WP: Apple Fights for Rights to TV Shows

heroes.jpgThe Washington Post published a good analysis of Apple’s current predicament with regard to selling TV shows in the iTunes Store.

Washington Post staff writer Frank Ahrens discusses the differences between music and video as far as Apple is concerned. With music, the record labels needed Apple for the extra distribution and revenue–the latter of which can be significant. Ahrens wrote that the labels get 15% to 20% of their revenue from digital sales, and a full 70% of that comes straight from Apple.

For video, on the other hand, the picture is completely different. Studios like NBC get less than 1% of their revenue from digital sales. Unlike with music CDs, the television networks promote their shows, get them syndicated, sell DVDs — there are tons of revenue opportunities there that don’t exist for music.

As a result, the television studios feel empowered to resist Apple and its iTunes Store policies, and look for alternate methods to sell content online–and at the pricing they want, rather than the pricing Apple dictates. We still think the networks need Apple more than they realize; clearly the future of video is in digital distribution, so it will pay off to get in early, rather than stifle sales opportunities. Besides, all it’s doing is angering iTunes Store customers who can no longer buy their favorite shows.

Apple in a Fight for Rights to TV Shows [WP]