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Apple sells 125,000 movie downloads in first week

post #1 of 118
Thread Starter 
Walt Disney chief executive Robert Iger said on Tuesday the company sold 125,000 movie downloads worth $1 million in revenue through Apple Computer's iTunes Store during the offering's first week, Reuters is reporting.

The entertainment conglomerate, which placed 75 movies for download on iTunes last week, expects the movie downloads to generate $50 million in added revenue during the first year of the program, Iger said.

Walt Disney Pictures and three other studios it owns -- Pixar, Touchstone Pictures and Miramax Films -- were the only participants in last week's gala iTunes movie store roll-out, which took place during an elaborate media event orchestrated by Apple chief executive Steve Jobs out in California.

Due to quibbles over licensing fees, other major studios have so far decided to observe Apple's iTunes movie download service from the sidelines.

Disney's movies become available on the iTunes Store the same day they are released on DVD, with new releases priced at $12.99 during their first week of availability, and $14.99 thereafter. Older "library titles" fetch just $9.99.

iTunes customers can purchase and download the flicks to watch on their computers and iPods, and will soon be able to beam them wirelessly to their flat screen televisions with Apples upcoming iTV digital media hub.

Analysts have said Apple's iTunes movie store and iTV media hub are just the start of what will be a multi-year assault aimed at capturing the living room.
post #2 of 118
this is great news
post #3 of 118
Madness!

Well, I think the movie offering is a great start, but as it NOW stands it interests me not at all

* Low selection (this will grow--but Netflix is unbeatable).

* Lower than DVD quality. A 16:9 DVD movie is 720x480. An iTunes movie is 640x360. Really. Not bad, not noticeable.

* Can't burn to DVD, so can't take a movie to a friend's house without a video-capable iPod and cable.

* No special features.

* With all of the above the price would have to be much lower than DVD, but it's not.

I understand this is just a start, though. These things take time. One day the selection will be great, the quality will be HD, and I will have the 'net connection to download those massive files

Meanwhile, iTunes TV just got pretty good! Higher res! I can watch Galactica on iTunes FAR cheaper than I could get the sci-fi channel via cable.
post #4 of 118
I wonder how many movies Amazon has downloaded/rented in its first two weeks?
-- Jason
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post #5 of 118
i bet amazon sold more.
post #6 of 118
We'll find out soon enough. If they did in fact sell more, they will have to say so. Silence likely equals less. Anyway, I'll take your bet, and say Apple sold more (I'll even disclose they sold none to me. I have an HDTV, so I'll not be buying something lower than DVD quality).
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post #7 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasong

I wonder how many movies Amazon has downloaded/rented in its first two weeks?

Why the first TWO weeks?

D
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post #8 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme

Madness!

* Can't burn to DVD, so can't take a movie to a friend's house without a video-capable iPod and cable.

* No special features.


Using the iPod as a transport medium is I think exactly what Apple is trying to get you to do. Rather than go over to a friend's place with a stack of cds and dvds, you can take one pocket-sized device. With the right dock, it would be easy to just put the iPod into place and with a good navigator (such as the updated front row on iTV), browse your media.

As far as the special features go, I agree with you. I think it would be really cool if the "movies" from iTunes were a single file but contained different sub-files that the player would recognize as different titles and display as a menu. (that thought was a lot more clear in my head).
post #9 of 118
Cue the studios banging down Apple's doors to get in on the action in

3....2....1...
post #10 of 118
In terms of DVD Quality, it's not just the final output resolution that's the problem
- the bigger problem in terms of quality is the low bit-rate used for the downloads
- i.e. 1.5MB/s for iTunes
- DVD uses anywhere from 6-10MB/s
- even though iTunes uses H.264, which is slightly better then MPEG-2 (maybe 30-40% better), there's just not enough bandwidth being used to offer 'DVD Quality'
- so you'll get blocky artifacts on fast moving scenes.

