In retrospect, one might have thought that iTunes would have been one of the first distribution platforms that Warner Bros. would have chosen for its content, seeing how Apple's October move to provide short video for its video-enabled iPods was one of the first signs that video over the Internet was an idea whose time has come.
Among the first movers into iTunes were Disney's
Maybe Warner Bros. just wanted to shake things up first before going with the crowd to iTunes. After all, Warner Bros.' recent word that it will try to sell movies through BitTorrent was a pretty significant development and certainly made it appear to be ahead of the crowd.
Warner Bros. will offer shows like the perennial favorite Friends, sci-fi program Babylon5, classic cartoon The Jetsons, and skits from Mad TV. As per usual with iTunes, downloaded shows will cost $1.99 per episode.
Apple's still a late arrival when it comes to full-length film content, which has been a little disappointing to me (only as an observer, since I don't own shares). Plus we're all waiting for rumors about digital content and Amazon.com
Maybe Warner Bros.' agreement to distribute some old favorites on iTunes is really just icing on the cake at this point, but one might wonder what took it so long, considering the fact that iTunes and video-enabled iPods are easily accessible to many consumers. (Here's an interesting aside: Warner Bros. cable has been offering some classic -- well, downright retro -- shows on affiliated service AOL for quite some time now, but nothing as popular as Friends.) However, I'm thinking the most important element to contemplate here is that in many ways, old-fashioned TV distribution is losing its dominance.
Tune in to some related Foolish content:
- Web TV gives viewers the power to choose.
- Warner Bros. is making a bet on BitTorrent.
- Are you watching the iTunes network?
Alyce Lomax does not own shares of any of the companies mentioned.