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Here's the deal: Sex and the City, The Wire and Flight of the Conchords are US$1.99 per episode, and The Sopranos, Deadwood and Rome are $2.99 per episode. Previously, all TV show episodes were $1.99.
Personally, I like the simplicity of the iTunes Store. I also feel the set-up makes the online store attractive to new users as the pricing structure is (or has been) easy to understand. On the other hand, I understand why it may be necessary to change the model.
Content providers obviously want flexible pricing (witness NBC's ongoing brouhaha with Apple), and our favorite tech company has to be flexible in its negotiations with them. The HBO deal will show that Apple isn't as intractable and domineering as it's been in the past. Heck, look for NBC to return to the iTunes fold.
The HBO deal will mean more and more TV shows, movies, songs and albums at varied pricing. And though I'm not keen on the move, if it means some "discount bin" offers at the iTunes Store, well, I'm all for that. On the other hand, if the studios and record companies get greedy and flexible pricing leads to exorbitant prices, iTunes will suffer, the content providers will suffer and piracy will rise.
Of course, the studios and record companies would never get greedy. Would they?
(By the way, Daniel Dan Eran of Roughly Drafted Magazine has a different take on the HBO-Apple deal. You can read his thoughts [url=http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2008/05/15/itunes-content-pricing-not-in-crisis/]here[/url].)
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