On iTunes and HBO

May 14th, 2008 // 8 Comments

itunes-button-logo-300x300.jpgOverly excitable music-business types are looking at Apple’s recent deal with HBO, where top-tier shows like The Sopranos are priced at $2.99 per episode on the iTunes Store (as opposed to The Wire‘s $1.99-a-pop price), as a sign that the company may someday embrace variable pricing, which would allow the music business to revitalize itself by charging the $2.99-a-song price that “4 Minutes” and “Touch My Body” so rightfully command. Thankfully, Anthony Bruno at Billboard splashes a bit of water on this notion by pointing out that the shows that HBO has placed on iTunes last quite a bit longer than three minutes and thirty seconds–which, one would think, might attract just a bit more money–and that most of the variants in price can be explained away by the shows’ relative lengths. Prediction: Some poor major-label act is going to be corralled into releasing a 10-minute debut single for the purposes of “testing the $2.99-a-song waters” within the next six months. [Billboard]

idolator

  1. Jerkwheat

    Prediction: Some poor major-label act is going to be corralled into releasing a 10-minute debut single for the purposes of “testing the $2.99-a-song waters” within the next six months.

    “I Will Possess Your Heart” – six months too soon…

  2. RaptorAvatar

    Maybe they’ll start breaking up albums. Something like $8 for the singles and $5 for the other stuff.

  3. Chris Molanphy

    Yes, Apple caved…to a pay-TV distributor, on shows that are an hour in length and among the highest-rated in cable history. Somehow I doubt that’s going to convince Jobs & co. to treat the next Usher single as a prestige release.

  4. Empire

    Does the industry not understand that 99 cents a song is simply what people are willing to pay, and that raising the price will only result in losing more of the few customers they have left who are actually willing to pay for music at all?

    Don’t answer that; we already know how much the music industry understands about the internet.

  5. pantsonfireliarliar

    One thing I’ve never understood about buying TV shows (and subsequent pricing) is the fact that I’ll watch a Sopranos episode once, maybe 2-3 times for a good episode. Sure it’s an hour long show, but with such low replayability, why bother buying it? On the other hand, songs on my Top 25 Most Played playlist have play counts of 500+ over years of usage.

    As far as time goes, I might get more out of a 99 cent single than a 2.99 episode.

  6. revmatty

    @pr0FF3ss0r_j3rkwh3at: I hear Yes is planning a new album….

    @pantsonfireliarliar: I’d be way more likely to rent a TV show than to buy one for just that reason. I’m unlikely to watch it twice, so why own it?

  7. Silverfuture

    Yeah, this could be really bad news for fans of Hawkwind and The Mars Volta.

  8. Captain Wrong

    Fuck ‘em. Hope they do it, crash and burn and get it the hell over with. Love to see what the next excuse for failure and potential savior will look like.

Leave A Comment