Friday, 5 February 2010

Pay TV vs iTunes costs

Here's a thought about pay TV. They won't allow you (in general) to subscribe just to the channels you want, instead making you pay for channels in "packages". It makes their billing system simpler, but that's about the only advantage I can imagine. What if the channels themselves (assuming they exist as separate entities) could charge directly for access online? Then I could subscribe to, say, Comedy Central and the Sci-Fi Channel without bothering with Foxtel as a whole. The cost for subscription, based on Foxtel packages, would be fair at about $3 per month per channel.

Then you could go one step further and subscribe just to individual shows. Assuming each episode is 1 hour long (and generously assuming no repeats) the same comparable pricing model would charge me about 1.6c per show per month or 0.4c per episode. The trouble is that at this point it starts looking like a stone cold bargain next to iTunes (~$4 per episode). Viewed another way, iTunes is about one thousand times as expensive as pay TV per episode.

Mokalus of Borg

PS - The cost per show that you actually want to watch, however, would be higher for Foxtel.
PPS - But possibly still below $4 per episode.

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