- of course, a higher data rate would need a longer download time, and more disk storage
- but perhaps iTunes should offer a choice of quality (e.g. real-DVD quality, or Pod Quality etc)
post #11 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by MovieCutter

Cue the studios banging down Apple's doors to get in on the action in

3....2....1...

This is great news. I think it is a really good start considering that the 'true video ipod' nor the 'iTV' has been released and the selection is small. TV Shows have been out for just about a year and look how much they have grown. I think that by Christmas 07' nearly all studios will succomb to iTunes. Hell, their shareholders will make them when they see competing studios easily pulling in all that extra revenue.

This just came to mind, I wonder if Apple's new data center I think in Newark, CA is up and running yet...
post #12 of 118
Some perspective on the numbers
$1million/125k downloads= an average of $8.00 for Disney. Apple is taking about $2.00. Anyone know what the bandwidth cost would be per download? About $0.25-$0.45?

17,850 movies per day
744 movies per hour
12.4 movies per minute.

This is a pretty amazing run rate considering this is the first week with only 75 titles. This is great news
post #13 of 118
Give us some darn TV and movies in the UK! Grrr
post #14 of 118
Wow, that sucks. They sold 1 million videos in 20 days when TV Shows first came out, and at the current rate they'll sell less than a third of that of their movies. I know that the movies cost more, but they also have a bigger audience.
post #15 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by cactus

i bet amazon sold more.

I bet you're real thirsty.
post #16 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctachme

Wow, that sucks. They sold 1 million videos in 20 days when TV Shows first came out, and at the current rate they'll sell less than a third of that of their movies. I know that the movies cost more, but they also have a bigger audience.

Actually, I'd assume that TV has a bigger audience, only because when you buy a DVD, you have already seen the movie and want to keep it to watch whenever you want, And that is limited to the amount of people who actually go out and see the movie, and/or tell their friends to get the movie.

With TV, you sit in front of a box and just let the shows come to you. If there is a show you like, you watch it. A lot more people have TVs and watch TV than go out to movies. Hell, I haven't seen a movie in a theater since Grudge. The Last movie I bought (DVD) is The Incredibles.

And yet, I bought Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy the day iTunes Store opened. And I say that it is worth every penny, and is also in widescreen. Looks great on my 60GB Ipod too
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post #17 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctachme

Wow, that sucks. They sold 1 million videos in 20 days when TV Shows first came out, and at the current rate they'll sell less than a third of that of their movies. I know that the movies cost more, but they also have a bigger audience.

Movies have a bigger audience than *TV* shows?

Really? I kind of doubt that, to be honest.
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post #18 of 118
Movies have a bigger audience than TV?

Anyway, re iPods to carry movies around, vs. carrying discs. If you have an iPod that does video, than I agree, that IS better. Just as long as the iPod outputs 640x480 to TV, and not 320x240. Anyone know that answer? Maybe we won't know until the 5.5Gs are in our hands.
post #19 of 118
I'm actually glad Apple started small. They can build the brand slowly, work out the kinks, and adjust the service as it grows.

I was initially skeptical (well, I still am). And I remember posting about Apple getting hammered in the press for long download times, low quality (res/bandwidth), lack of features, etc. Well, here we go:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/09...ovie_download/

I won't be downloading any movies anytime soon, given the quality and lack of features (I am actually someone who will watch a movie, then watch it again the next night with commentary, and since I have a little girl who likes to get out of bed, my wife and I have now defaulted to turning the volume low and turning subtitles on).

But if Apple is willing to change the res on TV shows, this makes me hopeful that they'll increase the res to 480p once the iTV and the "true" video iPod have the stamp of approval (MWSF07?). Hopefully, the bw will increase as well, since blockiness is actually more annoying than the slightly lower resolution.

Burning to disk is also a must since watching movies in our LAFRTs (long-ass family road trips) is now a necessity.

