Looking at the iPod

It appears that Apple has added video capiblity to their iPod and a Video Store to iTunes. For a long time Steve Jobs scoffed at the idea of playing video on an iPod. Who would want to watch videos on such a small screen. I guess something changed Steve's mind.

I am not sure if anyone else is going to get buy an iPod for this feature. I know that people in the tech community have been clamoring for this. Creative, Samsung, and iRiver have had windows portable video players for a while. I am not sure how many people are buying them. I have used the Creative and Samsung for work. I do not know of anyone how has bought one for themself.

I think the more important development is the opening of the iTunes Video store. The downloadable video store market is a wide open area right now. The only player I know of is Movielink. They have a rental model where the user has 24 hours to watch a program once they started. They do not support a portible player.

Right now the iTunes Video story only sells a small collection of ABC and Disney TV Shows, Music Videos, and Pixar Shorts. Currently the iTunes Video had one price, $1.99 download. It does not matter if it is a music video, TV episode, or Pixar short. It looks like they want to get everyone used to paying $1.99. I have not checked out if there are any restrictions on this price.

This price point seems correct for a television episode or pixar short. It seems very over priced for a music video. To me, a music video is less valueable then just a song. I can only watch a video 2 or 3 times. Personally I would only pay about $.25 for a music video. I can see why you need to keep the video at least at the same price as the singles so they do not undercut sales.

Music Videos are promotional and always have been. They only exist so people buy the ablum and see the band live. It is crazy to try to charge so much for them. I would be willing to buy them in cheap bundles, but not on their own. My guess is that not many people will be willing to buy them.

I am interested to see how the iTunes Video store goes for Apple. I wonder if they will be able to get movie studios to sign up. If so will Apple be able to dictate terms the same way they have been able to with music. I know thyat movie rights are very tricky because the markets are so well defined. My guess is that movie studios will hold out as long as they can.

My prediction is that customers will be able to access the iTunes Music store from selected cell phones within 12 months. When I say access, I mean buy tunes directly with their phones. Maybe people would buy music videos for their phones also. This is where Apple needs to be heading if they are seeing themself as a media company.


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