I have access to iTunes Australia with some help from an overseas credit card i use. Recently, they began selling downloads of some of the latest movies (the same ones you would find at your local Blockbuster or local video store), and also, more interestingly for me, TV series shows.
Of particular interest is their experiment with the wildly popular House. They are releasing the episodes at the same time as they are being aired on Australian TV, thus there is little or no lag with a user's ability to keep up with the latest episodes.
The concept is simple -- their strategy with House is the first real opportunity i've had to personally experience TV on demand. And i'm lovin' it.
The possibilities are fantastic:
- can download my favourite series to watch anytime, anywhere.
- no longer beholden to the strict timetables of normal TV time -- if i want to catch the latest episode of House i don't have to be in front of the TV at exactly 8pm, every wednesday night. I can choose to watch it on the way to work or during my lunch break the next day.
- eventually, i can terminate my subscription to Astro (satellite tv provider) -- and just turn to the Internet to download the content (and pay for it) that i'm really interested in. Astro provides thousands of tv content... 99.99% of which i'm not interested in and don't watch. To be able to pay for the 0.01% of available content that i do want to watch, and nothing else -- thats an awesome option to have as a consumer.
- as video devices become more sophisticated, i can imagine interactivity with my favourite episodes of tv shows like House could become available -- how would i rate the latest episode? a pop-up screen at the end of the episode appears, and my rating is submitted (with my permission) during my next synchronization with my PC. Or i can choose to view some commercials at the start and end of each show, and this will give me a 10% discount on the next episode download. Literally, a thousand new opportunities open up for the savvy marketeer.
I'm hooked on the concept. Let the good times roll. Back to House now. Bye.