Want to watch Tony Soprano and crew on a tiny screen? It will cost you a 50% premium.
HBO has finally brought (some of) its shows to iTunes, but with a slight catch: It will charge you a buck extra to watch (some of) them.
As reported earlier, Apple (AAPL) and Time Warner’s (TWX) pay TV channel have struck a new deal that breaks the traditional iTunes video pricing plan: Episodes of “The Sopranos”, “Deadwood” and “Rome” are available now for $2.99 instead of the traditional $1.99. For some reason iTunes is selling HBO’s best one-hour show in recent years — “The Wire” — for $1.99. Sitcoms “Sex And The City” and “Flight Of The Conchords” are also $1.99.
We hear from a knowledgeable source that HBO and Apple will split revenue 70%-30%, meaning that HBO will be getting more than $2 a sale for its premium priced shows.
This is a significant change for Apple, and the first sign that any of its content partners has the ability to demand pricing premiums. Last fall NBC pulled its TV shows from the service because Steve Jobs wouldn’t allow the network to experiment with higher prices than the standard $1.99 per TV show.
The deal makes sense, as HBO viewers are accustomed to paying extra for good stuff. Now, a source says CBS wants to strike a similar deal for Showtime when its iTunes deal expires — and we imagine every other content provider will also want new terms, too.
See Also: Apple Caves On iTunes Pricing For HBO