Friends have been telling me for months now that I should watch American Horror Story. My quandary has been that I didn’t want to pay three bucks for one episode, just to turn around and buy the whole season for $32 more. However, I also don’t want to plunk down the full price of a season if it turns out I don’t like it.
Apple has just solved my dilemma by adding “Complete My Season Pass” to television shows. Now, viewers can try out single episodes of TV shows and, if desired, buy the full season with the price prorated based on what has already been spent on the show so far.
Apple already offers the prorate service for music, allowing users to buy a full album at a reduced price, based on the amount of songs that have been purchased individually. Those who take advantage of iTunes’ streaming television feature will now have that option as well.
Imagine hearing about an upcoming show that looks cool, but may not be. No one has seen it yet. No reviews have come in, just a lot of hype. Now imagine that you’ve purchased the first episode and thought the show had promise. So you buy the season, only to find out six shows later that it is the lamest thing ever. Having the “Complete My Season Pass” option will allow viewers to try out six episodes at three dollars a pop, and still get the prorate if they decide the show is worth it after all.
This move toward offering more flexibility with television shows may be part of building a structure to support the rumored Apple television set that may, or may not, be coming out in 2013. If the rumors turn out to be true, Apple will be set to release the biggest variety of an operating system-based TV ever, with the cloud service, streaming movies and television, and apps.