According to a New York Times article today, NBC Universal will not renew its iTunes contract with Apple, meaning that unless things change between now and then, Battlestar Galactica will disappear from iTunes as of January 1, 2008.
As the ‘Times says, “The decision by NBC Universal highlights the escalating tension between Apple and media companies, which are unhappy that Apple will not give them more control over the pricing of songs and videos that are sold on iTunes.”
Of course, there’s a reason Apple isn’t offering those pricing options: consumers aren’t interested in them! If Apple allowed NBC/Vivendi/etc. to “bundle” songs and videos, adjust the prices minute-by-minute to frack wtih demand — and ultimately pull them on a moment’s notice — iTunes would be as dead as these media companies’ own direct-sale initiatives.
The ‘Times article indicates that NBC is concerned about piracy issues. Well, here’s a piracy issue they can really be concerned about: BSG season four is going to be a huge, huge seller. And if viewers without cable can buy it off iTunes for a reasonable price — without bundling, variable pricing, or other such BS — they will. But if NBC continues down this foolhardy path and yanks it, cableless fans will get it somehow.
(Thanks, Matt, for the great tip.)
NBC Will Not Renew iTunes Contract [NY Times]