Apple’s announcement last week of a new iPod that can play video did not get my pulse racing; it’s been possible to watch video clips on all sorts of portable devices for years. The big news that got my attention, however, was the deal with Disney to make video content from ABC network shows available to consumers through Apple’s iTunes service. Yes, you can play these clips on one of the new iPods, but you’ll also be able to play them on other devices.
The big news here is that you can buy standard commercial broadcast content — commercial free — the day after it airs. And for just $1.99 a show. This means that if you forgot to Tivo “Desperate Housewives” or “Lost”, you can get the show to watch after the fact. And you can watch it on your computer or other devices. And what if you don’t have a Tivo or other video recording device? You can buy a lot of $2 shows before you spend as much as a video recorder costs.
The big point here is that this could well be the camel’s nose under the tent to open up the existing video content to consumers, on demand, over a standard Internet connection. If you don’t have a broadband connection to the Internet, now would be a good time to start thinking about getting one.