Singing the (i)Tune, Once Again16 Feb, 2006 By: Jessica Wolf
Most suppliers, I believe are sorely undermining the potential for iTunes synergy with DVD.
And I mean that word in its purest breakdown — “under” and “mining.”
Sure, content holders seem to be lining up monthly to deepen the downloading site's selection of TV shows, music videos, short animated and comedy sketches.
But in my mind, most have yet to fully mine the possibilities this service can also offer traditional DVD releases.
ThinkFilm is a great example of one that is scratching the surface at least. ThinkFilm put up selections from the DVD extras of The Aristocrats for free download at iTunes.
I myself enjoyed a 10-minute, unfiltered, extended Sarah Silverman bit from the content just the other night as I waited for my take-out Indian food.
It seems to me there is a wealth of possibilities to tie DVD releases and iTunes downloads together. Think of the potential for smaller, funky titles if they can get that visibility in front of the 14 million new video iPod owners.
Music DVD makes the most natural connection to me. We know for a fact music lovers of all stripes are, and will continue to be, gravitating to iTunes.
Let's use Live Nation's fantastic Mötley Cr?e: Carnival of Sin concert DVD as an example. This is one of those shows you just have to see to believe. It is the kind of DVD that even a non-Cr?e lover could pop on and become mesmerized by the sheer spectacle of it.
The extra features are great too, and split into small sections of footage. What if some of that footage was available for download on iTunes as a teaser? What if Live Nation had made just Cr?e's performance of “Girls, Girls, Girls” from the DVD, during which semi-naked chicks were hanging and writhing from trapeze chains under the group's elaborate big-top themed set as the crowd below lost its collective mind?
It would make them definitely want to see more. And if the only place to see more is on the DVD it seems like a simple math question from there.
What if every free downloaded bit of content also carried a trailer for the DVD, maybe a teaser for other upcoming product to look for?
And it doesn't always have to be free. A model could evolve that would offer a pay download of a certain amount of content, which comes with a credit for a DVD purchase.
It works the opposite way too.
What if that Carnival of Sin DVD also came with an iTunes gift card specifically coded to get the audio soundtrack of the live show at a bit of a discount?
The opportunities are enormous here. And I think iPod owners are only going to fall more deeply in love with their portable devices. I also think they will increasingly proselytize the iTunes video download service.
Hopefully, DVD suppliers are viewing this as an opportunity rather than a threat.