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NBC shows to go back on iTunes after yearlong dispute

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.

by MacNN Staff




  1. apostle

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Buying Singles

    "...claiming loss of profit from customers that would have purchased the whole album IF THEY DIDN'T HAVE A CHOICE."

    I've purchased too many CDs on the strength of one song only to be disappointed by the "filler" that made up the rest of the album. I stopped buying CDs of new music for this reason. It was a waste of my money.

    I've bought entire albums from iTunes when I liked the entire album. I've bought singles when I only liked a particular song. I like having that choice.


  1. dshan

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Ain't that the truth! Any "artist" dumb enough to think that restricting their fan's choice in music is the way to go deserves to go back to waiting tables. Produce good albums and we'll buy the whole album, else we'll either buy nothing (if these addled artists get their way) or we'll buy a few favourite songs. Which would you prefer punks?

  1. kellrandy

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Choice YEAH!!

    I don't really think that it's the artist that does it. all they want to do is sing and play for their fans. I have seen a lot of artists leave labels just for that reason and create their own label to sell their music. All and all, artists do not make money on the physical album anymore like in the old days, they make it from touring and selling $5 t-shirts for $40. The album vrs. the single ticks off the label because they don't make the money anymore and that's the only reason.

  1. sailin74

    Joined: Dec 1969



    "all they want to do is sing and play for their fans. "
    Are you serious? You can't be serious.

  1. Jonathan-Tanya

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I don't know

    guys, I really like being forced to pay for the whole album.

    oh who am I kidding I haven't bought an album or a song of any kind for a decade.
    why am I even commenting. nevermind, go about your business.

  1. Roehlstation

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Last Time I checked..

    A dollar was more than nothing. Granted I do buy a lot of albums on iTunes, but there are plenty of instances where I only felt the one song was worth buying, better for them I buy the one song than none at all...right? I feel it forces these artists to get more creative, if they know they can't just package a couple good works with a bunch of filler. And it is a better way for those that can't produce an entire album worth listening to to make some money. They SHOULD be thankful, and at the same time this SHOULD be their wakeup call.

  1. UberFu

    Joined: Dec 1969


    raise your hand...

    ...if you are shocked that NBC returned to iTunes?

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