I have a strange relationship with TV.
When I was a kid, my parents limited my TV time to 2 hours a day. Once I moved out, I was watching everything I could, like some crazed TV vampire. Then I quit cold turkey and went with over-the-air broadcasting, which at the time meant just watching CBS for 2 years. Then I met my wife, we got DirectV, and we’ve had an up and down relationship with them ever since.
There are reports now that Apple is trying out $.99 TV shows. The goal is to put the new pricing tiers in place for the release of the iPad, making what’s assumed to be a huge product for Apple even bigger. Apparently the iPad was the big game changer, and even though the subscription thing didn’t work out for Apple – yet – this might.
I pay $85 a month for DirectV, and I only have one special package – Showtime – and I only watch that for Dexter. I do watch a lot of television, but I bet that all tolled, I wouldn’t have more than $50 a month in shows via iTunes. I would MUCH rather go that route and cut down my cable bill, and I think that Apple sees a lot of potential with that. Plus, then I get to keep my shows, which is a lot more appealing to me anyways. I know the cable companies don’t like it, but if they cared about me they’d keep their appointments. “Be home between 8 am and 9 pm” they say, then they show up four days later, drunk, and apologizing.
While this is great for serialized content, this still misses one of the reasons people watch TV: Sports. Until they run live streams of sporting events, only those who don’t watch sports can cancel TV subscription services. Can’t wait until this comes to fruition, but by then who knows what other annoyances will be stuffed into our streams and downloads to replace ‘regular’ TV (IE: ads, ads, and ads)
I currently buy from iTunes everything that I watch, including things that come over the air. Some things I’m happy to pay a big ole premium for in my “Support good tv” brain mode. Some thing I wait and buy when they go one sale (because there is a lot of really mediocre shows that I enjoy that I can get on sale for less than $20 if I wait). I would buy a lot more mediocre and crummy even tv if it was cheaper.
(You know who you are CW, you know who you are…)
If they do this TV shows need to realize they HAVE to give me the first episode for free. Cause there is no way I’ll pay for something that doesn’t have an amazing pedigree that I haven’t seen. But do a great first episode for free and you’ll totally win my heart. (You also know who you are….<3)
If you are that close in price already, do it now! My family has been iTunes only for 9 months now and I don’t regret it a bit (except for sports!).
Season passes already reduce the cost of shows to closer to $1.50 today and a number of shows had deals at the start of the season so that shows were even less! Now if Apple would just revamp the AppleTV with updated components we would have 250GB drives and enough processing power to support more of the consumer level HD camcorders that are out today. so there would be no reason to transcode.