Booted from Apple iTunes for excessive greed, NBC slums it with Mac-, iPod-incompatible Amazon Unbox

Apple iTunesBooted out of Apple’s iTunes Store for excessive greed, NBC has evidently decided to attempt to “punish” Mac and iPod users by moving their TV shows to Amazon’s “Unbox” outift.

MacDailyNews Note: NBC wanted more than double the wholesale price from Apple which would have resulted in TV shows that cost US$4.99 an episode! TV shows from ABC, CBS, FOX, The CW, and more than 50 cable networks, sell new episodes of their TV shows via Apple’s iTunes Store for $1.99 per episode. Inexplicably, NBC is selling their shows via Unbox for $1.99 per episode. Apple and NBC continue to negotiate according to reports.

The Amazon Unbox video player is incompatible with Apple Macs, working only on PCs running the Windows XP operating system. Amazon Unbox video content is iPod-incompatible, working only with also-ran “Plays for Sure” devices (they still make those things?). Amazon also “rents” content: The license for Rental Digital Content is limited in its term and duration to thirty (30) days from your payment of the rental fee or twenty-four (24) hours from the time you start viewing the Rental Digital Content, whichever is sooner. Amazon may automatically delete Rental Digital Content that is beyond its limited license term from your “Plays For Sure” Authorized Device, and, by “renting,” you consent to such automatic deletion. You may not copy or move Rental Digital Content from its originally stored location on your “Plays For Sure” Authorized Device.

Since its debut, Amazon Unbox has earned some, uh, interesting reviews:
Fortune: Amazon Unbox movie service ‘unfun,’ a horror show, two thumbs down – September 19, 2006
• Amazon Unbox generates resounding yawns; analyst: ‘too little too early’ – September 11, 2006
• CNET Alpha Blog: absolutely do not try Amazon Unbox – September 09, 2006
• Analyst: ‘Amazon Unbox – Well that didn’t work at all’ – September 09, 2006
• Analysts: Amazon’s ‘Unbox’ to be ‘Unsuccessful’ vs. Apple – September 08, 2006

Sounds like Windows XP sufferers, owners of also-ran media players, and lovers of obscure, walking-dead formats will just love Unbox (if they haven’t yet tried iTunes, that is).

Evidently Mac and iPod users who still want NBC content will have to find “other” ways to access it.


  1. The truth is we don’t really know the truth. We’ve only seen bits and pieces of a spat between the two companies – Apple and NBC. It’s so easy for us to take sides and blame the other, in this case NBC, for greedy and selfish, but look at nearly everyone here — they will steal it if they can’t get it through iTunes. Talk about greed and selfishness.

  2. “Evidently Mac and iPod users who still want NBC content will have to find “other” ways to access it.”

    I hear there’s a new fangled device out there called a Television.
    Ya think it might catch on?
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  3. I have purchased half a dozen movies and probably 20-30 TV shows from iTunes in the past year. Not a lot, but I have already set TVShows to subscribe to the office, and Raines. These are shows that I purchased from iTunes last season. That and Andy Richter PI. I will buy if it is possible on iTunes. There is no other way for me to legally purchase content on-line. HBO should also get their act together, I’ve had to Bittorrent the Flight of the Conchords because it is not available on iTunes. Get with the program people! I haven’t illegally downloaded music since the inception of the iTunes store because it is readily available legally.

  4. NBC Universal are playing with fire. How do they expect to compete going to Unbox?

    Stupid, mindless business decisions always lead to failure. This will come back to haunt them.

    And yes, you can get the same shows through other sources for free anyway. For me it’s even easier – I have an eyeTV, so I’ll just record the damn shows and transfer them to iTunes.

  5. I’ve removed all the TVs from my house. I have my 20″ iMac set up where I can watch content on the screen from my bed if I like. If I want to watch a TV show, I buy it from iTunes. I don’t use those “other” means. With all the content available on iTunes, free and for pay, I have plenty of choices.

    So for me NBC has removed the shows from my list of choices. Good luck with Unbox — I’m sure they will get more per episode but sell so much less resulting in far less total revenue.

    MW= progress

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