Apple to test $1 TV programs on iPad

February 11, 2010

A news report last week said that Apple plans to offer individual U.S. television shows for $1 coinciding with the launch of the iPad in April.

The “Financial Times” said the lower pricing will apply to a limited number of shows in the beginning as a way to test whether reducing the cost of programming will increase sales.

Some television networks agreed to the lower prices after months of negotiations, and having initially resisted Apple’s push, the “Times” reported. It did not say which or how many networks are involved. Media executives are under pressure from declining DVD sales and cut-rate rental services such as Redbox, that offer rental DVDs for $1.

Currently, Apple’s iTunes charges $1.99 for SD TV shows and $2.99 for HD content. Apple is believed to be focusing on SD price reductions due to the iPad’s 4:3 aspect ratio and non-HD resolution, which lends it to SD programming.

The “Financial Times” reports that Apple has been careful to avoid linking its new TV subscription and pricing concepts to its Apple TV set-top device in an attempt to reduce the perceived threat that TV-over-iTunes could pose to traditional TV services.

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