One Thing To Watch

Posted by: Jon Fine on October 13, 2005

One big question concerning the video iPod:

Will people pay $1.99 to download half-hour of broadcast TV?

If the answer is yes, the networks are very happy. And producers of deeply-loved-but-low-rated shows have a new argument for getting, and staying, on the air. (We can call this phenomenon the “Arrested Development development.”)

If the answer is no … well, network TV can replace (once again) newspapers as the whipping boy of the media world.

Reader Comments

Mike Reardon

October 13, 2005 6:12 PM

You can't find a car with an 8-track player, and this years cars are skipping your cassette's, and next year, it may be harder to find a car that still plays your cd's, or dvd's.

Everything in media may quickly move to your download library, or direct broadband connect.

Next year retail stores may have download stations, where you can sip coffee or get fries and a coke, and also get your music or video.

Video Ipod, is a big one. And the $1.99 for one TV show, it's still cheaper than missing the return rental on a dvd.

Piaras Kelly

October 14, 2005 2:11 PM

As someone from the other side of the Atlantic I'd be very interested to see what type of impact it has on the delay in getting US content over here. In Ireland we're good for the most part, but it's hard to get your hands on shows like The Wire or OZ.

I'm not sure if HBO are signed up yet and I'm positive that the different country stores will ensure some limitations in what content is available, but it's looking good. Americans will be able to get their hands on some decent programming in the form of BBC content also by the looks of things

John Voelcker

October 15, 2005 6:07 AM

(1) Does the show come with or without commercials? I'm assuming without. If so, it'll offer a very limited test of whether people would pay an additional fee for ad-free media.

(2) To assuage the studios, users are prevented from burning even a single CD or DVD with the show, but it's also 1/4-scale -- played on your Mac, it looks lousy. Not sure how many people caught that ....

Ryan Anderson

October 15, 2005 1:02 PM

It will be interesting to see how this business model evolves. I can see new, underpromoted or obscure shows benefitting from reaching a niche market by sharing the content free for iPod. I can also see another stream of advertising revenue from exchanging free, non-DRM content for ads within the downloadable, sharable shows. Of course, there are inherent problems with people fast forwarding through ads, but if they can get by that, it seems like a golden opportunity.

Lori Otto

February 10, 2006 8:55 PM

I love my video iPod, and the answer is yes, people will and do pay. It's addictive... now I can downlad my favorite shows and re-watch them anytime I want or take them to work and show them to friends who may have missed something good. I check every day to see what new shows have been added. Love it love it love it!

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The media world continues to shapeshift as new forms arise and old assumptions erode. On this blog, Bloomberg Businessweek will provide sharp analysis and timely reports on the transformation of this constantly changing terrain.

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