According to a report in the Financial Times, the Spring '10 launch of the iPad may include cuts in the cost of downloading television programs from iTunes.
Media executives — staring at declining DVD sales and Redbox's buck-a-night video rentals — are mulling a plan to make some of their standard-definition content available as US$1.00 downloads. That's half the current cost, and the 4×3 SD would easily fill most of the iPad's screen real estate. (Wide-screen high-def programming would still go for US$2.99.) The hope, obviously, is that increased downloads at the lower price would more than offset the price reduction itself.
Apple is also plugging for a US$30.00 per month "best of TV" subscription service; so far, the media companies — already skittish about what the Apple TV device might do to their traditional pay-television arrangements — are playing coy.
But assuming the partial price cut goes through — and assuming, as previously reported, that Hulu can deliver an iPad-friendly viewing platform for their advertiser-supported video streaming — Uncle Steve's new toy may yet become a viable larger-format media player.