Variable prices coming to the US iTunes store in the show section? According to Portfolio.com, a high-profile financial magazine edited by Cond Nast, everything has already been defined and now close to an announcement in the context of an agreement with the American premium channel HBO.
The hypothesis of variable prices has always been rejected by Apple both for music and videos and this rigidity seems to have been the origin of numerous renunciations to the enrichment of the Apple catalog and abandonments, a name for everyone: NBC which has left (also) for refusing to apply variable prices to his show. There have recently been evident cracks in this position with the appearance in the film sector of titles at different prices. Porfolio's thesis, which mentions people informed about the negotiations, therefore becomes credible as credible as the fact that HBO inaugurates this strategy.
The American production house and TV channel, owned by Time Warner, has an endless list of highly successful TV series, Oz, Rome, Band of Brothers, I Soprano, Deadwood, Larry Sanders Show, Sex And The City, only for mention some. Their acquisition would give Apple a major competitive advantage and give reason for a failure on the single-price strategy on a larger scale.
Even HBO, in any case, would have benefits given the wide popularity of iTunes as a medium for the diffusion of films and TV series, especially in the USA. The TV channel recently inaugurated a service for the broadcasting of its shows via the Internet, but it only works with subscribers to HBO services; in the case of iTunes, the shows would go almost anywhere, including those who are not among HBO's customers.
Portfolio speculates that, in any case, the variable prices on iTunes could be substantially invisible to the end customer. In fact, there is the hypothesis that Apple would bear the cost; in practical terms this would mean a fixed price (of $ 1.99) for each show for the buyer, but a higher price for Cupertino when it comes to acquiring the rights for the series. Even Apple could sell the shows without deriving anything from them if not at a loss, this to then reap profits on the sale of the hardware for the vision (Apple TV, iPhone and iPod) from which it derives important margins. A similar structure would have been configured with the films sold on the day of their appearance on DVD; Apple would sell each film at a lower price than that paid to the production company.
Portfolio believes that the announcement of the arrival of HBO on iTunes is a matter of a week or fifteen days.