Here's hoping the iTS matures quickly.
post #20 of 118
- TV shows: 1 Mio. in 20 days = 2 Mio. $ revenue
- Movies: 125.000 in 7 days = 1.25 Mio. $ revenue

I predict that after 20 days, initial revenue from Movie downloads will have surpassed the TV show start by far and mark the beginning of another home run for apple.
post #21 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctachme

Wow, that sucks. They sold 1 million videos in 20 days when TV Shows first came out, and at the current rate they'll sell less than a third of that of their movies. I know that the movies cost more, but they also have a bigger audience.

Actually, additively, TV has the bigger audience. This is great news, as the predictions in Hollywood were only for about this much in the first month in the best of predictions. Much like the TV offerings, this is surprising (and a good surprise). It will be interesting to see about Amazon. If iTunes can take and stay in command quickly, other studios will come in before they have a chance to rethink the situation. Once that happens, we could see a repeat of the music business (even if the model is completely different). I'd love to see if those numbers are padded in any way as studios have been known to buy up tickets on opening weekends by the truckload in order to boost a "soft" film.
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post #22 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by cactus

i bet amazon sold more.

If that is the case, Apple will surpass them in a week or two.

It seems to be universally accepted that Unbox (Amazon's attempt at movie distribution) is an embarrassing cluster-fkcu.
post #23 of 118
For all of the people saying that they want their HD movies from iTunes now and to hurry up with the upgrades of mac and all that other impatient stuff need to just sit back and relax. I personally haven't been disappointed with Apple because they get the stuff out there and they get it done right. If we had our HD videos right now, we would have people on here saying that the video downloads take too long, instead of being able to buy a song, wait (for me not even 30 seconds) for the video to download, and enjoy a great movie. Apple will get it done and will get it done right, a la the Merom Macbooks and Pros, iTV (TelePort or whatever), "True Video ipod" and the next chapter of Intel chips.

We all just need to sit back. Relax. It will come, and it will be good.
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post #24 of 118
This rate of downloads will NOT sustain into the future. NOBODY -- and I mean NOBODY -- wants to download movies that are the exact same price as DVD's but offer NO compelling advantages at all. The only reason 125,000 downloads took place in the first week was because all of the reporters & bloggers were testing out the new service to see if it works. Normal people will NOT pay these premium prices to download inferior products. It just won't happen. The rate of downloads for this week has probably already plummeted.
post #25 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme

... Just as long as the iPod outputs 640x480 to TV, and not 320x240. Anyone know that answer? Maybe we won't know until the 5.5Gs are in our hands.


Yes all the Gen 5 and Gen 5.5 iPods do video out at 640x480 (Im the proud owner of the 80gig )
post #26 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kickaha

Movies have a bigger audience than *TV* shows?

Really? I kind of doubt that, to be honest.

TV's have a smaller audience because people watch TV on TV. They buy movies.

What you need to compare is the DVD sales of movies and the DVD sales of TV shows. There are more DVD's sold of movies than TV shows!
post #27 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by DCQ

I'm actually glad Apple started small. They can build the brand slowly, work out the kinks, and adjust the service as it grows.

I was initially skeptical (well, I still am). And I remember posting about Apple getting hammered in the press for long download times, low quality (res/bandwidth), lack of features, etc. Well, here we go:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/09...ovie_download/

I won't be downloading any movies anytime soon, given the quality and lack of features (I am actually someone who will watch a movie, then watch it again the next night with commentary, and since I have a little girl who likes to get out of bed, my wife and I have now defaulted to turning the volume low and turning subtitles on).

But if Apple is willing to change the res on TV shows, this makes me hopeful that they'll increase the res to 480p once the iTV and the "true" video iPod have the stamp of approval (MWSF07?). Hopefully, the bw will increase as well, since blockiness is actually more annoying than the slightly lower resolution.

Burning to disk is also a must since watching movies in our LAFRTs (long-ass family road trips) is now a necessity.

Here's hoping the iTS matures quickly.

