The Unofficial Apple Weblog notes a very interesting development at Apple’s iTunes media store. Apple has been adamant up to now about selling individual songs, albums, and videos at standard prices. It has avoided subscription pricing entirely (though it does offer free podcast subscriptions). But iTunes is now selling subscriptions to two TV programs, Jon Stewart’s Daily Show and the Colbert Report. You can still buy individual episodes, for the usual $1.99 a pop, but you can also subscribe to 16 episodes for $9.99. The future episodes are downloaded to your computer automatically as they become available.
I wouldn’t rush to read too much into this new option, but any change in Apple’s pricing approach is newsworthy. This may be the first indication that Apple is loosening its previously rigid pricing and purchasing policies – something that media companies have long been lobbying for.