CBS will soon begin selling episodes of some television shows for $1 per episode on the iTunes Store, according to both The Financial Times and The New York Times.
Leslie Moonves, the CEO of CBS, told analysts last week that “certain shows” would be offered at the new price point, but which shows or episodes wasn’t yet clear. Typically, Apple sells standard definition TV show episodes for $2 a piece.
CBS’s willingness to experiment with a lower price meshes well with earlier reports that Apple has been working to negotiate a better rate to coincide with the iPad launch—and even considering a monthly subscription rate for downloading TV shows.
CBS seems to be following in the footsteps of PBS, which already sells episodes of kids shows like Arthur for a buck in iTunes. (NBC also sells some $1 shows, but those are custom Olympic event recaps.)
It’s too soon to say whether the Great $1 TV Show Experiment will lead to better pricing for TV lovers on the iTunes Store or more variety in pricing structure—or have little or no impact on the status quo. But with any luck, this experimentation will be good for consumers.