As reported on our sister site Sci-Fi Fodder, if you're a die-hard fan of SciFi's "Battlestar Galactica," you've probably already downloaded (or at least TiVo'ed) the episode "Downloaded," which aired February 24th.
If you don't have your own copy yet, though, here's your chance. TV Guide is offering the episode for free from the March 6th issue of TV Guide. The issue contains a 12 digit code that can be used in the iTunes store to download the episode, which guest starred Lucy Lawless. Ok. This isn't exactly free. You have to pay the cost of the TV Guide issue. If it's more than $1.99 (the price of the episode on iTunes) then it's not really worth it. But, if you're a subscriber, you're all set!
This is brilliant marketing. It brings attention to the show, TV Guide and iTunes. Fans of the show (who subscribe to TV Guide) can get the episode for free. Folks who have not watched the show before but trust TV Guide's reputation (even if they don't subscribe) may be tempted to give the episode a go just for the heck of it. This brings a whole new audience to the show and possibly to iTunes. Who knows, maybe folks who aren't TV Guide fans will raise their opinions of the publication just for hammering out such a smart deal with a great show.
This episode, in particular, is a great choice. Yes, it's appropriately titled, but more than that, this episode stands well on its own. Its intro gives a great summary of the Cylons and their history and you don't need to know about the complex dynamics between all the characters on the Galactica, Pegasus and the rest of the fleet. Even fans of the show have never seen this "insiders" view of Cylon life. It's also chock full of really hot chicks. Everybody wins! Genius!
What I want to know is, what's the ratio of fans downloading the episodes versus just watching them on TV (or TiVoing them)? I tend to TiVo them, but find nothing better than watching a "Battlestar" episode on my computer when traveling. If you're a downloader, do you download other shows? Do you watch regular television? Do you have a television? (I know lots of folks who don't... shocking, I know.) Downloading and on-demand (and/or time-shifting) is definitely how television is evolving. Watch what you want, when you want it. Praise the technology gods. --Shannon Nolley