So Apple’s vPod gets released amidst predictable hoopla.
Over the past three years, Apple Computer Inc. has shaken up the music business. Now, in a move that could lead to big changes in how entertainment is distributed and sold, it plans to do the same with television and other forms of video.
The Cupertino, Calif., company yesterday introduced a collection of hardware and Internet services that allow users to purchase video programming over the Internet and watch it on a new version of Apple’s hit iPod media player. In the most significant development, Apple said it has reached an agreement with Walt Disney Co. to sell each episode of five popular TV shows over the Internet for $1.99. The downloads include the current prime-time hits “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost.” (WSJ)
One question that has come to my mind: Why Desperate Housewives? iPod’s biggest appeal has been amongst teenagers, gadget geeks, commuters, etc. Desperate Housewives is entirely orthogonal to iPod’s core segment. Is it an effort, then, on Apple’s part, to broaden the appeal of the iPod, and take it out to a more mainstream market?
On the other hand, Disney’s biggest win would come from teenager focused programming that can be channeled through the iTunes store.
And for Pixar, this opens up a superb opportunity for clever micro-content programming with a tight control over distribution.
How long before Apple has a legitimate reason to buy Pixar for original content?