Television show downloads have finally made their way to the UK-version of the iTunes Music Store, two years after the service debuted in the U.S. (press release). A cause for celebration you might think? Especially for Mac users who are unable to use competing services from UK broadcasters, all of which employ Windows-only solutions.
As paidContent notes, Apple’s offering is devoid of home-produced content and shows are nearly double the price of their U.S. equivalents.
Apple’s U.K. TV launch… consists of the U.S. store’s original lineup, which was later expanded with shows from other broadcasters. But local programming is almost entirely absent amongst the 28-season repertoire, save for a single season of British stand-up, MTV’s Barrio UK and Nickelodeon’s Genie In The House. At £1.89 ($3.81) per download, shows are nearly twice as pricey as in the States.
On the first issue — the lack of domestic content — it’s particularly disappointing considering that Apple has had two years to negotiate the rights to local programing but instead has simply extended the territories covered by its existing partnerships with ABC Studios, Disney Channel, MTV, Nickelodeon and Paramount Comedy. Why couldn’t Apple have partnered with any of the big local broadcasters to offer download to-own episodes of some of the most popular UK television series?
With regards to iTunes UK’s extortionate pricing, it’s just another example of what locals call “rip off Britain“, where everything costs more this side of the pond (even before adding tax). Something which Apple has traditionally exploited.