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Apple faces hard time wooing Hollywood to new iPod

updated 11:45 am EDT, Tue October 18, 2005

Hollywood on new iPod

Apple faces a far wooing film and television producers to create shows for the new video iPod than it did in the music industry, Reuters UK reports. In the week since Jobs unveiled the handheld iPod, which plays video clips on a 2.5-inch diagonal screen, media and technology executives have been trying to figure out whether people will watch shows on a small screen, what types of programs will work and whether money can be made at the $1.99 price Apple set. "There is no doubt people are going to access content in more flexible ways going forward," said Rick Feldman, who heads the National Association of Television Program Executives. "What we don't know, for independent producers, is what kind of content is going to be wanted and needed, what it will cost and what it can be made for," he added. Sources familiar with the thinking at rivals NBC and CBS said those networks have talked to Apple about providing content, but that the $1.99 price tag was too low.

by MacNN Staff





  1. bighead

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Price is too low?

    How about I use DVR equipment, spend 2 minutes editing out the commercials, and another 20 minutes encoding the video and they get no money?

    I can't believe how much of a premium some content providers are looking to charge for things that can be readily obtained at little or no cost.

  1. MarkLT1

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: Price is too low?

    No kidding! And they say Steve Jobs has a reality distortion field?!? Lets do a little basic math-
    I can go out a buy the Lost season 1 DVD for what, about $40.00 at most places ($39 at Amazon right now)? Contains 24 episodes. That is $1.62 per episode, and the studio has to pay for development of the DVD, pressing of the disks, and distribution.

    Flip to the ITMS- $1.99 for a low quality episode, Apple is the one who does all of the distributing (bandwidth), encoding, etc.. no overhead at all for the studio. And that STILL isnt enough?? Give me a break.

  1. darkelf

    Joined: Dec 1969


    too low

    heh... maybe it is, given how heavily subsidized broadcast and even cable TV is by advertising revenue, which (presumably and hopefully) downloaded shows would lack. but consumers won't think of it that way. $1.99 is already a pretty high percentage of a monthly cable bill, relative to the 40 minutes of entertainment it buys. also compared to video rental, netflix, etc.

  1. ezylstra

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Screen size misinformed

    People will watch content on their COMPUTERS, only as a last resort on their 2.5 inch iPod screen (commuters, in-law visitors, etc.). Some seem to think you have to have an iPod to download and watch the new TV shows. It is NOT a requirement--just a mobile convenience that you can even use via adaptor cable with a regular TV.

  1. traix

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I love the greed

    The record companies and movie studios are run by idiots. Anyone familiar with the RIAA's distribution requirements should know that Tower or Sam Goody or whoever can't buy wholesale music from anyone other than the Big 5 distributors. The TV industry has the same straglehold on content. But this brings up the big question. If I can produce shows or music myself, do I need the poorly run media companies? With digital content available for download, who needs traditional distribution?

    The answer is no-one. Bloated, self-important media companies are in trouble and they deserve the s******* they're going to get.

    Steve, give me a call. I get it.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: price is too low

    I can go out a buy the Lost season 1 DVD for what, about $40.00 at most places ($39 at Amazon right now)? Contains 24 episodes. That is $1.62 per episode, and the studio has to pay for development of the DVD, pressing of the disks, and distribution.

    Yeah, but you're forgetting an important fact (or facts).

    1) You can't get wednesday's episode of Lost on DVD until summer 2006. Apple's might be offering better distribution, but its also offering a service that you otherwise wouldn't have.

    2) Networks who produce and air shows try to make them 'appointment' television to sell gobs of ad time and the like. If you offer the rebroadcast rights the next day for a cheap price, there's no incentive to watch it the night before, so less viewers of ABC's ads, so less revenue (keep in mind they also use the shows to promote their other c***, so that might help spur more viewers to other shows which they'd otherwise not get people to watch).

    Meanwhile, music files are available, generally, from both the stores on CD and digitally, at the same time. So you do feel you have options, and as such, pricing should be done accordingly.

    Apple's video and audio distribution is completely different. Therefore, trying to use the whole digital music arguments onto the video side of things is just foolhardy. Come up with some better arguments.

    (BTW, I think, though, that video content that's available on DVD should be priced comparatively to the DVD price, but non-available video is a different story).

  1. porieux

    Joined: Dec 1969


    too low!

    Hah! Good luck getting my money at a higher price point.

    I think he meant the QUALITY is too low.

  1. SomeToast

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "No one wants this. Now how can we charge them more?"

  1. MarkLT1

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Re: come up with some..

    better arguments.

    How about this one: You charge more than $2.00, and people will either 1) not buy the video, 2) Tivo it and skip the commercials anyway, 3) Buy the DVD when it comes out.

    Looks to me like the broadcast industry is trying to go the way of the music industry- rather than adapting to change, and coming up with a new business model based on this new form of "broadcasting", they are trying to simply profit, profit, profit, while continuing to alienate their customer base.

    IMHO, if the broadcasting and music industry sat down, and looked the the current technology, and adapt to what can be done now, they could make out like bandits (profit like mad) while still keeping their customers happy. Instead, they cling to their old sinking ship of traditional broadcasting/distribution revenue's, and sooner or later, someone is (IMHO, people already are) going to step up to the plate, fulfill what people want, and the various studios, broadcasters, etc.. are going to be feeling a great deal of hurt.

  1. MuppetFloss

    Joined: Dec 1969


    You'd be forgiven...

    ... for thinking that iPod video is about buying programs to watch on a tiny screen.

    I should think it must be quite frustrating for a company like Apple, who rely entirely on well considered use-case scenarios to have to work with an industry which doesn't know what one is. (Case in point: DVDs are generally designed for a 'home cinema' use-case scenario, ie. gather around, make popcorn, darken the room, begin the show. Fine if you are doing that, but if you just want to show someone a scene, by the time you've sat through all the BS animated menus and copyright warnings, you just want to stab somebody in the throat. I convert *all* my DVDs to full resolution QuickTime movies. Life is too short for bad design.)

    iPod video seems essentially like iPod audio. You move shows to it like you rip CDs. You take it to a friend's house. You plug it in the TV and watch a video. You program a night of mixed shorts. In a tight spot, you might watch something on the bus. You might *even* buy a show, if that suits you. But iPod video isn't about creating movies to sell to people to watch on a tiny screen. It's about making video as portable as audio and pictures. Most music on iPods is not bought as downloads and has no DRM. Most video will not be bought as downloads and will have no DRM. The iPod is a product with many uses.

    Hollywood downloads are not really essential to the product, nor is iPod video comparable to video on mobile phones. Hollywood doesn't seem to even understand what they might be selling yet: convenience? timeliness? I'm betting they want to sell viewing minutes, like video on mobile phones, but I can't see that working out with an iPod, which is a storage device, rather than a transmitter/receiver device like a mobile phone.

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