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September 2, 2014

iTunes boosting The Office's ratings

by Anna Johns, posted Jan 18th 2006 12:06PM
NBC credits The Office's higher ratings with the show's availability on iTunes. While the number of downloads of The Office do not figure into weekly ratings, the number people watching The Office has increased since the show became available for download. This is pretty big news, because all the networks have been banking on some sort of ratings boost by making their shows available on the internet. At first, it seemed like a gamble that people would try out new shows online and then start watching them, but it seems to have worked. The Office has been huge for NBC on iTunes. It accounts for one-third of all NBC downloads (there are currently 12 NBC shows for sale on iTunes). The people who are downloading shows off the internet are exactly the audience that all the networks are fighting for: the 18-49 demographic.

ABC reports the same bump in ratings for Lost and Desperate Housewives, since they launched on iTunes way back in October. Lost ratings have jumped 14% and DH ratings went up 7%.

[Via Digg]

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Marty

I'm a huge fan of the Office, but unfortunately I live in Australia. Ipod won't let you download The Office with an Australian Ipod account. It's obviously just a US thing. I'd love to see what the quality is like on Ipod downloads? We're so far behind in the series also (tonight they are playing the 5th episode from the first series). I guess I'll just have to wait. :(

March 05 2006 at 6:35 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
doc

Larrivee, whether it is Apple or the owners of the content specifying the quality doesn't matter. Either way, the quality is not good.
Aph, this notion of how expensive the bandwidth is for Apple, and that being the reason they don't offer CD quality audio and DVD quality video is just so much FUD. As an example, for $100 a month 'you or I' can get a server with 1000 gigs of transfer.
http://www.ev1servers.net/hosting/value.asp And that is just the first one my search turned up.
I'll go out on a limb and guess that Apple can get a better deal on bandwidth than either of us can. Now, some quick math. Let's say, for the sake of division that each tune on iTunes is 5 megabytes. That means that for $100, we can send out 200,000 songs. Even factoring overhead for the bandwidth the site uses, you can't possibly tell me that bandwidth is why Apple can't give me high quality files.
If you want another example, check out http://magnatune.com/ . Clearly, they are nowhere near the size of Apple, yet all of their music is available in a variety of formats, and qualities.
Add to this the fact that they could go to a torrent supported system and the customers would provide all the bandwidth for free.

January 18 2006 at 4:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bgdc

Arrested Development would make gobs of money on iTunes. ABC is trying for AD, so maybe thats part of their plan. They know it has a loyal following...

I know I'm canceling my Directv but I would definitely download AD in addition to The Office. $16 a month for 5 months is much cheaper than $70 a month for DTV and 999 million shows I can't stand.

BTW, The Office IS widescreen on itunes. and the quality is damn good on the iPod Video. Have I watched it on my computer? Nope. why would I?

January 18 2006 at 4:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mattjh

So how well is Office doing ratings wise?

January 18 2006 at 3:14 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
aph

although the quality is far from DVD quality, you have to remember that Apple is the one who has to pay for the hosting and bandwidth of the itunes music/video store. apple is actully losing money on every song sold on their store, and they probably also are with the video downloads. luckly for consumers, apple manages to keep afloat by the sales of their iPods. i would never download a video on itunes just to watch it, unless i missed a specific episode or i want to catch up on a series.

January 18 2006 at 2:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Wayne

I don't buy it at all, it is just spin. Ratings always go up in January as viewing levels rise in cold weather. Plus maybe the Office is setting new highs because it moved to Thursday night. I love any news that promotes new media but this seems like a correlation, not causation

January 18 2006 at 2:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LarriveeJP

available not inevitable. my bad.

January 18 2006 at 2:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
LarriveeJP

I sincerely doubt Apple is responsible for putting the quality restrictions on the video. Blame the networks for that. Don't see a downside for Apple in offering an iPod version and a high quality version through iTunes if they were allowed to do so. It's just a matter of time before higher quality paid downloads are inevitable.

January 18 2006 at 2:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Borat

I agree with doc. The quality is not that good, and shows like Lost and Housewives are not widescreen. I only tried The Office once, and I would rather get it through torrents or something.

January 18 2006 at 1:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
doc

That's all well and good, and yippee for the Office getting a ratings bump. However, I still refuse to buy any video from iTunes, and tell anyone that asks that they shouldn't either. It is a crap product. Get an episode from iTunes and the competing 'pirate' file from your friendly neighbourhood torrent network. There is no comparison. The torrent episode is going to be higher resolution and isn't going to give you a headache should you decide to do something with the file that the great Stevie doesn't approve of, like move it to something other than a freaking ipod, for example. For $2 an episode, they should offer near DVD quality files that play in a variety of programs, on a variety of devices, and on all the major operating systems. Vendor lock-in is a nasty bit of business. The problem is that if Apple keeps seeing millions of sales on their music and video offerings, there is no incentive for change. Vote with your wallet/browser.

January 18 2006 at 1:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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