Keep an eye on: NBC, Apple
Cracks in the Apple empire? First Vivendi’s Universal Music Group, and now GE’s NBC Universal. The New York Times says NBC will not renew its contract to sell TV shows on iTunes because they can’t agree on pricing. The contract is expected to end in December.
NBC the top supplier of digital video to Apple’s online store, accounting for about 40 percent of downloads notified Apple of its decision late yesterday, according to the Times, which cites an unnamed source.
This is just the latest in a history of gripes media companies have with the reigning iTunes. The music industry, reeling from declining CD sales, has pushed for variable pricing. Apple, for its part, maintains that consumers want simplified pricing. iTunes Japan is one of the few markets where Apple sells tracks at different prices.
With Amazon, Wal-Mart and others on its back, will Apple finally relent?
Keep an eye on:
- Apple’s getting into the ringtone business, realizing finally that paying $3 for a 15-second clip of a song is a far better business than the entire track at 99 cents. Rumblings of this bounced around the blogosphere as early as June. (NY Post) (ZDNet)
- Amazon inching closer to September launch for its iTunes rival, after first talking about this in May. (NY Post) (Reuters)
- Baidu eyeing Japan expansion. South Korea next? (Reuters)
- Yahoo researching social networking site Kickstart (CNET)