Wow. Bite me, NBC.
Just saw an article on Ars Technica that says NBC wants Apple to tighten up their DRM on iTunes so that they can control whether or not their shows can be transferred to iPods/iPhones. And they want to be able to charge more per episode. The NBC executives on board with this kind of thinking are all IDIOTS. If pirated media ends up on devices like the iPod, it’s not because iTunes doesn’t have strong enough DRM. And AFAIK, there aren’t any hacks out there to strip the DRM off of iTunes video purchases. So basically, whenever I buy videos from iTunes, I can only play them on my computer via iTunes, or transfer them to an authorized iPod to watch on the iPod itself. This is not good enough for NBC?
I appreciate that NBC is putting their shows out for free (only selected shows and selected episodes, though) on Hulu.com. I have watched some stuff on Hulu a couple times and it was fine. And in the past, when I missed a show on NBC, I have gone to their website to watch the video directly from there. But I do not like to be chained to my computer when I want to watch certain videos. I really like to rip my DVDs of The Office or other TV shows and transfer them to my iPod (or other portable media device) to watch while away from my computer, NOT so I can put them online to distribute to other people. We are growing increasingly used to time- and placeshifting, and the more NBC or any other networks try to fight it, the more they’re going to lose out on money. Period. NBC easily forgets how one of their most popular shows, The Office, was essentially saved by its placement on iTunes. I’m sure they got quite a significant ROI from all of their shows on iTunes, which, BTW, they didn’t want to pass along to the writers and actors; let’s not forget that major point.
I don’t even understand this argument from NBC, considering they have their shows available for download/purchase on Amazon Unbox, and these files can be transferred to portable players like the Zune. So how is it different from iTunes? Clearly they want to be able to choose their own pricing, but they’re playing up the whole piracy bit so they don’t look like greedy bastards. Hmm, too late, NBC. 😛