NBC slumming with the Zune

So, after a public spat with Apple over pricing of their content on the iTunes Store, NBC is now schilling their shows on the Zune Marketplace at a hefty increase of zero dollars and zero cents. NBC ditched Apple when their contract expired in a public rift that seems to have centered on pricing flexibility. Apple wanted the programs to sell for $1.99 like every other TV show in the store, and NBC wanted the flexibility to increase the price on more popular shows. Although the programs are currently $1.99 in the Zune Marketplace, Microsoft states that NBC has the flexibility to increase prices if they see fit.

So, to recap – NBC pulls it’s programming from the #1 retailer of music and video content in the world, which serves up programming to over 100 million iPods, over a pricing dispute. It then signs a contract with Microsoft to offer it’s content to a marketplace that serves around 2 million Zunes.

In my world, we call that crazy.

Have fun with your “flexible” pricing NBC. I’m sure it will be real successful.

Category: Digital Music

Amazon’s MP3 (beta)

Amazon.com has launched their MP3 music store in public beta this morning. AmazonMP3 features MP3 tracks that are DRM free and will play on any computer and on any device that can handle MP3s (including, of course, the iPod). AmazonMP3 has over 2 million songs from 180,000 artists. Most tracks are $.99 cents, and the top 100 tracks are $.89 cents. Many albums are between $8.99 and $9.99. In my searching though, I found little sense in the pricing, as the album English Settlement from XTC was $8.99, but all of their other albums were $11.99 – $12.99.

I think AmazonMP3 will be a huge success. It gets right what most of the other downloadable music stores get wrong – (semi) decent pricing, easy access (any browser, any platform), and no DRM.

I think Apple finally has some competition.

Category: Digital Music

About the author

A user of Macs since they had silly names like Performa and Centris, Theodore Lee is a techie who prides himself on his vast knowledge of all things Apple. OS X Factor was started in 2001 (originally as macosxcentric), and continues to churn out tips, tutorials, reviews and commentary on the tech sector.