Nerd alert: Apple is exploring the possibility of offering a “pay one price” plan for unlimited music downloads from the iTunes store. It’d be a subscription model, where the user doesn’t own the music. Instead, they'd rent it.
Oh, and I don’t really care about the music part. Why?
Because this could open the door to the same model for TV rentals through iTunes. What a great way to have access to all my favorite tv shows, and other shows that I’ve heard about but never wanted to spend the money to check out.
And the best part, I’d happily pay for it. Even at twenty or thirty bucks a month, it’d be a great deal for me, and by the way, a lot more money in the pockets of Apple and the content providers.
I know this model will work. How? I’ve seen it work before. It’s called cable TV. If my cable operator offered me a “per series” fee instead of the monthly, I wouldn’t have cable. By charging me a monthly access charge, I’m in. And here’s the joke”¦ it’s not cheap. If I broke down the charge to a per series number”¦ well, let’s not do that.
But I pay it monthly, begrudgingly because I don’t want to have to evaluate each show I watch against a micro charge. What would I pay for Grey’s Anatomy if I had to pay? Would I still watch Numb3rs if it cost me $1.99 per episode? Probably not.
But I pay my $90.00 cable bill every month. Why? Because even though I would be stingy paying for TV on a per-episode basis, the IDEA of TV is priceless.
Note to Hollywood: This could blow the doors wide open on digital revenue. Don’t run too many spreadsheets when deciding. Make Apple my new cable provider.