HBO offers six shows on iTunes; even with higher prices, savings are considerable

hbo on itunesA quick update to the iTunes-HBO post from yesterday. Six of HBO’s most popular shows are now available for purchase on iTunes, ranging from $1.99 to $2.99 an episode. They are:

  • “The Wire”: $1.99
  • “Flight of the Conchords”: $1.99
  • “Sex and the City”: $1.99
  • “Deadwood”: $2.99
  • “Rome”: $2.99
  • “The Sopranos”: $2.99

(Apple release)

This translates to considerable savings, especially for those who 1) don’t subscribe to HBO; 2) are interested in the series but are not sure if they want to spend the money on the boxed sets; 3) would buy the boxed sets if they were a little cheaper.

hbo the wireFor example, there are 13 episodes in the first season of “The Wire.” This boxed set costs, depending on where you purchase, between $55 and $60. You can find it on sale periodically at places like Best Buy for around $35. At $1.99 an episode, the total cost for the season at iTunes: $25.87, without tax.

Even at $2.99 an episode, there are significant cost savings to downloading the content from the Web. “Rome” and “Deadwood” both cost $35.88, without tax, for a season. To buy the physical discs at the store or off Amazon, the regular price would range between $55 and $80, again depending on where you shop.

Of course, you don’t get all the extras like commentaries and deleted scenes that come with boxed sets, but to some of us that doesn’t matter. All we want is to see the shows and not spend a fortune on boxed sets for programs we may or may not want to collect.

The difference is astounding. To buy all four seasons of “The Wire” on iTunes (when they are all available), you’d pay $129.40 without tax. To buy the four boxed sets (season five is not yet available), you’d pay about $220 regular price.

Even with an increased price for some of the shows, it looks like everybody wins.

Apple: more premium content (and maybe this will open up NBC’s return to iTunes)

HBO: an online presence, at a price they’re comfortable with; extending HBO content beyond its 40 million subscribers; giving life to older programs no longer on the air.

The consumer: easy access to premium content that was once unavailable online; considerable savings if you don’t care to own the boxed sets.

Sadly, second seasons and beyond of these show are not available yet, but we expect they will be in time. HBO says it will be adding more original programming.

“Curb Your Enthusiasm” anybody

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last100 is edited by Steve O'Hear. Aside from founding last100, Steve is co-founder and CEO of Beepl and a freelance journalist who has written for numerous publications, including TechCrunch, The Guardian, ZDNet, ReadWriteWeb and Macworld, and also wrote and directed the Silicon Valley documentary, In Search of the Valley. See his full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

One Response to “HBO offers six shows on iTunes; even with higher prices, savings are considerable”

  1. Daniel says:

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