Apple’s $1.99 iTunes TV show downloads may be ‘the savior of good television’

“While there’s been lots of buzz about the new video-capable iPod, I find the new video store to be much more interesting. I’ve read some gripes about the low quality of the iTunes videos, but they aren’t meant to replace the DVD versions. I might point out that iTunes music is quite a bit lower quality than CD tracks. I found the videos plenty watchable, certainly for two bucks anyway,” Joe Wilcox writes for JupiterResearch.

“For watching in the living room, I would wants that [DVD] boxed copy of ‘Lost.’ But on my computer, I might settle for less–and even less for the new iPod, because there the quality would be “good enough” for the display,” Wilcox writes. “If I the consumer really want the newest ‘Lost’ episodes to watch, say, on a trip, they’re available for just $2 each the day after broadcast, via a simple, no-hassle download. And with series like “Lost” where complex story lines drop hints in past episodes, immediacy would be important for some viewers trying to follow along. For the content creator, there is the opportunity to immediately monetize its asset. “Lost” wouldn’t go to DVD until some months after the 25-episode season concluded. But the content creator could start cashing in the day after broadcast. In fact, the content creator might reap some lost revenue, given that episode likely would be able on BitTorrent sites. Because the iTunes version is good enough for the computer or video-enabled iPod but not necessarily the TV, the $2/episode sale wouldn’t necessarily jeopardize DVD sales. Fans might easily buy a series of single episodes and later DVDs. Heck, what’s two bucks? Single episodes would be easy spends.”

Wilcox writes, “I agree with colleague Gary Stein, who writes, ‘The ability to buy a show for under $2 and watch it whenever you want is a major step in the right direction…I think we should potentially be talking about this move being the savior of good television.’ Now, it’s just a matter of Apple adding more content.”

Full article here.

JupiterResearch’s Gary Stein’s article is here.

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26 Comments

  1. I bought two episodes of “The Night Stalker” and hooked up my laptop to my TV via the S-video and an RCA cable; the quality I thought was real good. I couldn’t tell the difference between my cable and the iTV show….

  2. El Gato’s eyeTV 200 + Comcast Cable = ROME, 24, VH1, NEWS, TLC, Lost,HIstory Channel — etc…..all in preparation of my soon to own iPod Video.

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  3. 210MB !! arghhhhhhh! Our Broadband will need to be a LOT cheaper before some thing like THAT becomes palatible even though we dont yet get the service here in NZ. I download zipped image files during the day that range from 30MB to 120MB at work on commercial Broadband and they take up to 30 minutes for the 120MB file at average speed of 70KiloBytes persec (times by 8 for Kilobits speed equivalent as there are 8 bits to 1 Byte of data) Our work line maxes out at about 100KB persec for most stuff around town or up to 300KB persec for downloads from Apple.)

  4. I bought two episodes of “The Night Stalker” and hooked up my laptop to my TV via the S-video and an RCA cable; the quality I thought was real good. I couldn’t tell the difference between my cable and the iTV show….

    It might look better on a tv beause tvs are lower resolution than your laptop screen. on my laptop is watchable but there is very clearly a difference from cable.

    plus i´m tired of all these analysts saying its only 2 bucks. thats 50 bucks a season per show. that´s a lot, i could get dvds for that. i could get better quality and sometimes faster downloads for free. this isn´t a great deal yet.

  5. >>Jay, it is only $2 per episode. Technically speaking, it’s less than $2 per episode. For a 23 episode show, if you purchased all episodes via iTMS, then the season would run you $45.77. But that’s only if you purchase each episode independently, because you couldn’t be bothered to watch a single episode on its regularly scheduled night. Otherwise, you could just wait for the entire season to be available for just under $35.

    The cost is far more dependent on how you value things then straight up cost. My cable bill is $60 a month, and I typically watch 5 shows (Gilmore Girls, Smallville, Veronica Mars, Law & Order SVU, and Numb3rs). Of course, I also watch VH1, HBO, and or Showtime mixed in here and there. But otherwise you could state that for my $720 per year, I’m paying around $6 an episode just to NOT have tons of static, and to NOT spend time fiddling with an antenna. Well that, and to have something be on, when I go through my bouts of insomnia.

    I think $2 is a sweet point. It means for $44 a year I can keep my Sundays free, and download Deseparate Housewives on Mondays or I could easily watch on Sundays, but not have to worry about missing an episode due to travel, dinner parties, or other events.

  6. I also bought those Night Stalker episodes. I was okay with the video quality, but the quality of that show is another thing altogether. NS is X-Files without the talent.

    iTunes also needs to incorporate some better controls for pause, rewind, etc.

  7. I find that with so much programming around now and so many channels it is inevitable that i miss or forget to record something or simply can’t remember an episode well enough to follow plots. To have the opportunity to download odd episodes now and again to fill in the blanks hits a target that buying a DVD weeks or months later just doesn’t do. This is an ideal concept for our present day viewing habits I reckon and will help keep people involved with shows that otherwise they will drift away from..

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