What I find interesting is that the networks will rent all their content for a portion of $9.95/month yet many won't partner with Apple to rent individual episodes for 99 cents because it "devalues" their product. Um, what?
That is why they have advertisement. Even on HuluPlus. Besides that comment about it "devaluing their product" is just a smoke screen. They had other reasons, I'm just not sure of what.
Actually, I think it's a legit concern. I'm not saying they don't have other reasons, but I believe the devaluing is part of it. That is why Disney frequently put things and took things out of "the vault." By putting product on moratorium, they did not need to lower prices as demand fell -- which is what usually happens with home video. It starts and 19.95, then 4 months later it's 15.95, then eventually 9.95 and 5.95, etc. Disney can put out Lion King for 19.95 and when demand slows, they pull the product, put it in the vault and then a few years later release it again for 19.95. People were never used to paying $6 for it. They always had to pay $20 for it.
If people get used to renting a tv show for $1, will they buy a $40 season set on DVD? This is why the studios didn't like Redbox. One, it interfered with their sales (why buy, if I can rent for $1), it interfered with the revenue share agreements (e.g. if they were take 50% of rental revenue from a $4 Blockbuster rental, they're losing that), but it also made people see movies as $1 products, instead of $4 ones.. or $15 or $20 ones.
It changes people's perspectives on the value.