NBC was just being greedy…
Apple said to be ‘much more flexible than people presume'”
For months if not years, it has been believed that Apple wouldn’t budge off its one-size-fits-all pricing pricing policy. Today, we learn that that’s not entirely true.
Hollywood Reporter reports, as is its wont, that Apple and the major networks / production houses are discussing variable pricing for TV content.
“The conversations I’ve had with them over the last quarter are markedly different than they were a year or two ago,” said one insider. “Apple is much more flexible than people presume.
Apparently, that presumption was probably unfair to begin with, says the Hollywood Reporter, given that sources suggest that it wasn’t Apple but NBC that was being stubborn in their previous negotiation stalemate. Not only was NBC pushing to “test” a $4.99 price point, but it also wanted to institute dynamic pricing, an experimental new technology that recalibrates price based on consumer demand.
In addition to variable and dynamic pricing, content companies likely wish to quibble over Apple’s revenue split, which is assumed to be 70 / 30.
On the bright side, iTunes has taken some heat on its message boards for HBO’s multiple price points, but not everyone has a problem with it. As one poster wrote, The Sopranos on VHS: $10. The Sopranos on DVD: $40. The Sopranos on my iPod: priceless.”
Although Apple’s silence on just about every issue has in this case worked to the advantage of the content owners, their number and lack of inhibition regarding talk made it just a matter of time before they told on themselves.
If one adds in the number of studios, all squirming for the biggest slice they can get, to the list of “issues” Apple has to deal with in order to bring TV and movie content to iTunes, it becomes fairly clear that crafting a deal that everyone can accept will be extremely difficult if not impossible. As has previously been the case, Apple is the studios’ first, last and best hope for a deal…
(Via Insanely Great Mac.)