The stand off (or download chicken)

It looks like NBC Universal and Apple's relationship had turned sour. And not like a good sour apple candy. It looks like there will be no more NBC shows on iTunes anymore.

This is really a game of chicken. Both Sides think the other side needs them more. Both sides think if they do not need to give in. Both of them think they are better off in control.

They are both wrong is the problem. NBC thinks it can make more money with other online providers. They want to make different bundles because they think it will bring more revenue. What NBC is missing what customers love about iTunes. not needing to buy albums, just cherry picking ones they want. If NBC wants to force customers to buy content they don't want to get what they want, they are making a mistake. They run the risk losing customers to other content.

The mistake that iTunes is making is that they are opening the door to other download providers. NBC, Sci-fi, and USA networks have been the cornerstones of the iTunes Video store. If content is king, other providers will play ball with NBC to get this content. Those providers what a chunk of what iTunes has.

The interesting thing about NBC's decision for me is how a year ago it was a big story how iTunes saved the Office. After being saved by iTunes the Office has become a hit. One of the anchors of NBC's Line up. It is funny to me how this would not be important to NBC.

My guess is that NBC has no way to figure out how many people who viewed the Office on iTunes. They think they could get that many people on their own site when they launch it. The problem is that NBC is trying to be in more control when they do not understand the world they are operating. This is a major problem.

One interesting bit was this.
In addition to the pricing issue, NBC Universal wants iTunes to stiffen anti-piracy provisions so computer users would not have easy access to illegal downloads.

What are they talking about. Do they want Apple computers not to work with bittorrent? Do they want iTunes files harder to crack? Do they want more control over the Mac platform. All three of these are bad ideas. I want to know what they want.


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