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September 20, 2007

NBC Offers Free Encumbered Downloads of its Shows

NBC is going to offer free* copies of its popular shows, the ones the won't sell on iTunes anymore.  The asterisk next to free means that they are not really free in the sense of a giveaway.  Episodes are supported by non-skippable ads in a proprietary player.  They expire after 7 days.  If this is the free model, imagine what the terms will be for buy to own content.  This is coming is 2008 and will include HD content.  The demand for NBC content might be less than overwhelming if sales are based on terms anything like the clunky UnBox deal NBC signed with Amazon.  Vendors have their views on how they want to package their content and consumers have the right to consume or not.  We'll look in on this again when there is an impression of how it's going.  The service is called NBC Direct and operates on Windows PCs.  It will come to Macs as soon as NBC can figure out a way to make DRM work there.  A point worth raising is what information, personal or otherwise if any, will the player send back to NBC as part of the deal? 

Stories are in Information Week, DailyTech, and the good folks at Ars Technica.

September 20, 2007 | Permalink


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