Warners: $0.99 iTunes TV rentals too cheap

$0.99 TV show rentals are too cheap according the Warner CEO Barry Meyer, and would hurt full season TV show purchases.

Meyer said the deal was not a good value for the studio subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., which sells permanent downloads shows such as "Gossip Girl" on iTunes for $2.99 each.

I'm running out of quips to make about the oblivious myopia of old media. Seriously.

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Rene Ritchie

EiC of iMore, EP of Mobile Nations, Apple analyst, co-host of Debug, Iterate, Vector, Review, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

Warners: $0.99 iTunes TV rentals too cheap


The cable companies pay them far more. If you watch a lot of TV those 99 cent rentals are going to top a cable package easily.

.99 cent rentals too cheap. Too expensive in my mind. Should be .99 cents to buy an episode.

Hands down my 45 dollar cable with HD DVR is a better deal for me. Sling box and then who cares about 99 cents. I still like to channel surf.

I can't think of a TV show that I would pay .99 for when, I can already get it on so many other devices.

Does this guy understand what the "rental" part means? If they're selling a full episode for $2.99, a RENTAL of that episode better be far less. I think $.99 is about the best compromise for a price point of a RENTAL.
What I'm scared of is when they decide that 1/2 hour (20 minute) TV shows will be $.99 and they decide to up 1 hour (40 minute) TV shows to $1.29 or something retarded like that.

Time Warner is wrong on this but so is Apple. Nobody has nailed the digital distribution model when it comes to TV content. Apple got music right with Itunes but the same pricing doesn't work for TV rentals unless they offer a per season discount. I'd pay $20 or $30 to be able to watch as much as possible but I'd never pay per episode. Right now every model is going to hurt DVD/Blu-Ray sales down the line though.

I'd be willing to pay .99 just to get out of subscription purchasing. I don't channel surf and I literally look at the exact same things EVERY week, most of which are available on either the stations website, hulu/huluplus or available via iTunes. I pay $180 for Directv every month and I do not watch $180 worth of cable television.

$.99 per episode may be ok one off but they need to create a cheaper subscription price. $10 for network / basic cable shows and $15 for premeium cable shows. Also they should allow multiple plays for a year or more.
By not playing ball they are encouraging people to pirate their shows.

TV show rentals cannot be one-price-fits-all. A new episode of Lost, for example, $0.99 rental seems reasonable. If I'm watching an 11-year old rerun of King of Queens, I'd pay around $0.10. For an episode of Law and Order from 8 years ago, maybe $0.20.

A standard 24 episode season will be over $25 plus tax. How much do they want from us just to rent a season? There is no way in hell I would even pay $.99!

You wonder why so many people go to bittorent for Tv shows FOR FREE! The old media paradign is dead! but yet they want to charge $3 for a TV Show. Warner has a lot more problems to deal with than bitching about .99 rentals being too cheap. Idiots!!!!

Given the networks have inserted even more commercial time in shows than what what they used to, this CEO can go take a flying leap. If he doesn't want to agree with a .99 price point, I'll find "alternative" ways to watch TV shows I happen to miss....arrrrharrrharrr matey!!!

They need to offer a price where the convenience of getting it on iTunes outweighs the zero cost of bitorrent/hulu/etc. My take is the cost should be $20/month a la carte or $0.99/series/month.

Everyone loves technology. But in all honesty it's killing society. It's taking jobs away from people. Selling on eBay and buying things from all over the world from one person sitting in a room on a computer that can offer product at a cheaper price but can drop ship anything he sells and doesn't ever have to touch product. Amazon, eBay, eComerce in general has killed store fronts. And all people keep complaining about it cheaper cheaper cheaper. I want this and that and I don't want to have to pay for it. Buying out of state to avoid trillions of dollars a year in taxes and it's catching up with us. All the big stores are closing the only ones still open are ones that can follow and can afford to follow the trend. Everyone likes to buy stuff at a good price. But it's killing everyone and everything off. And it gets worse and worse every day. Now people are complaining about $.99 episodes. When shows come on 4 times a month. That's $3.96 cents a month. Not $25 in one month. Paying $.99 an episode if you only watch 3-4 shows a month is only $16 versus $180 a month for an entire line up of 300 channels no one is going to watch anyway.

And of course all the .99 cent iTunes rentals I've seen can be PURCHASED for .99 cents at Amazon VOD. And Amazon probably takes a smaller cut from the sale than Apple does for the rentals.

Too cheap? WTF?! It's more expensive than watching it on tv with a cable provider! How about 99 cents and I keep the damn thing!

Its the way things were before the internet. And there was no capitalism about it. People actually got off their a$$es and went to a store to get a sale.

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