With iTunes Consumers Ponder Ditching Cable
STEVE INSKEEP, Host:
Here's NPR's Richard Gonzales.
RICHARD GONZALES: The first shoe to drop came last week when CBS said it may offer shows as a test for $.99 per episode. They currently go for a buck 99 on iTunes. But other network execs are reportedly skeptical. Michael McGuire, a media analyst at Gartner Research, says TV bosses are having to weigh the value of their content and the size of the iTunes customer base.
MICHAEL MCGUIRE: There is a pretty big number Apple has in its favor: over 100, 150 million active credit cards on account.
GONZALES: Among the questions currently up for debate, how does a $.99 per episode price structure pay for actors, writers, and directors? And how many consumers will pay for a TV program they can already stream for free, although with commercials, on sites like Hulu? On the other hand, says McGuire, it's unclear how many viewers will pay for cable if prices drop.
MCGUIRE: As broadband penetration increases, I think you're going to see more and more consumers looking at their pay-TV bills and saying, yes, I have 600 channels, but I really only watch five or 10. Can I just pay for the five or 10?
GONZALES: Richard Gonzales, NPR News.
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