As NBC continues to evolve its relationship to the traditional soap opera, Days of Our Lives launched last week on iTunes. This got some play from Variety's Josef Adalian, who has been among the best at the big magazines in covering the latest events of daytime television.
This is not the first daytime television show to go to the iTunes format. That honor goes to Passions, although the show will be back off iTunes soon when it moves this fall from NBC to its new home as exclusive content for DirecTV subscribers.
The Days deal is set apart because, while one can order a singular episode for $1.99, multipasses can be purchased, with $9.99 for 20 episodes, or just 50 cents an episode. The Passions shows weren't available in multipass format, to the best of my recollection.
That now means Days is available in three different formats--on SOAPnet in the evenings and on weekends and on iTunes, in addition to its traditional spot in the NBC Daytime lineup.
Adalian points out that weak lead-ins and an expressed lack of confidence from the network has weakened the power of Days, but the show had been on somewhat of a decline in recent years due to creative issues as well. Of course, this correlates to an industry-wide continued decline that led to NBC Daytime's Jeff Zucker's continued words of warning to Days in the first place, as well as the move of Passions off the network.
Adalian writes, "Putting Days on iTunes could help attract younger eyeballs, some of whom presumably would decide to start watching on-air rather than online. As with most major new iTunes offerings, Apple is expected to feature Days prominently on the splash page for the iTunes Music Store during its first days of the service."
He also mentions the show will be undergoing a creative shakeup. In some ways, Days feels like it's been shook up a little too often these days, but I know that there are plenty of people at NBC who remain committed to daytime television and their two rather unusual daytime dramas, as the alternate distribution deal with Passions demonstrates.
I first heard about this through Ivan Askwith, who forwarded Don Day's note on Lost Remote.
Regarding Passions' on iTunes, I wrote:
Passions, the youngest of the nine current daytime soap operas, will now be available on iTunes on a daily basis. The barriers for soaps to enter iTunes are a little bit larger than primetime shows, considering the daily episodes, the lack of emphasis in most networks on daytime programming as opposed to primetime lineups, and other industry factors.
It may not come as that big of a surprise that the youngest soap would be the first to launch onto iTunes, although PGP already podcasts their soaps, and many shows make their lineup available on cable network SoapNet for evening or weekend viewing.
All My Children has also shown some footage through iTunes in the past, and Passions streamed on NBC's Web site.
See more on the NBC daytime situation from my previous posts here, here, here, and here.