I’ve already written about the silliness going on between Apple and NBC here and here. Now, NBC and Amazon announce that NBC’s shows are now available through Amazon Unbox. Let me paint the picture for you. Shows like The Office are available for $1.99 per episode and can be played on two PCs (Windows) and two portable devices (PlaysForSure) at the same time. The shows can also be downloaded directly to networked TiVo devices. You can download entire seasons at discounted prices. Does all of this sound familiar? This is basically the same pricing that we saw on the iTunes Store.
So what’s the big difference here? Well, with iTunes, you can play the shows on five computers and any number of iPods at the same time. Is this possibly what NBC was complaining about when they decided to not renew their contract? So, they basically went from iTunes which runs on virtually 100% of personal computers and the iPod which holds over 70% of the digital media player market to a Windows only Amazon application and PlaysForSure devices which account for less than 30% of the market. How in the world did NBC think they were making the right decision here? This seems like an enormous step backwards to me. This has to be a bargaining ploy by NBC to try to get Apple to let them tighten up the number of devices on which their content can be played. Because the pricing is the same, this has to be the sticking point between Apple and NBC.