NBC to Apple: Build DRM Into Video

nbc.jpgNBC Universal would like to have its TV shows distributed once again through Apple’s iTunes service, a top executive said Wednesday—but he called for anti-piracy measures to help protect his business’ revenue, CNET News reports.

“If you look at studies about MP3 players, especially leading MP3 players and what portion of that content is pirated, and think about how that content gets onto that device, it has to go through a gatekeeping piece of software, which would be a convenient place to put some antipiracy measures,” Kliavkoff said in an onstage interview at the Ad:Tech conference, according to the report. “One of the big issues for NBC is piracy. We are financially harmed every day by piracy. It results in us not being able to invest as much money in the next generation of film and TV products.”

Last year, NBC pulled all its video from Apple’s iTunes Store when the two companies couldn’t come to an agreement about pricing. But Kliavkoff said he wants to be back. “We’d love to be on iTunes. It has a great customer experience. We’d love to figure out a way to distribute our content on iTunes,” he said in the report. “We have film distribution with iTunes so yes, we do talk to Apple,” he said.

But here’s the odd part: “[Apple] can mark up the price and make a profit or use it as a loss leader to get people in the door,” Kliavkoff said. “It’s really difficult for us to work with any distribution partner who says ‘Here’s the wholesale price and the retail price,’ especially when the price doesn’t reflect the full value of the product. The music industry guys would have something to say about how the pricing has affected their product over the last few years,” he added.

You know, the music industry that’s in a death spiral and spent years refusing to adapt to digital media, incorporating hare-brained copy protection schemes that restrict consumer choice, and suing everyone in sight. Good idea—that worked so well.