Apple announced today that selling video clips on iTunes is a success. This is their new service that lets you download a video clip of everything from the latest episode of “Desperate Housewives” or “Lost ” to music videos by Madonna or Coldplay, to animated shorts from Pixar. How much of a success? How does 1 million downloads since October 12 sound? At $1.99 per download, that’s pretty close to $2,000,000, in a bit more than just two weeks. Sounds like a success to me.
And keep in mind that there aren’t that many video iPods out there yet. So people are downloading and viewing these clips on other devices, too.
Just five years ago, the music industry was lamenting the rampant piracy taking place on the old Napster and other peer-to-peer networks. Since then, sites such as iTunes and the new Napster — not to mention Sirius and XM satellite radio services — have proven that people are willing to pay for their musical entertainment. And now iTunes is proving the same thing for video.
The question is not whether or not the studios will notice. The question is how they will respond. I hope that they will see the potential for gain, and not respond by trying to lock up the content with copy protection schemes that will make it difficult or impossible to enjoy the content.