Apple Nails The Sweet Spot

Ever since Apple launched the video portion of the iTunes Music Store, there had been conversations like this echoing around the land:

“Hey, wouldn’t it be awesome if The Daily Show or Colbert Report were on iTunes?”

“Well, yeah, but there’s no way I’m paying $1.99 for each episode. I mean, the episodes are funny for that day, and that’s it.”

Well, today, both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report appeared on iTunes – and the pricing is as follows:

One episode is $1.99.

A “multi-pass” of 16 episodes – and the way TDS and TCR run, that’s a month of episodes – is $9.99.

This is as close to perfect pricing as we’re going to see (outside of shouts of “everything for free!” and running around in circles on the floor). If there’s a single episode you missed that you really want to see, it’s the standard $1.99. But if you want to pledge your allegiance to the respective flag, you get a big price break, bringing it down to 62 cents an episode.

A month is a reasonably discrete chunk of time to allow you to enjoy the show yet not feel like you’re buying too much in advance. $9.99 remains cheaper than a movie ticket (at least in NYC), and you’re getting about six and a half hours of video enjoyment, commercial free, delivered nightly. (At this point it’s unknown how quick the turnaround will be between broadcast and download, but we can hope they’d be available for the morning commute.)

At this point I can’t see any quarrel with how they’re doing this, and I hope in the future there are mutli-pass options for more shows. Cheers to the iTunes Store team.