iTunes Gets More Shows

by Jay

The slow march towards digital television distribution continues as NBC Universal is adding several of its shows to the iTunes Video Store – including the brilliant remake of Battlestar Galactica. Obviously this is great news for Apple, but an even greater news for the rest of us.

While the videos from the iTunes store are quite low-res, they’re also watchable enough even on a TV screen, and the fact that you can download all the episodes of the new BSG whenever you like is simply amazing. Miss an episode? No problem anymore.

This kind of digital distribution is the future. Legacy TV is slowly fading as viewers demand more choice. Apple’s wisely position itself to do for TV what it’s already done for music – which means making it easier to buy a legitimate copy than to pirate one. Let’s face it, given the choice between downloading a spyware-ridden P2P client to get one song and downloading it instantly and legally for $0.99, it’s no contest – it’s much easier to go the legitimate route with iTunes. If Apple can do the same for TV, it’s going to have a major effect on the way people view media.

Plus, it means that brilliant shows like Flrefly, Wonderfalls, Arrested Development and others are no longer dependent on the Nielson system for survival – niche shows that appeal to technologically savvy viewers have a chance to survive and even thrive in a medium that doesn’t keep pushing entertainment to the lowest common denominator. When you take away the artificial scarcity of a network schedule, you gain a significant amount of creative freedom.

Hopefully the iTunes Video Store will continue to push the boundaries of digital content, expanding to offer higher-quality videos, feature-length content, and more.