After many months of teasing and scoffing at countless fakes, Apple finally revealed the new iPod (video). While the gadget itself looks pretty slick – 16:9 screen, thin, light, and in black – the biggest leap forward here is its support of video. And I’m not talking about the music videos available via iTunes in the past, but actual content that you can throw down a couple bucks for.
For $1.99, you can download an episode of Lost or Desperate Housewives. iTunes even has some Disney content available for the kiddies. This is all well and good, but what amazes me is our affinity as consumers to purchase anything – and this anything apparently includes content that is already widely available for free. Paying for TV?
It seems Apple is betting that people will buy TV in small chunks. I’m sure their strategy is sound – afterall, the iTunes music store has sold 8.9 trillion songs and counting. But I can’t help but think of all the people that will end up buying 24 episodes of Lost for their iPod. While music can be enjoyed regularly over a period of years, the same can’t be said for television programming. It’s shelf life is much, much shorter. Because of this, I envision a future army of people screaming at Steve Jobs much like that paperboy screamed at Lane Meyer, “I want my two dollars” (back)!