Cbs Bypasses The Middleman
CBS announced plans Wednesday to bypass Apple's iTunes Music Store and sell copies of its Survivor: Panama series directly from its own website for $1.99 per episode. They can be viewed for only 24 hours after being downloaded. In an interview with Reuters, Larry Kramer, president of CBS Digital Media, indicated that he hopes to add not only CBS programming to the website but content from other content producers as well. "If we can create a good consumer platform, it wouldn't surprise me that other companies would come to us as they do on the network," Kramer said. He also indicated that he plans to share part of the revenue generated by the website with local affiliates. Bloggers reacted with disdain at the announcement. "Why would I pay for something that's going to 'break' in a day?" asked Dave Caolo, who operates the Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW), adding, "That's like saying, 'After you listen to this CD once, I'm coming to your house and taking it away from you.'" Other bloggers argued that the scheme will serve only to antagonize younger Internet users and particularly users of Apple's video iPod, who will not be able to download the episodes to their devices. Still others predicted that it will simply encourage piracy as users of digital video recorders alternatively recorded the programs off the air and distributed them via peer-to-peer systems.