Starting this week, NBC's Passions goes where no other daytime drama has gone before: it is the first soap to be available for viewing on iTunes.
Beginning August 15th, episodes of Passions will be available for download via Apple's iTunes music and video store. Each episode of the series will cost $1.99. However, fans are able to purchase a "value pack" of Passions episodes. For $9.99 fans can have immediate access to 15 consecutive episodes as those episodes become available. Episodes will be made available for download the day after each show airs on NBC.
Passions' push to the new digital media format is part of a growing trend by the networks to expand the boundary of daytime's television-only format.
The Procter & Gamble-produced series As the World Turns
and Guiding Light
have been offering fans podcasts of each day's episodes since last year. The audio-only versions of the shows are available for free via iTunes. A spokesperson for the two shows said it is unclear at this time if video podcasts will be offered.
ABC sends out weekly text messages to fans' cell phones offering them sneak peeks of upcoming episodes of All My Children
, One Life to Live
and General Hospital
Previously, the Soap City web site offered downloadable episodes of several daytime drama series. For a per-episode free or special monthly rate, fans were able to download episodes of Days of our Lives
, As the World Turns and The Young and the Restless
. However, the web site may have been a little bit ahead of its time - the download service abruptly ended in early 2005.
For fans who are not yet users of the iTunes service, the software can be downloaded for free at www.itunes.com