August 31st, 2007
iTunes as Directory and Browser
Media outlets report that NBC will not renew its contract with Apple’s iTunes. The stated reason was control over pricing. Apple likes simple pricing that everyone can understand. Traditional networks and record companies want to maximize revenue even if it means confusing users. They seem to have forgotten all about the original Napster.
Apple created the legal market for media downloads, and iTunes has become the hub for all downloadable content. That’s a nice position. The Networks and record companies will try and create an alternative hub with a terrible user interface, confusing pricing and lots of strings use of content. Users will revert to Bit Torrent. People use iTunes because it’s a very usable director and content browser.
Ultimately pricing will probably become more complex, but you should be able to buy and download NBC content from mulitple sources. May the best directory, browser and e-commerce interaction win.