If you haven’t heard about it, see here. NBC is going to launch its own download service where you can get NBC shows. This is their new initiative in the wake of severing their relationship with us. Why are we psyched? Because this will let everyone see the kind of world that the media companies would like us to live in. And we’re pretty sure people aren’t going to like it. For example, NBC is making a big deal of saying that the downloads will be free. Free! Free! Did you hear me? Not 99 cents like that greedy bastard Jobso, but FREE! Well they made sure the word “free” would get into all the headlines but when you read the stories a little more closely you find the warts. Like, the commercials will be embedded into the shows and you won’t be able to skip over them. Like, you’ll only be able to download to a Windows PC. Like, they’ll only be free for seven days after broadcast. Then they dissolve. If you want to get them later, you’ll have to pay. How much? Um, ah, mwah mwah oh did we mention that they’re free for the first seven days?
Oh, and if you want shows from ABC, you can go to AOL. (And yes, heads are rolling at Disney over that deal. More on that later.) Money quote from the story about the ABC-AOL deal: “The consumer is probably becoming confused. He will need to go to AOL to watch ABC. CBS programming is on the iPod. NBC will be doing direct downloads from its own website. NBC and News Corp (NWS) are starting a joint online venture called Hulu.”
So, fair enough. Bring on the big media cluster fuck. Roll out all the different systems that don’t work together. Bring on all the different kinds of software, none of which will work as well as iTunes. Bring on a zillion different user interfaces, a zillion accounts you need to set up, a zillion new usernames and passwords and a list of which services can work on which devices in which format. Right. When you’re good and tired of that, we’ll be here waiting for you.