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NBC CEO: Apple Destroyed the Music Business

NBC CEO: Apple Destroyed the Music Business

by , 8:35 AM EDT, October 30th, 2007

NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker is pointing the finger at Apple and the iTunes Store as the reason media companies can't sell their wares online at what he considers to be profitable rates. His comments came during a speech at the Syracuse Newhouse School of Communications where he also urged media companies to take a stand against Apple, according to the Financial Times.

Mr. Zucker said "We know that Apple has destroyed the music business -- in terms of pricing -- and if we don't take control, they'll do the same thing on the video side."

Mr. Zucker's comments follow a very public feud between Apple and NBC over pricing at the iTunes Store. NBC claimed it wanted more flexible pricing for TV shows, while Apple claimed that NBC wanted to charge too much for programming.

Ultimately the two companies parted ways when NBC refused to renew its contract with the iTunes Store.

Mr. Zucker added that he urged Apple CEO Steve Jobs to price one TV show on the iTunes Store at US$2.99 instead of the standard $1.99 as an "experiment." He said that Mr. Jobs refused, and also would not entertain the idea of sharing iPod sales revenue with the broadcaster.

In an effort to bolster sagging revenues, NBC has decided to team up with News Corp to launch its own online video service dubbed hulu. Unlike the iTunes Store, hulu will be Web browser-based and shows will include commercials that viewers must watch.

hulu is available now, but is still in beta testing. If analyst predictions are any indication, it will shut down within a year, and NBC's content will return to the iTunes Store.

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