Movie studios to launch own cloud service as Apple readies iCloud

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
In a move to encourage customers to buy movies rather than rent or stream, studios are planning to launch cloud-based services to compete with digital media rental outlets, like Apple's iCloud-enhanced iTunes.



Citing a steady decline in physical disc sales, which are far more profitable than digital rentals, studios this month plan to begin allowing their DVD and Blu-ray customer access to what they call "digital lockers." These cloud-based repositories will let customers stream or download a digital copy of their physical purchases on a wide variety of devices.



In order to access media from UltraViolet, users must create an account, or "digital locker," that serves as a hub for all their purchased media. Passcodes that come with the physical discs allow access to those movies online, from remote servers.



The move is meant to encourage movie ownership, reports Reuters. In recent years, buying physical movies discs has become less attractive in light of instant streaming services that continue to grow their catalog of flicks available to most internet-connected devices.



"We are in a preservation game," said James McQuivey, media technology analyst at Forrester Research. "We are trying to preserve an eroding base of DVD and Blu-ray spend."



Sony, Warner Bros. and Universal will each rely on UltraViolet, a new digital rights authentication and cloud-based licensing system that allows users to stream or download a digital copy of the movie they purchased on disc, from the studios' remote servers. The service will support set-top boxes, computers, game consoles, Blu-ray players, internet TVs, smartphones and tablets.







Meanwhile, Walt Disney, the only major studio not backing UltraViolet, will launch in the coming months a similar proprietary service, called Disney Studio All Access. Apple is another notable industry holdout, and refuses to use the Ultraviolet DRM, as they rely on proprietary formats.



Cloud storage "gives the benefit of ownership without the issues of long download time, storage constraints and the lack of interoperability," said Lori MacPherson, executive vice president of global product management at Walt Disney Studios. "It will be a game-changer for digital ownership."



Hollywood's push towards cloud-based initiatives comes as industry heavyweight Apple plans to launch its own cloud service, conveniently named iCloud. iCloud will not launch with the ability to stream movies purchased through iTunes, as licensing agreements have yet to be secured. However, Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer did hint during a June conference call that the company is preparing ?neat stuff? for its movie store without going into details.



When iCloud rolls out on Oct. 12, it will allow iOS, Mac and PC users to access stored data, sync documents and stream music, on any supported device. Naturally Apple hopes to expand the service to include movie streams, but must acquire the cooperation of Hollywood to do so.



Warner Bros. will start offering DVD and Blu-ray discs with UltraViolet support this month, while Sony and Universal will follow in early December. Other studios, like Paramount and 20th Century Fox, are also backing the UltraViolet standard but they have yet to announce any titles that support the new format.



Disney?s Studio All Access service has no official roll-out date, but is reported to become available in the next few months.

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Comments

  • ajbdtc826ajbdtc826 Posts: 190member
    Now that Jobs has unfortunately passed away, is there any connection left between Apple and Disney? I'm surprised they wouldn't just jump on with iCloud.
  • jragostajragosta Posts: 10,473member
    The sad thing is that it wasn't that long ago that the studios were fighting your right to rip a DVD to your hard disk for backup.
  • tenobelltenobell Posts: 7,014member
    Good luck with that.
  • nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    iOS already supports this: I saw UltraViolet playback support was just added to the free iPhone/iPad Crackle app.



    I don?t often want to buy a disc, but if I do, being able to stream it to a free app is certainly a nice added feature!
  • sheffsheff Posts: 1,407member
    Are these guys insane? Who is gonna set up a separate account for each studio or a grouping of studios? Just think of this ridiculous process: buy a dvd, go to their site, create an account, agree to a bunch of terms, watch your movie.



    Compare that to buy a dvd, stick it in you mac, watch a movie.



    Compare that to one click on your apple tv, watch a movie.



    The studios are trying to protect something not worth protecting. DVD and physical media are dead. It is dead for music and it will be dead for movie soon. Partner with Apple, Amazon and Netflix and they are set for life to milk those companies as they do all the heavy lifting of distribution.



