what real competition in a real market would do, but since we're dealing with a dying cartel, expect NBC to fight hard for the right to raise prices and strangle distribution methods. If Apple is being unreasonable by refusing to do this, I'm buying more shares in Apple.

You didn't quote the part of my comments that address your distinction here, Clevin. My whole comment on this was that NBC can't really lower their price by controlling the network. I didn't say you were accusing Apple of overcharging, I said NBC will incur the same expenses as Apple does-- so your comments that NBC can lower their prices by cutting out the middle man are only true to the extent that they can deduct Apple's profits from the equation and that won't really make a material difference because Apple's profits on this are next to nothing.

If you want to take a practical business look at this you should have pointed out that NBC will have to charge more to make the same profit per download as they get through Apple because they don't have the efficiency of an already existing infrastructure as Apple does, they won't have the composite volumes that Apple does, and they're going to have to spend a small fortune on advertising to raise awareness of their service whereas everyone with an iPod can find the iTMS.

NBCs move is about control, not a calculation on additional profit per download.

Bingo. NBC, Universal, and Capitol are all freaked out by Apple's new ownership of the distribution. And, they haven't figured out that it's their own fault for failing to see the sea-change back when Napster was still around. NBC has more than enough warning and still ignored digital downloads of video until Apple brought it to market, and now they have a choice: build a better model or shut up!

Oh and Hulu ain't it.

chillywilly
Sep 4, 2007, 02:55 PM
Bingo. NBC, Universal, and Capitol are all freaked out by Apple's new ownership of the distribution. And, they haven't figured out that it's their own fault for failing to see the sea-change back when Napster was still around. NBC has more than enough warning and still ignored digital downloads of video until Apple brought it to market, and now they have a choice: build a better model or shut up!

Oh and Hulu ain't it.

Very much agreed here. NBC has got a taste of digital success and, like other companies that preceded them, thinks they can keep more of their profits by doing it themselves (or at least the partnership they have in hulu.com). They will find out the hard way.

Black Belt
Sep 4, 2007, 05:13 PM
Well, I do think the $1.99 is more of a "7-11 screw you because you're in a convenience store" type of pricing. A full season boxed set of Heroes for example, with extras in a much higher quality, ALREADY ARCHIVED ON MEDIA (which is totally crackable) sells for $40 street. 23 episodes at 1.99 is $46 WITHOUT MEDIA, WITHOUT EXTRAS, LOWER QUALITY and delivered over my bandwidth which I PAY FOR on MY TIME. Considering the lack of pressed media, I would think 99 cents would be a more fair price point for TV shows.

And yeah NBC is disputing Apple's claim but have they rescinded their slanderous comments about iPod owners? So regardless if NBC has any rational reasoning behind their requests they lose my support when they call me a crook. Steve has never called me a crook, in fact, he welcomes my Vista-usin' arse into the Apple store. Steve gets my vote.

sunspot42
Sep 4, 2007, 07:44 PM
We'll see what happens when cable-cards are in full-effect. We'll see how long Apple can keep holding out from implementing technology it knows it has every legal right to do, and ignores in an effort to satisfy its partners. Content reselling IS the ideal model, when partners are cooperative with the format. If partners begin to defect, Apple will need to strongly consider its other options for getting content playing on its devices.


Yup. If entertainment industry bigwigs decide to pull their content from iTunes, Apple could easily retaliate by either buying Tivo or by developing their own DVR, probably something based on their existing AppleTV, and integrating that with iTunes and the iPod. Something like that would kill sales for an outfit like Hulu. Whoops.

Apple could also retaliate by starting to produce its OWN content for iTunes. With billions in cash on hand, they could easily fire up their own production company and begin producing their own television series, like an internet-based HBO or Showtime.

nkawtg72
Sep 4, 2007, 07:53 PM
Well, I do think the $1.99 is more of a "7-11 screw you because you're in a convenience store" type of pricing. A full season boxed set of Heroes for example, with extras in a much higher quality, ALREADY ARCHIVED ON MEDIA (which is totally crackable) sells for $40 street. 23 episodes at 1.99 is $46 WITHOUT MEDIA, WITHOUT EXTRAS, LOWER QUALITY and delivered over my bandwidth which I PAY FOR on MY TIME. Considering the lack of pressed media, I would think 99 cents would be a more fair price point for TV shows.

