NBC is streaming full episodes of “The Office” and “30 Rock” to the iPhone. The shows are formatted to fit the screen, and even are ad-free.
To watch it you will need Wi-Fi connection, since apparently Edge is just too slow to get the desired quality. But even with Wi-Fi some people report it to be “atrocious”.
Still this is an interesting development. After all streaming on PC had low quality for years, before we got something decent.
President of digital distribution for NBC Universal said that a lot more people are watching streaming episodes compared to the ones who buy downloadable episode for $1.99. It seems that NBC is preparing for streaming services, with ads generating the income. This one was probably ad-free since such service is in early stages, and who would want to scare their customers right away.
“The ad-supported business is certainly scaling and proving to be a very compelling user experience,” Mr. Perrette said. “Compared to the numbers of people who are transacting and buying, they are orders of magnitude bigger.”
Interestingly they chose iPhone to stream for because of the disagreement with Apple over pricing on iTunes.
The other benefit is that devices like iPhone saves money on making deals with the phones maker, since stream is accessible for many internet-able mobiles.
Streaming also prevents issues with piracy and digital rights management. Of course, there will be programs to save streamed file, but there is not much benefit if you can always stream it for free.