Apple faces hard time wooing Hollywood to new iPod

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by rdowns, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. rdowns Suspended

    rdowns

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    Apple faces hard time wooing Hollywood to new iPod
    Reuters 5:01 pm October 17, 2005

    By Bob Tourtellotte and Kenneth Li

    LOS ANGELES/NEW YORK, Oct 17 (Reuters) - Apple Computer Inc chief Steve Jobs faces a far tougher task wooing film and television producers to create shows for the new video iPod than he did in the music industry as many questions remain over content and pricing, industry executives say.

    In the week since Jobs unveiled the handheld iPod, which plays video clips on a 2.5-inch diagonal screen, media and technology executives have been trying to figure out whether people will watch shows on a small screen, what types of programs will work and whether money can be made at the $1.99 price Apple set.

    "There is no doubt people are going to access content in more flexible ways going forward," said Rick Feldman, who heads the National Association of Television Program Executives.

    "What we don't know, for independent producers, is what kind of content is going to be wanted and needed, what it will cost and what it can be made for," he added.

    At its launch, Walt Disney Co. chief executive Bob Iger committed Disney's ABC TV network to offering hit shows "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" for the video iPod.

    Sources familiar with the thinking at rivals NBC and CBS said those networks have talked to Apple about providing content, but that the $1.99 price tag was too low.

    Both networks declined to comment specifically about Apple, although an NBC spokeswoman did say in a statement that NBC "is having conversations with many top players."

    Media executives, however, said it costs very little for networks to re-package shows for downloading in what amounts to test marketing because the consumer appetite, costs and profits of those programs already have been realized in other arenas.

    The networks can afford to experiment, but independent film and TV producers, which the networks rely on to dream up shows, want hard facts before investing dollars in new programming.

    SHOW THEM THE MONEY

    Veteran financial analyst Tom Wolzien said "a lot of confusion" remains in the marketplace and further noted that how much actors, directors, writers and other artists might receive also must also be addressed.

    Late last week, unions representing various talent groups issued a rare joint statement saying they would work to "ensure our members are properly compensated" for downloads.

    When Apple entered the music industry a few years ago with its original iPod, it found a market ripe for change in an industry ravaged by piracy and plunging CD sales.

    Record makers were drawn to Apple's formula of combining the iPod with the one-click ease of its iTunes music store, and major issues over digital rights management -- how much to pay artists and how to track downloads -- had been solved.

    Film and TV producers are mindful of combating piracy but are not yet as desperate as the music industry was. The reason for the current movie box office slump -- U.S. ticket sales are down about six percent this year -- has yet to be determined and TV viewing is up across broadcast and cable networks.

    Downloading video of TV shows and films is nothing new, but film and TV makers have remained reticent about exploiting the market. Two Web sites, CinemaNow and MovieLink, have offered legal downloads for years and although they are growing, they remain small businesses in a niche market.

    For that reason, CinemaNow CEO Curt Marvis welcomed Apple, noting that the recognition they will bring should lure consumers to the entire arena, much like it did for music.

    "From day one, which for us is six years ago, we have said the validation of this business through the entry of others is key to having the whole industry grow," he said.

    There is no doubt Apple, Jobs and the original iPod caused legal music downloading to increase, but whether they can cause a similar reaction for films and TV shows awaits an answer.
     
  2. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    This is not news, it is opinion and bad opinion at that. The notion that some of the broadcasters think that $1.99/espisode is too low when Disney's ABC network has already accepted the price for its ratings-leading shows is laughable. CBS, NBC, The WB, and UPN want in and they want in now.
     
  3. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    #3
    What makes your opinion any better than the Reuter writers? Do you have inside information?
     
  4. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #4
    Opinion? The Reuters article is contrary to the facts on the ground. The $1.99/episode price on iTunes is roughly half the retail price/episode of a DVD, but with substantially lower production and distribution costs. The article itself states that the other networks are talking to Apple about deals similar to ABC's. Only today did we see CBS agreeing to place its podcasts on iTunes. To you, that may sound like trouble ahead for Apple; to me, it does not.
     
  5. G5Unit macrumors 68020

    G5Unit

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    #5
    This is just another sad attempt to bring down apple. Cmon you guys, give it a rest! People like Steave make mistakes.
     
  6. rendezvouscp macrumors 68000

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    #6
    Half? Not so, it's about equivalent and in the not too distant future, more expensive. Most DVD's debut at $40 to $50 from my own experience, and include an average of 20-25 episodes. This is right on target for the $1.99 price that consumers are paying for their current movies.
    -Chase
     
  7. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

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    #7
    So $1.99 is too low, but the $0.00 they're currently getting isn't? :confused:
     
  8. BakedBeans macrumors 68040

    BakedBeans

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    #8
    Spot on!

    I HATE it when news papers/networks do that. passing off opinion as fact.

    If I was me at the head of a tv company i would JUMP on this asap. I really would, as Nermal say $2 or $0... its not a hard business decision is it? No degree required!

    Like TIME said, albums sell 300k copies a week, top tv shows get 30million viewers! and they are the ones that have access to them.... even a small percentage of that is MASSIVE business.

    Worst piece of writing I've read in a long time.
     
  9. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    MisterMe,

    I was referring to your statement where you say that the original writers had the opinion that the other networks balked at adding content because $2 was too low. You stated that it was "bad opinion". Then you go on to state that all of the other major networks "want in and want in now".

    I was just asking whether you had any inside information that is contrary to what the Reuters writers wrote?

    I do agree that it makes sense for the other networks to add content, but for top rated shows (i.e. CSI, Survivor, etc) they're going to have to deal with the production houses and not the networks.
     
  10. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #10
    Agreed. I'd be happy at $0.50 at this point, whether it was for music or tv shows. Without Apple, they get nothing.

    And how large of an adjustment is it to bring their shows and video to the iPod? Its all in digital format anyway, and if it isn't, all these networks need is Windows or Tiger and an appropriate video card for watching television and just capturing the video from the feed. Not that hard. I'm sure they can make a $2000 investment on a new computer.
     
  11. ftaok macrumors 601

    ftaok

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    #11
    It looks like I'm the dissenting voice on this one. While I would love it if the networks/content providers got their a$$es in gear and put their stuff on iTMS, I can't blame them for balking.

    While it's always about money, this time it's also about control. The TV and movie studios are fighting a battle against losing control of their material. They saw what happened to the recording industry and they're trying like hell to keep that from happening to them. The fear is if the content becomes easily available on the Internet, then they lose their downstream revenue (DVD sales, syndication, etc). I guess right now, DRM, low resolution, and moderate/high pricing is how they are trying to stop the coming tide.

    Right now, Jobs is in a awkward position. As CEO of Apple, he needs to build devices that allow users to have new ways of enjoying content. As CEO of Pixar, he needs to keep his content protected. Because of this, you won't see Macs becoming PVRs right out of the box, and Apple certainly won't make software to accomplish this. At least until they come up with DRM that prevents mass distribution across the Internet.

    Anyways, I'm just babbling ...
     
  12. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #12
    The complete season box sets that I buy cost about $100 for 24 episodes. But make no mistake, the studios will get most of the money from iTunes video sales just as the music labels get most of the money from music sales. When you consider that their manufacturing and distribution costs virtually disappear, iTunes video store sales are practically all profit for them. I think that we both agree that this is a mcuh better deal for the studios than DVD sales.
     
  13. eva01 macrumors 601

    eva01

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    #13
    damn your cheap shows, 26 episodes for me cost around 200 and if i buy each single DVD it is around 240 - 270ish
     

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