I just saw a post by Thomas Hawk about the new shows posted on the iTunes Music Store that includes the following quotes:
WHO IN THE WORLD IS GOING TO PAY TO DOWNLOAD ALL THIS STUFF?
THIS THING IS GOING TO FLOP SO HARD.
and it got me thinking. There's no way this can flop. Think about it, the cost of getting a clip in to iTunes from the source material probably isn't more than a few dollars (if anyone has real cost info and wants to e-mail it to me I'll update this figure). Then all Apple does is upload the clip to their servers and let it sit there (trivial cost). So if we assume that Apple makes $0.10 per show download, it only takes 10-20 downloads for a show to break even, and from there on out it's essentially pure profit. I'm pretty sure that Apple can generate 10-20 downloads on almost anything they put up there, even if most of us (me included) aren't really interested in the stuff they're putting up. It's the same model as selling software, but with a much larger and more diverse audience buying. Sounds like a pretty good business model to me, and definitely not one that'll flop.