First of all - NBC has the best original programming with the exception of F/X and HBO. Chuck, The Office, 30 Rock, and Las Vegas are some of the most brilliant shows on the air today. But, like everyone else in the modern world, I stopped being down with appointment television with the advent of TiVo (okay really just generic Time Warner DVR). Then, the iTunes Music Store added television series and I could put them on my iPod and plug that into my TV and watch whatever I wanted even if I'd forgotten to TiVo (read: DVR) it.
This is how I discover most shows. I'm a pop culture addict - it's what I do.
Long story short, NBC pulled the plug on iTunes because it wanted more money. What they don't understand is that TV shows have no value really. DVDs of TV shows are purchased because they are physical products. Consumers are purchasing the box to place on a shelf because it is representative of their tastes. When people put The Office DVD on their shelf they are doing it so when they have guests they can say "oh, you like The Office?" Or else you watch the episodes once through, and put the box back on aforementioned shelf. In fact, if you notice most people lose at least one of the DVDs that come in TV show boxed sets. Go open your friends Lost Season 2 - tell me if Disc 3 is in there or if it's sitting under the couch scratched up like a cat toy.
So why not be happy at making 1.99 for a TV show that you were otherwise making nothing for. Advertisers aren't going anywhere yet. Use iTunes as a promotion - in fact it is credited with launching The Office into the mainstream. Let clips sit up on YouTube, you can't really monitize 30 second clips (don't get me started on ringtones). Let fans be fans and share their enthusiasm of your product.
So now there's a writers' strike, so I'm preparing for new TV to disappear to make room for America's Best Choir (yes - there is a real series coming with that premise this January). So in celebration of my new iPod Touch I bought Season 1 of Heroes, a show I'd always wanted to start watching. So now I'm hooked on that, and almost through with it (even though new episodes of programming are still airing and I'd meant not to start watching Heroes until the strike was affecting my life - I have no self control). So, I want to get episodes from Season 2 - but they're not on iTunes. They are available only on Amazon.com's Unbox service - which of course isn't compatible with a Mac and can only be viewed on a PC in Window's Media format (can't be played on the iPod) - or it can be viewed on Hulu.com, another PC only website which isn't even open to the public - it's in invite only beta.
Thanks NBC. Way to get viewers to your shows.
-orion's belt buckle
-orion's belt buckle