Higher prices and stricter DRM will encourage illegal downloading

By now, I’m sure you know about the controversy between NBC and Apple, where NBC decided to ditch Apple’s iTunes Store and instead sell their shows through Amazon Unbox.

The reasoning behind NBC’s decision is that they wanted different prices for different shows. It might, to some people, sound like a reasonable demand. However, this stance basically comes from greed, and failing to acknowledge that one of the major things behind Apple’s success with iTunes store is the pricing model seems to me like a fundamental business error.

At iTunes, no matter what artist you want to buy music from, the price per song is the same. No matter what video/show clip you want, it’s the same price, and it’s reasonably low and fair. The consistency in this model has proven to be great in reaching people, because with such simplicity people will know what to expect and find it just.

Another reason for switching is that Amazon offers stricter DRM than Apple, which will, of course, make it less flexible for the end users and deliver less value per price for the product. So, NBC might very well get a higher price for their shows at Amazon, but since they will, I’m convinced, sell a lot less copies with that higher price and more “protection”, they’re bound to earn less money and gain more bad-will.

The sum is that NBC had a shot at actually selling more shows for downloading, lost out on it because of greed, and there will soon be a higher concentration of their shows available at any torrent web site. If they are serious about stifling illegal downloading and actually deliver something worth its price to their customers, my advice is for them to seriously rethink.

I also read that some analyst thought that this would mean less iPod sales because there wouldn’t be sufficient availability of video shows. Yeah, right. Like there’s no way for users themselves to convert video clips for iPod usage (Windows alternative), clips that they could get from any other source of their liking.


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Posted in Apple/Mac,Movies,Music,Technology |

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