Thursday, September 20, 2007
NBC Frees TV DownloadsNBC has taken its tussle with Apple to the next level by giving away downloads of TV shows that used to be sold on iTunes. Translation: take yer $1.99 fee and shove it, Steve.
NBC has made the smart long-term decision. TV networks are better and monetizing through advertising and will draw more viewers to its shows by letting people download for free. TV content is so readily available that its not worth paying for in most cases. NBC has the advertiser relationships in place, so getting sponsorships of downloads will be a snap.
The free downloads aren't really competing with iTunes -- they are competing with DVRs that allow people to skip past ads. NBC gets to register users who download the player software and control if and how ads could be skipped. This service will also reduce the bandwidth requirements of streaming, saving the company money. The next logical step will be broader video on demand offerings through cable companies and tighter relationships with TiVo.
For now Apple users are shut out from the free downloads as the software only runs on Windows -- a nice reminder to Apple that despite the iPod and iPhone, it's still a Microsoft world for PCs.
By John Gartner at 09:06 AM | Comments (2)