updated 06:50 pm EDT, Tue September 9, 2008
NBC going back on iTunes
NBC is returning its shows to iTunes, according to the Associated Press. This ends a year long bitter dispute between Apple and the TV network giant that began last year when NBC decided to stop selling its shows on iTunes, citing pricing inflexibility as the reason. Apple claimed it was asked to increase the pricing of the shows from $2 to $5, which NBC denied. In the time away from iTunes, NBC was playing the programs on its website for free (with advertising) and selling them on Amazon for the same price of $2.
NBC isn't the only company frustrated with the solid pricing and distribution structure that Apple demands. Many musicians and record labels disagree with being forced to sell single tracks at a time, at the set price of $1, claiming loss of profit from customers that would have purchased the whole album if they didn't have a choice.
Despite strong opposition to store policies, the dominance of iTunes in the digital music market has kept the dissenters from pulling content. At the time NBC ended its contracts, Apple had already achieved strong muscle over record labels, but hadn't attained the same status with video content. Pulling the shows may have been an attempt to stop iTunes from gaining more influence over video media companies, however after a year, none of the others have joined in protest. iTunes is bigger than ever, claimed by Steve Jobs to have over 65 million customers, and has successfully negotiated to bring NBC back on board.