Entertainment Industry Has Mixed Views on iPod

Not everyone in Hollywood is optimistic about the success of Appleis video capable iPod and video download service. Some television and film producers are concerned about pricing and content, according to a Reuters article.

Media executives arenit clear yet on what types of programs will be successful on the small screen format of the iPod, and pricing is another issue. Although ABC and parent company Disney have signed on for the US$1.99 per show price scheme, NBC and CBS may be pushing for higher prices.

Even if the $1.99 price point sticks, itis unclear how the proceeds will be divided. The networks clearly want their fair share, and now the Hollywood unions have voiced their interest, too.

Analysts are divided on the impact that Appleis video download service will have on local broadcasters. Some are optimistic, seeing the iPod as a tool to drive new viewers to broadcast programming, while others predict a negative impact on the traditional distribution system.

Big networks are in a better position to experiment with the programming through the iTunes Music Store because most of the production costs have already been recouped. Independent producers, however, will be more cautious since they donit know what type of programming will be successful, or how much it will cost them up front.

Appleis competitors in the video download market are hoping things will get better. CinemaNow and MovieLink have both been niche players in the legal video download market for years. Appleis entry into the market may bring validity to their services.

CinemaNow CEO, Curt Mavis, said "From day one, which for us is six years ago, we have said the validation of this business through the entry of others is key to having the whole industry grow."

When Apple entered the legal music download market, record labels quickly came on board, turning the iTunes Music Store into a powerhouse distribution channel for music. It remains to be seen if Hollywood will join in, potentially converting Apple into one of the largest media distribution companies in the world.