The newest chapter in the NBC/Apple squabble: Variety reports that while Apple has accused NBC of trying to raise prices for its TV shows, Steve Jobs and company are pushing to cut the price of most iTunes shows in half, from $1.99 to 99 cents.
This makes perfect sense from Apple’s perspective: As we’ve noted before, iTunes video sales are modest and aren’t growing very quickly. And as with music, Apple isn’t concerned about making money on the sale of content, but wants to use the shows to push hardware like its new video-enabled nano. And just like the music business, Hollywood isn’t eager to let its content get marked down — especially when it has a very healthy business selling DVDs through physical retailers.
Variety suggests that a reasonable compromise would be to offer different price points for different kinds of shows, say a dollar for oldies, $2 for new shows and $3 for really good ones. Jobs has generally been resistant to any kind of tiered pricing at his online store, but he has made concessions — last spring he agreed to sell EMI’s DRM-free music at a premium. Variety.