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March 19, 2006

Subscription Model for iTunes Video Store

Categories Apple iTunes 

As much as the iTunes “Multi-Pass” and “Season Pass” for videos are great new purchasing options, a true subscription model for videos may still be preferable. Sure purchasing 16 episodes of the Daily show for $10 instead of $32 is great, but who really wants to own every episode of a daily TV show (even if it is as awesome as the Daily Show)? iTunes should offer a monthly subscription plan for videos, similar to the other music stores’ subscription model for music.

While I do think the majority of iTunes users do prefer to own music, I’m not sure the same holds true for TV and videos. In general TV shows simply don’t have the replay value of music. Most people don’t feel a compelling need to re-watch an episode of something, outside the occasional favorite show, season finale or plot-turning episode.

It seems subscription model for videos would be a better fit for many users. iTunes Video Store could offer a monthly subscription plan which allows customers to download and watch a given number of videos at a time, then the files could be de-authorizing when the customer was done with them, and a new batch could be downloaded. Best of all after the files were de-authorized they can be deleted; as all those episodes are eat-up hard drive space fast. Essentially this would be similar to NetFlix's model, whereby customers pay $18/month to have any 3 movies out at a time.

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