And yeah NBC is disputing Apple's claim but have they rescinded their slanderous comments about iPod owners? So regardless if NBC has any rational reasoning behind their requests they lose my support when they call me a crook. Steve has never called me a crook, in fact, he welcomes my Vista-usin' arse into the Apple store. Steve gets my vote.

finally someone who seems to see what i see. this has nothing to do with apple and the way they may want to do things. this has everything to do with NBC (and potentially others) trying to garner sympathy with a "people are stealing from us, we want to be more consumer friendly, blah blah blah" press release attacking apple....when in fact all they're trying to do is increase an already large profit margin on one of their cheapest forms of distribution to date, and obviously a very successful one.

are they wrong for wanting to make more money, NOPE. but do i think they're a bunch of money hording weasels, YES. why? because they won't fess up, and would rather blame apple and an EXTREMELY small number of pirates out there, and act as though i just fell off the turnip truck.

like i've said before. let'em do what they will with their programs, it's a free country and a free market. but don't ask me to have any sympathy for them when they want to lie through their teeth about the real reasons for doing it.

no one forced them into signing a deal with apple in the first place for ITMS sales. they saw it as an opportunity just like the rest of them and took it. now they see just how green the grass is on the other side of the fence and want a larger piece of the action.

which brings up another interesting point. look at it this way. they actually aren't going after apple, they're going after the consumer. if apple was the bad guy here and taking more than it's fair share then NBC would be trying to renegotiate the contract so apple gets a smaller cut. even NBC knows this isn't possible because apple isn't taking any more than it really needs to operate the store, like many others have already pointed out. so NBC is doing the next best thing and thats sticking it to the consumer by raising the prices in order to increase their profit margin.

again, it's their right to do so but i don't have to like it, and neither does apple, which in my opinion is why apple is saying no to it. am i going to boycott NBC or write letters telling them to stop it, NO. i'll just not pander to their wishes and won't pay the higher prices for their stuff if that is in fact what happens. if by some chance, lots of people do that, then NBC will learn their mistake. if not, then fine too. people will get what they want, NBC will have what they want, and i'll have what i want. the system will have worked.

not that this has anything to do with this but i was wondering...what would the people (i'm not one of the) who had issue with the oil companies raising prices when they already had a large profit margin have to think about NBC trying to do the same.

paja
Sep 4, 2007, 08:17 PM
http://www.engadget.com/2007/09/04/nbcs-selling-shows-on-amazon-unbox-starting-today/

Price will be $1.99 per episode.

No Mac Format. Windows only.

_______________________________________________
MBP 2.0GHz / iPhone / :apple:TV / eyeTV 250+

LethalWolfe
Sep 4, 2007, 08:22 PM
don't be so easily offended. no where in my post did i state your specific username. this is a forum, where you should expect to read opinions. i made a GENERAL (refer to Webster's) statement on "not hating Apple, blah blah blah", that was not necessarily directed at you but someone who may in fact have it out for Apple.
If you are just making a general state there is no need to use the "quote" function which signals to others that you are responding to a specific post.


as for taking a deep breathe, maybe you have time to read all 160 posts, but i do not. i'm not expecting you to agree with me, again this is a forum. i merely saw some posts that i felt i wanted to provide a counter arguement to.
Oh. So you were responding to my post specifically. Maybe you should try and do a better job differentiating between responding to a specific post and making general statements.


honestly, i think not being so easily offended in an OPEN FORUM is the better route.
I'm not offend. It's just your poor communication skills made your reading comprehension ability seem a bit lacking and I thought if you slowed it down a bit you'd do better.


Lethal

milo
Sep 6, 2007, 02:06 PM
Peacock Takes Swan Dive

Last week, the average ratings for NBC programs sank to their lowest level since Nielsen's current method for determining audience size was instituted some 20 years ago. The network averaged just 4.17 million viewers per hour in primetime. Ratings among adults 18-49 also fell to a record low for the network. (Fox also recorded record lows in that demographic group last week, while ABC tied its previous record low.) CBS led its rivals with an average 4.5 rating and an 8 share for the week. ABC placed second with a 2.9/5, while Fox and NBC tied with a 2.8/5.

http://www.imdb.com/news/sb/2007-09-06/

Yeah, NBC is going to do JUST fine...

Potus
Sep 6, 2007, 04:03 PM
Peacock Takes Swan Dive

Last week, the average ratings for NBC programs sank to their lowest level since Nielsen's current method for determining audience size was instituted some 20 years ago. The network averaged just 4.17 million viewers per hour in primetime. Ratings among adults 18-49 also fell to a record low for the network. (Fox also recorded record lows in that demographic group last week, while ABC tied its previous record low.) CBS led its rivals with an average 4.5 rating and an 8 share for the week. ABC placed second with a 2.9/5, while Fox and NBC tied with a 2.8/5.

http://www.imdb.com/news/sb/2007-09-06/

Yeah, NBC is going to do JUST fine...

I'm experiencing Schadenfreude.:p