Whether this is tied to the impending, never-ending, maybe-it-probably-will-be-announced-tomorrow iPad/iTablet/iSlate, we don’t know. We really don’t. And neither does anyone else who’s reporting that, OMG, it must be related. Because, seriously… there’s as much logic in that as there is in the average episode of Torchwood .
Sure, a portable screen might enable you to sneak a couple of episodes of Supernatural in on the 12.10 from Kings Cross to Edinburgh but, quite frankly, so does any laptop with a built in DVD drive or a copy of VLC on it. And how many folks do you ever see doing that, huh? Huh?
I rest my case.
No, it’s far more likely that Apple have just, like, noticed that they’re now the most expensive video rental service going in this nascent market. iPlayer, 4OD and the other ones no one uses are doling out TV programmes for free. American TV streaming site Hulu‘s all set for a European launch at some point in the future and services like Blinkbox have movie and TV rentals starting at 99p a time. Heck. Even Blockbuster is cheaper.
Do you know how much it currently costs to watch one episode of Desperate Houswives on iTunes? £2.49. TWO POUNDS AND FORTY NINE PENCE. I wouldn’t watch it for free.
Anyway… the figures being bandied around are a 50% reduction of the current prices – meaning we might actually see shows on iTunes for a pound a pop. By our reckoning, that’s the sweet spot for TV downloads. The new and final series of Lost, for example – coming soon to Sky One. How much potential revenue is being lost (no pun intended) to dish-free file-sharers reluctant to pay £2.49 a time for yet another hour of made-up-on-the-spot, time-travel nonsense. A quid though? Bring on the smoke monster.
If Apple have the stones to go for it, this price restructure may well change the way we watch TV.