Friday, October 14, 2005

Jupiter: Two More on the iPod Video and the Television Aftermarket

The Apple video iPod announcement has kept the various analysts at JupiterResearch quite busy the last couple of days. Gary Stein posts that the biggest thing about Apple's announcements was not the video iPod but what was coming with it: "pay-per-view TV over the Net. Yowza." Stein notes that there are "a ton of series for sale and rental now, from Lost to Buffy to 24 and beyond," He then goes on to say:

So the question: can TV series be similar to movies, which owe a large part of their ultimate profitability to DVD sales and rentals? I don't know what the answer is, but the ability to buy a show for under $2 and watch it whenever you want is a major step in the right direction.
He concludes that "in the end we should potentially be talking about this move being the savior of good television." I'd have to agree. As I noted yesterday, it also opens up a whole new model for programming that normally wouldn't make it to TV. Dodgeball on the Ocho via iTunes. I can't wait...

Joe Wilcox then posts at the Jupiter Analyst Weblogs about whether it's worth purchasing lower quality episodes via iTunes or wait until the DVDs for the season comes out.

Wilcox asks if videos via iTunes pass the "good enough" quality test. As he rightfully points out, it depends on the usage model. You wouldn't watch a downloaded episode of "Lost" on your living room home theater system, but it's "good enough" for the display on the iPod. Wilcox opines that:
Maybe the real issue is the value of immediacy, to the consumer and to the content creator. If I the consumer really want the newest "Lost" episodes to watch, say, on a trip, they're available for just $2 each the day after broadcast, via a simple, no-hassle download. For the content creator, there is the opportunity to immediately monetize its asset. "Lost" wouldn't go to DVD until some months after the 25-episode season concluded. But the content creator could start cashing in the day after broadcast. Because the iTunes version is good enough for the computer or video-enabled iPod but not necessarily the TV, the $2/episode sale wouldn't necessarily jeopardize DVD sales. Fans might easily buy a series of single episodes and later DVDs. Heck, what's two bucks? Single episodes would be easy spends.
Preaching to the choir....