Bambi Francisco at MarketWatch:
Apple Computer said Tuesday it formed a partnership with NBC Universal to offer new primetime, cable, late-night and classic TV shows, such as “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” on the iTunes Music Store.
The deal is Apple’s second licensing arrangement to get video onto its iTunes music store, and it’s a new licensing arrangement that some have predicted.
When Apple originally launched the downloading of TV shows in October, its first partner was Walt Disney’s ABC, and it had 2,000 videos. With the NBC deal, Apple iTunes Music store now has 3,000 music videos, Pixar short films and a variety of TV shows that consumers can buy for $1.99 each.
Additionally, Apple announced Tuesday that customers purchased more than 3 million videos since Apple began selling videos Oct. 12. It took Apple 20 days to sell 1 million videos.
The new licensing deal by Apple comes at a time when major TV networks are looking at new distribution platforms.
Given the TV networks openness to get their video on new platforms, increased broadband penetration, demand to watch shows anytime and anyplace, and technology enhancements that allow video to be downloaded quickly, it’s not a surprise to see more licensing arrangements between major studios and new distribution partners, like Apple.
The Office, Monk, Battlestar Galactica (including the miniseries), The Tonight Show, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Law & Order and Surface are among the newcomers. But wait! There’s more: peep the vintage NBC shows like Knight Rider (no joke), Dragnet and even some Alfred Hitchcock.
The press release has the complete list of shows and it’s really just 11 shows from the NBC Universal brands, but it’s a start.
At this point, aside from the format conversion costs, it’s just “found money” for the networks and studios because they have already got the content they developed based on broadcast revenues and this is just a way to get a few more bucks out of it. When they start counting on the online revenue in advance like the studios now count on DVD revenue for movies, you’ll know that online video has arrived.