Apple stunned the world by eliminating the iPod mini in favor of the iPod nano. Then surprised no one by offering music videos on the iTunes Music Store. Then surprised everyone by offering first-run TV shows from Disney’s ABC TV division.
Now, Apple and NBC Universal have announced more TV shows available for download from the video section of the iTunes Music Store at the regular video price of $1.99 per episode.
Showing up for sale from NBC will be a much larger lineup than ABC TV shows; more primetime, cable, late-night, and classic TV shows are available now from Apple.
Is this an indication that Apple’s new video section in the iTunes Music Store is a success?
Apple also announced that over 3-million videos have been downloaded from the store since it debuted October 12. iTMS is now the world’s most popular location for music videos.
The deal with NBC brings the number of TV episodes to over 300, from 16 popular television shows.
ABC’s TV shows included Desperate Housewives and Lost.
NBC’s TV shows include Law & Order, Surface, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Night with Conan O’Brien.
While those shows are an improvement over the slim offerings from ABC, they’re hardly a broad list of current TV shows.
Also included in the deal are shows from USA Network; the Emmy Award-winning Monk, and Battlestar Galactica from the Sic-Fi Channel.
Classic TV shows include Dragnet, Adam-12, Knight-Rider, and Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
Apple CEO Steve Jobs said, “We’re thrilled to expand the iTunes video catalog with 11 popular TV shows from NBC, USA Network and the Sci-Fi Channel.”
Hopefully, this additional deal with NBC will be the second of many to arrive on Apple’s download servers.
Jobs thinks so, too, adding, “In our first two months we’ve sold more than three million videos, and have expanded our TV catalog from five shows to 16 shows.”
NBC’s press release mill was busy, as well. From Bob Wright, vice chairman of NBC parent GE, and chairman and CEO of NBC, “Apple has developed a distribution platform that is attractive to consumers while at the same time providing the safeguards against theft that are so important to us and to every content provider. We are pleased to partner with them in this new venture.”
As expected, the television shows are available only on the iTunes Music Store for US customers, and video availability will vary country to country.
Does such an announcement affect stock prices? Apparently, as stock analysts have begun raising AAPL’s stock target to as much as $86 after it reached new highs on the news.
What’s next for Jobs and Company? When will the iTunes Music Store get named the ‘Apple Media Store’ featuring iTunes Music, Music Videos, TV shows, and Movies?
While the iPod remains mostly a music-oriented device, the iPods with video are hot sellers, making video an obvious component of future iPods.
Does it seem odd to be buying music videos, TV shows, and movies from a store called ‘iTunes Music Store?’
Who’s next on the list? CBS? So far, the classic TV shows are those that are not selling as expensive and popular gift set DVDs, such as Seinfeld.
When will the huge library of classic movies and TV shows begin showing up on iTunes Music Store and will the $1.99 price tag remain, or increase to reflect the value of some shows and movies?
Jack D. Miller
All this is incremental and evolutionary and expected. As iPod with video sales increased, more programs will show up for sale. I still can’t get Shania Twain’s, ‘Man, I Feel Like A Woman’ music video.
Carol Mary Miller
And I can’t get Robert Palmer’s ‘Simply Irresistible’, either.
This is good news for AAPL and iTMS but it can’t be unexpected. I look for more news like this at Macworld and regularly throughout 2006 as the music section expands. If Apple ever morphs the iPod into a video communication device, watch out.