Several television networks have expressed discontent with the pricing structure of the new Apple TV device which is due to launch in a matter of days (or perhaps weeks).
The 99-cent 24 hour rental rate ‘devalues content’ according to NBC and is ‘not a good price point’ according to Viacom. Other networks, such as Fox and ABC, have reluctantly agreed to provide content for Apple TV on a trial basis.
Offering either rentals (Apple) or sales (Amazon) of TV episodes for $0.99 seems to be the magic number but, at the moment, either option causes problems for the provider, or the consumer. A 24-hour rental is just that. If you can’t watch it the episode within the allocated rental time then you are faced with having to pay for another rental. If you opt to purchase a $0.99 episode from Amazon then that is great for you, but is provided at a loss to Amazon. Can this type of model be supported?
Fortunately for users (perhaps not for the Corporations), the best pricing model seems to come via Netflix with the monthly subscription model. For around $9 a month, you get unlimited options. Isn’t this the best way to go for consumers?
With greedy networks bitching about the Apple TV rental model, will Apple’s latest hobby be over before it has even begun? A slow start will certainly not help and this time, it might not even be Apple’s fault.