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iTunes to sell movies by year's end?

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 19 Jun 2006 13:20 User comments (7)

iTunes to sell movies by year's end? Sources within the film industry have said that a version of Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes store that will sell full length feature films should debut by the end of the year at the latest. Not a lot of new information has been made available on Apple's push to start selling major Hollywood movies, but it is believed that the company is still locked in a debate over pricing.
It was reported that Apple CEO Steve Jobs approached the studios with an offer to sell movies for a flat $9.99 each. As expected, this proposal was trashed immediately by the movie studios. "We can't be put in a position where we lose the ability to price our most popular content higher than less popular stuff," said a studio exec close to the negotiations to Variety.

Apple currently sells music downloads for 99c each, and has argued with music labels that propose a variable pricing system instead. Additionally the company also sells TV shows for $1.99 each. It is expected that Apple will be forced to price movies between $9.99 and $19.99, where more popular material will cost more of course.

"Every studio wants to have broad distribution in digital, and we all know that having Apple as part of that is very, very important," a studio exec said. The price of a movie download and what exactly you can do with them (like whether or not they can be transfered to a DVD and played on all DVD-Video players) will determine the level of success iTunes can hope for. Once again, the entertainment industry will be selling content on the Internet where it is also available for free through other means. Overpricing won't convince people to use a legal alternative.

Apple Insider

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7 user comments

119.6.2006 13:42

I would use the service if I can do whatever I want w/ the video. but that's not going to happen....damn DRM!

219.6.2006 14:30

If they expect people to pay $19.99 for a downloaded movie on a pc with DRM limits, when i can get an actual hard copy for around the same price they are going to drive people back to p2p.

319.6.2006 15:24

It would be nice, IF AND ONLY IF they provided a service that could burn movies onto DVD-Rs the same way that they do CDs! Sounds promising... if you're not willing to risk viruses, go to the local store or are just too impatient to look at your competitive pricing options.

420.6.2006 6:23

Really paying 20 dollars for a movie with 320x240 resolution is a huge waste of money. Even if you did burn it to a DVD it wouldn't look very good at all. The only way I would ever pay that much to download a movie would be if it was in the DVD's native resolution, and even then 20 dollars is still pretty steep when I can go out and buy the disk and case for the same price, or less.

520.6.2006 6:27

This is overpricing, for a less than satisfying product. It's simple, I just won't buy.

621.6.2006 4:42

The more that I see these "new" ideas for movie distribution, the more that I can't believe the industry would be this dumb. They do this every time, "well, we don't want to offer downloads unless we can charge significantly more for the movies people actually want." To them this is all just a racket, and we are the victims of their racket. If people protest progress-inhibiting business practices like these, then maybe it will change someday but until then I'll just continue ignoring anything and everything the industries tell me.

723.6.2006 14:01

No way in hell am I gonna spend $10.00 bucks are better for a movie that can not be copied to a disk and played on a DVD player. Bad enough you spend $1.99 for Angery Houswives,etc. and can not burn them...but then I guess a sucker is born every minute!

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