Does HBO Deal Signal Policy Shift for Apple?

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Macworld asks whether the recent Apple and HBO deal signifies that Apple is finally rethinking its once rigid approach to pricing.

Normally, Apple prices all TV shows at $1.99 per episode—a mandate that eventually caused NBC to walk away from Apple last year. But today, six HBO shows now appear in the iTunes store: The Sopranos, Sex and the City, Rome, Deadwood, The Wire and Flight of the Conchords. And three of those—The Sopranos, Deadwood, and Rome—cost $2.99 per episode; the rest cost $1.99, according to the article.

“Premium shows that demand a premium price,” said Phil Leigh, senior analyst at Inside Digital Media, in the report. “These are shows that have developed cult followings,” he said. Now it remains to be seen what happens next—if users go for the episodes at the higher price, and if Apple begins to offer flexible pricing for the other studios.