    These movie studios need new CEOs. Perhaps an MBA should include a few technology courses.
  • solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    In recent years, buying physical movies discs has become less attractive in light of instant streaming services that continue to grow their catalog of flicks available to most internet-connected devices.



    "We are in a preservation game," said James McQuivey, media technology analyst at Forrester Research. "We are trying to preserve an eroding base of DVD and Blu-ray spend."



    I could swear I keep hearing that Blu-ray is the totally awesome wave of the future and iTunes Store movie quality is unwatchable.
  • stelligentstelligent Posts: 2,680member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sheff View Post


    Are these guys insane? Who is gonna set up a separate account for each studio or a grouping of studios? Just think of this ridiculous process: buy a dvd, go to their site, create an account, agree to a bunch of terms, watch your movie.



    Compare that to buy a dvd, stick it in you mac, watch a movie.



    Compare that to one click on your apple tv, watch a movie.



    The studios are trying to protect something not worth protecting. DVD and physical media are dead. It is dead for music and it will be dead for movie soon. Partner with Apple, Amazon and Netflix and they are set for life to milk those companies as they do all the heavy lifting of distribution.



    These movie studios need new CEOs. Perhaps an MBA should include a few technology courses.



    It's going to be a mess. The music industry is constantly warning others that they regret giving so much power to Apple. But that made things so easy for consumers. There are advantages to monopoly
  • swiftswift Posts: 436member
    I miss Steve.



    Why are all other CEOs such lumps of crap?



    They've all been taught this business-school Stalinism that makes loving them impossible. In fact, it makes them act like mental defectives.



    DRM. They're going to build a cloud. (Call the Sony boys for that, they've had a lot of experience.) Either nobody will use it, because they'll charge the same for their movies as for Blu-Ray, or some 14-year-old Norwegian kid will come out with the crack, and then they'll be back to the old Pirate Bay suing days. And the outright disrespect they show for their audience will be plain.



    The want you to "own" their files? Really? If you "own" it, you can copy it. Loan it to a friend. Watch it over and over again. Oh, that means it has to be good. Get busy there, boys.



    Please. Release the files early, at the same time as release. Find the price point that's low enough so people won't pirate it. I'd suggest $5. Then you're getting better value, a brand-new release, that you can keep. Movie fans will go to the big screen to make out in the balcony. Others will stay at home. NO DRM!



    You'll make a bundle. You'll make people happy. Movie's greatest decade was when we were going through the depression. Now we're heading for another bad ten years. People will be grateful for beautiful movies -- none of those freakin' ads, okay? -- and piracy will go way, way down.
  • cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member
    This will probably work as well as DIVX.



  • tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member
    Uhuh. I have heard this before. Its the nature of the beast. We will see how pretty it is when Apple unleashes its iCloud.
  • icelticiceltic Posts: 11member
    I hope they realize there is 192 more countries in the world, instead of killing themselves in the USA.

    I am so tired of hunting down torrent. Give me something good, easy to access and you will get my money.
  • hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 11,884member, moderator
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jragosta View Post


    The sad thing is that it wasn't that long ago that the studios were fighting your right to rip a DVD to your hard disk for backup.



    +1



    I'm curious about what 8 levels of DRM they will impose on this.
  • beakernx01beakernx01 Posts: 56member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Swift View Post


    Why are all other CEOs such lumps of crap?



