Posts Tagged ‘NBC’

Something is going on at iTunes: Apple reportedly agrees to variable pricing to get HBO shows

hbo logoApple and Home Box Office will be achieving a couple of very important firsts when HBO content comes to iTunes in the next few weeks.

For Apple, it will be the first time the company will allow variable pricing for content on iTunes in the United States. According to Josh Saul of, sources indicate that Apple has agreed to a separate price structure to bring HBO content to iTunes.

itunesNo details were given, but it’s expected that HBO shows will sell for more than $1.99 a episode. Apple has held steadfast to its philosophy of fixed pricing — $0.99 cents per song, $1.99 for TV shows, $2.99 to $4.99 for movie rentals and $9.99 to $14.99 for movie purchases.

Apple has been so adamant about fixed pricing that NBC to pull its shows from iTunes at the end of last year after a loud, public dispute over, in part, variable pricing demands.

For HBO, the expected agreement marks the first time the cable station’s content will be available online. This content includes current shows such as “John Adams” or “Entourage” as well as old favorites like “Sex in the City,” “The Sopranos,” and “The Wire.”

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A hint at what's to come? NBC streams "The Office", "30 Rock" to iPhone

nbc streaming to iphoneIt’s certainly not the best quality video, and the show selection is severely limited, but it’s a start and — maybe — a hint at what’s to come.

As Silicon Alley Insider and Saul Hansell of The New York Times note today, you can stream NBC shows to an iPhone or iPod touch, completely bypassing iTunes. As everybody knows, NBC and its network properties pulled their shows off iTunes late last year over a pricing and copy protection spat.

NBC is streaming full episodes of “The Office” and “30 Rock” to the iPhone in unprotected Quicktime format. The files are split into four small segments with no advertising (Update: I watched the whole Office episode again, and at the end of each segment there is a super brief ad — in this case, one for the Toyota Carrolla). The quality is fuzzy at best, but the shows are watchable in portrait and landscape modes.

Unfortunately, only one episode of “The Office” is available — the one where Michael puts his face in cement and Pam is wearing glasses. There’s also one episode of “30 Rock.” The NBC site hints that there may be more shows coming.

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Catching up on iTunes news: NBC wants back on iTunes, but with conditions

Catching up on iTunes with NBC Universal, Fox and Paramount, Amazon MP3, and Starbucks.

NBC wants back on iTunes, but with conditions

George Kliavkoff, NBC Universal’s chief digital officer, indicated indirectly and directly at the Ad: Tech conference that NBC would like to be back on iTunes, which the network dumped in late 2007 over a nasty public spat about pricing.

kliavkoffIndirectly, Kliavkoff said during an on-stage interview at the conference, “If you look at studies about MP3 players, especially leading MP3 players and what portion of that content is pirated, and think about how that content gets onto that device, it has to go through a gate-keeping piece of software, which would be a convenient place to put some anti-piracy measures.”

Directly, Kliavkoff said, “We’d love to be on iTunes”, but only if Apple institutes more anti-piracy measures. “It has a great customer experience,” he said. “We’ve love to figure out a way to distribute our content on iTunes.”

The timing is interesting. iTunes is now the largest music retailer, and while the video side of the store (TV shows and movies) has not reached the same level, it still benefits from the overall iTunes brand and music traffic. Since NBC bolted, no other major network or studio has followed, leaving NBC standing alone.

Think NBC regrets its decision?

If it does, NBC doesn’t appear to be budging. In addition to the extra anti-piracy protection, the network would also like to see flexible pricing on iTunes, which doesn’t seem to be likely anytime soon.

(via and NewTeeVee)

Photo credit of Kliavkoff: at Ad:Tech

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