Burbank (CA) - Several months after pulling its content from Apple’s iTunes store, NBC has decided to post TV shows to Apple’s direct competitor at Microsoft’s Zune Marketplace, a move that can’t be seen as anything other than a direct insult to Apple.
Apple and NBC came into a heated battle when NBC wanted to offer varied pricing structures for its video content but Apple refused. NBC became the first video provider to not renew its iTunes contract.
Microsoft apparently jumped on that opportunity. "We have worked closely with them around flexibility and protection of intellectual property. Zune will control the price of the episodes, but we’re open to understanding which episodes can be priced lower and how we may introduce premium content," said Zune Social general manager Julio Estrada in a PC World story.
The Zune announcement comes day and date with Microsoft officially unveiling video content available on the Zune’s digital download store. In and of itself that didn’t make too many headlines, but the unique move by NBC to offer shows exclusively to Microsoft on the portable media front is intriguing. Others jumping on the Zune video bus include Comedy Central, MTV, Nickelodeon, Turner and VH1.
Microsoft’s portable audio/video device, which has gotten very little traction since it debuted in 2006, also received a firmware update, adding the ability to play back videos purchased from the Zune store.
The standard price for TV shows will be $1.99, the exact same as iTunes, but Microsoft said it will not rule out the possibility of flexible pricing. Around two million Zunes have been sold to date, compared to more than 100 million iPods.