    You nailed it. They're all business school, profit- and shareholder-value maximizers. They don't think about what the consumer wants. Studios, and music labels before them, all start from the point of how can we sell OUR STUFF for the MOST MONEY. It's the single/album/VHS/cassette/DVD/Blu-Ray/digital re-packaging of the same stuff to sell consumers what they already bought several times over in a new format. Frankly, I think that when I bough Billy Joel's "Glass Houses" on 8-track, I should have been covered for at least the cassette "upgrade." Then they look at what Apple has done, and say, well we can sell our stuff that way. Apple, on the other hand, starts by looking at the user and asking what do they want (and often adding but don't know they want it) and what are the most convenient, desirable ways to give it to them. As I've read several times in recent days, people at Apple were charged with making products that they would want to use. The rest build something that meets their sales and marketing goals and then hope we'll want to use it. Look at Netflix. They barely said the word Qwikster and the thing is dead before arrival. At least I'll give Netflix a fist-bump for paying attention to the 27,000 commenters on their blog on the subject. They're still paying for being moronic though.
  • cvaldes1831cvaldes1831 Posts: 1,832member
    Nah, the problem is that these moronic CEOs are paying big bucks for market research firms to tell them they need to make exactly what the competition is making, only cheaper. Got Acer into trouble, HP into trouble, RIM into trouble, etc. These guys are too chicken to make a bold move and make something truly new.



    Apple doesn't do that. They don't use market research firms or focus groups. They build new things and people say, "Hey, I want that and I can't get it anywhere else."
  • pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Just pure desperation. Physical media is insanely overpriced, and thus a profit machine....when people buy them.



    But people aren't buying them. Can't remember the last time I went to a store and "bought a movie".

    The concept is so ancient, it's hard to believe anyone still does. I understand the niche markets and people without bandwidth, but GONE are the days when a movie would come out on VHS or DVD and people would preorder it to ensure they got a copy on release day. LMAO. I think I preordered Titantic on dual-VHS from Toys R Us back in 1997.



    New releases used to sell millions upon millions of copies.



    But we've found a better way. I don't need to own a movie, or store it, physically or digitally...I just click "Watch"
  • anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 16,920member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by beakernx01 View Post


    You nailed it. They're all business school, profit- and shareholder-value maximizers. They don't think about what the consumer wants.



    Please stop, with these silly, proforma swipes.



    Anyone thinks just a little bit about it (regardless of whether they went to business school or not) should be able to understand that you can't be a profit- or shareholder value- maximizing business without keeping in mind and serving the consumer's wants front and center.



    Surely you've heard of a company called Apple, for instance?
  • apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,057member
    I feel that 16:9 is not an optimal format for movies. In the future, I expect to see 2.40:1 Monitors and TV's being available.



    I also think that if movie companies are going to be selling permanent copies of their movies through download, then it needs to be at the highest quality level possible. If somebody is going to pay good money to own a movie and to download it, then it needs to be many, many GBs and at least Blu-Ray quality.
  • cycomikocycomiko Posts: 716member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I could swear I keep hearing that Blu-ray is the totally awesome wave of the future and iTunes Store movie quality is unwatchable.



    I have never brought a video from itunes, and the way they are going, I never will.
  • msalganikmsalganik Posts: 65member
    wow... I already think most movies out there these days are garbage. The only way I'd watch anything is when I'm bored and I don't have to sacrifice much (aka... I can rent rather than buy, especially if I haven't seen a movie/show before). If studios think that clamping down on renting is going to make me buy then they are sorely mistaken. I'll just end up caring even less about the junk they produce and I will not even give them the chance to hook me with a TV show or the occasional good movie that I would otherwise stumble upon through renting. These people are really missing the boat b/c of their greed.
  • mdriftmeyermdriftmeyer Posts: 6,864member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sheff View Post


    Are these guys insane? Who is gonna set up a separate account for each studio or a grouping of studios? Just think of this ridiculous process: buy a dvd, go to their site, create an account, agree to a bunch of terms, watch your movie.



    Compare that to buy a dvd, stick it in you mac, watch a movie.



    Compare that to one click on your apple tv, watch a movie.



    The studios are trying to protect something not worth protecting. DVD and physical media are dead. It is dead for music and it will be dead for movie soon. Partner with Apple, Amazon and Netflix and they are set for life to milk those companies as they do all the heavy lifting of distribution.



    These movie studios need new CEOs. Perhaps an MBA should include a few technology courses.



    They just aren't satisfied with being a production house. That's all they are and all they will ever be.
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