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How the Writer's Strike could cost iTunes subscribers

Macworld (the magazine, not the party that many of us are missing out on this week) has an interesting note up about how the writer's strike is going to be bad news for iTunes subscribers, and it's not what you think. Sure, the whole strike is supposedly about television writers getting paid for their work from online sales (which means that if the writers win, networks will likely claim they have to charge more for sales on iTunes and other digital outlets), but there's another negative: no writers means shorter seasons, which means iTunes subscriptions aren't worth as much. Desperate Housewives and Prison Break had both of their seasons cut short, and that means that anyone who bought either of those seasons isn't getting as much as they expected for their money.

As MW says, the closest thing they've heard to an answer from Apple on this is an example of The Daily Show and Colbert Report subscriptions-- subscribers of those shows were told that their subscriptions would resume when the shows did, so people who have subscribed to Desperate Housewives may just expect to have part of the next season paid for already as well (or may get refunds of iTunes credit for other shows that are available).

And it'll be interesting to see what effect this has on the keynote at Macworld tomorrow-- will Apple promote television shows that are headed off the air for a while? Or maybe the rumored movie rentals will draw attention away from iTunes TV subscriptions anyway.

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