TV Networks Move Beyond iTunes

nbc.jpgWired magazine has a report about how recent TV networks such as NBC are now looking beyond Apple’s iTunes Store for selling episodes online.

Like other television networks, “NBC is finding that it has leverage in its negotiations with Apple, giving it the freedom to explore other outlets for online video,” according to the report. “That’s a big difference from the music industry, where iTunes wields an enormous amount of clout because it dominates online distribution so completely.”

The article reiterated what’s at stake: NBC wants to raise pricing for newer shows, lower pricing for older shows (theoretically–we still don’t believe them), be able to offer shows as part of more expensive “package deals” that consumers probably won’t want, and use stricter copy protection, meaning that the shows will have even more technical problems playing on your cellphone than they already do.

Nevertheless, Forrester Research analyst James McQuivey said in the article that Apple will be motivated to negotiate, since three of its top 10 shows last season–accounting for 30 percent of its video sales–came from NBC.

“iTunes is totally in the driver’s seat on the music side,” McQuivey said in the story. “Everyone is terrified of Apple, which is the third-largest retailer, selling about 20 percent of the music in the U.S. But in video, the tables are completely reversed.”

TV Networks Discover Life Without ITunes [Wired]