Comment: 50p iTunes downloads? Not likely in the UK

The news that Apple is said to be attempting to convince US TV studios to halve the price of their shows when sold through iTunes might be all well and good for the US market, but what about us here in the UK?

The company's suggested goal of just 99 cents for a TV show would make it around 50p here in the UK, a far cry from the £1.89 Apple has decided to set the price for in the UK store.

Why? We aren't sure, what is interesting however is that Apple suggested earlier in the month that Universal left the iTunes service because they weren't happy about a $4 price tag. Erm, hello people, current UK pricing is about $4. Outrageous.

In the US, Apple, no doubt keen to push hardware sales, say that reducing the price of the shows will allow it to sell more programmes and offer a decent alternative to free, illegal offerings from the likes of PirateBay and Limewire.

According to some sources "TV studios are resisting the plan", as they desperately try to make money from the new revenue stream thanks to the popularity of the Internet and faster broadband service, not to mention the fact that it could jeopardise their DVD series sales.

So are the studios right to resist Apple's requests? Well of course they aren't, but we can see why they are doing it.

With movie piracy rife around the world and the considerable ease as to which you can access illegal copies of music, movies, TV shows software, etc., I am sure there are thousands of people that would be happy to pay for tracks, be it music or video if it was cheap and easy to do so. That's why Apple's iTunes has been so successful to date.

However as soon as you make it expensive that compelling element goes out of the window. After all, it's not like the company has to pay for the distribution or packaging does it? But - and here is the big but - studios don't want to give an upstart computer company (yes I know its over 20-years-old) a major controlling interest in how their media is sold.

Become too reliant on the golden goose and you're stuck like a crack addict to his dealer.

So amongst all this are us Brits who it seems are getting ripped off once again; 79p a track rather than 99 cents, £1.89 per TV show rather than a hoped for 99 cents.

Will we ever get prices as cheap as the US? I very much doubt it.