YouTube to begin streaming full TV episodes for $1.99 a piece?

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Are you a fancier of movie rentals or simply rentals in general? Some people like constant change. For those individuals, renting items and services for short periods of time and constantly switching things up is the way to go — for them anyway. I myself am more of a buy/rent-to-own kind of person. iTunes started dipping it’s toes in the streaming/rental program recently giving users $1.99 access to individual TV episodes that could be streamed and stored locally on their hard drives. For TV buffs, it’s all bliss and flowers. So far, movie studios, the TV industry and pretty much any other entertainment related sector of the industry have dragged their feet getting on bored with this whole internet bandwagon. An emerging pay-per-stream TV episode deal with YouTube however could signal a change. Could the media/entertainment industry finally start embracing the online revolution?

The one thing that immediately sours the whole YouTube deal for me is that under the current unfinished deal, YouTube would charge $1.99 for streaming TV episodes — no local copies/downloads. Can we stream the episode multiple times once we’ve purchased the privilege? Is there a higher fee that would allow the content to be downloaded? Those are two of the biggest questions and reservations I have. Another thing that worries me is that even though Google understands the pricing structure needed to succeed online, we’ve seen countless times how the entertainment industry does not. With that said, if the price to stream TV shows *without* any download option creeps above $1.99, it will fail. $2.99, $3.99, and $4.99 are simply too much to for a one time, stream only TV episode. Again, this is considering that we won’t get an option to download….
 
Even still, anything more than $1.99/episode is a rip off. A simple example can be highlighted by looking at what box sets of a particular TV show’s entire season costs. For this example, I used a well rounded and educational family show: Family Guy — with the particular set consisting of the Family Guy Vol 7 3 Disc DVD set. Pricing for 13 episodes on 3 Discs comes out to $34.99 or $2.69 per episode. In that sense, if you could stream and download TV shows from YouTube for $1.99, you’d be walking way with a deal. But one example from a single box set is hardly something to consider against the bigger picture.

What you have to remember though is that the same price for physical and digital content cannot be levied. Manufacturing and distribution costs for digital content are next to nothing when compared to physical costs. All that extra margin goes to is pocket padding — something most consumers are wise enough to and won’t pay for. If this YouTube plays out and prices are higher than $1.99 per episode, it’s going to be another shinning example of how the entertainment industry just doesn’t get it and how their insatiable greed kills yet another outlet for consumers.

Would you pay $1.99 to stream a single TV episode. If not, what would you pay and what “extra” benefits would you like to see: local storage, streamed downloads to a YouTube account, etc?

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  • http://www.tvtubex.com/ Online TV Series

    I would be game for paying that amount for streaming…as long as it is fast..and the interface is good….however I wud be looking at streaming multiple times – mayb a limited number…

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