NBC Will Not Renew iTunes Contract: Stupid Move
The New York Times today reports that NBC Universal will not remove its contract with iTunes, effectively removing all NBC shows from the service. The reason cited in the article is that NBC wanted to raise the prices and Apple refused.
How stupid a move is this? Wasn’t it sales on iTunes that saved “The Office”? Isn’t selling shows on iTunes a better way of making money than having people use Miro to download their shows from TVrss for free? Imagine – users can get your show for free and they are still willing to pay? Now you cut off the paying users. Smart move.
For Apple, though, this is a stupid move as well. NBC is responsible for 40% of video sales on iTunes – maybe Apple doesn’t need the money, but losing it sure won’t look well either (Stock is up today anyway, though).
NBC, of course, is going to try to get viewers to watch its shows on its own video site, the unfortunately named hulu.com. This idea, however, is based on the ancient and brain dead idea that viewers actually give a fuck what channel a show is on. For the internet generation, its either on iTunes or on YouTube. Trying to reinvent the wheel is just stupid.
Here is Fake Steve taking on NBC:
They think this is going to scare the shit out of us and we’ll come back to the table and let them set their own prices and mess with our store and grab a bigger cut for themselvs. Their big argument is that we need video content to sell our video iPods. So they figure they’ve got us by the short hairs. Which they kind of do, I suppose. As Zucker said, “What are you going to do? Go make your own TV shows? Film your own movies? I don’t think so, asshole.”
Then again, they need us. If they walk, they’re giving up 80% of the distribution channel.