I would suspect bandwidth throtling fro his ISP. I only have 1MB DSL and none of the movies I have downloaded have taken longer than 3 hours.
post #28 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321

This rate of downloads will NOT sustain into the future. NOBODY -- and I mean NOBODY -- wants to download movies that are the exact same price as DVD's but offer NO compelling advantages at all. The only reason 125,000 downloads took place in the first week was because all of the reporters & bloggers were testing out the new service to see if it works. Normal people will NOT pay these premium prices to download inferior products. It just won't happen. The rate of downloads for this week has probably already plummeted.

Proof?

I think your whole argument is biased to your point of view.

edit: Apple nor Disney would publish numbers like this if the sales were trending down like you propose. It would kill them later on.
post #29 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321

This rate of downloads will NOT sustain into the future. NOBODY -- and I mean NOBODY -- wants to download movies that are the exact same price as DVD's but offer NO compelling advantages at all. The only reason 125,000 downloads took place in the first week was because all of the reporters & bloggers were testing out the new service to see if it works. Normal people will NOT pay these premium prices to download inferior products. It just won't happen. The rate of downloads for this week has probably already plummeted.

What do you base your conclusions on? Convienence has always been a motivating factor in buying patterns. Also, quaility drops all the time and people seem to get used to it (not something I like, but it happens) -- take the iTunes tunes -- are they as high a quaility as something on your gold-standard and above CD? Don't think so. Yet, people still buy those iTunes because they're convienent. Will it slow? Predictions say "yes" but up until the next big DVD/iTunes releases. Then it will be telling: are people going to iTunes to get the latest movies?
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post #30 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctachme

TV's have a smaller audience because people watch TV on TV. They buy movies.

What you need to compare is the DVD sales of movies and the DVD sales of TV shows. There are more DVD's sold of movies than TV shows!

You can't compare the DVD sales of movies and TV shows. TV shows are made to be watched on TV, not on DVD. People who really enjoy the TV show on TV will buy the DVD to watch their favorite shows all the time. You can only watch movies on either the big screen or DVD. And both have to be paid for up front.

And also. People who keep saying that the prices are not worth it, I want to know where you all are getting your DVDs from for 10 bucks. I bought Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy for 9.99 widescreen, where if I went to Walmart, it would be 20 bucks for the fullscreen version.
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post #31 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctachme

TV's have a smaller audience because people watch TV on TV. They buy movies.

What you need to compare is the DVD sales of movies and the DVD sales of TV shows. There are more DVD's sold of movies than TV shows!

Source?

And actually, that's a really flawed comparison. Very few people buy a whole set of episodes on DVD, but they'll buy an episode online they missed. It's the same as the buy-by-the-track on the iTMS, and we've all seen what a horrible idea *that* turned out to be...
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post #32 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotty321

This rate of downloads will NOT sustain into the future. NOBODY -- and I mean NOBODY -- wants to download movies that are the exact same price as DVD's but offer NO compelling advantages at all. The only reason 125,000 downloads took place in the first week was because all of the reporters & bloggers were testing out the new service to see if it works. Normal people will NOT pay these premium prices to download inferior products. It just won't happen. The rate of downloads for this week has probably already plummeted.

If nobody will pay for lower quality products, why is it that convienience products, such as Netflix and Gamefly and GameLender, have basically rendered Blockbuster's memberships useless? Why drive when you can get the same product for free. You don't get a case with it and you don't get a fancy little description on the back to read, but its still the movie.

Most people who buy movies, aren't buying them because they are superhigh quality DVDs that will play on their BluRay drives with surround sound 5.1 dolby blah blah blah. They are buying them because they are a great movie, and it is easily accessible.

Edit add on: This service is targeted towards Joe Blow. You know the one, with his 15' CRT tv and his Gateway 333MHz desktop with 12 inch monitor. For the time being, we High Def people are going to have to wait for our turn. The masses don't have 52 inch 1080p LCD HDTVs with Xbox 360s and BluRay players.
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post #33 of 118
the other studios need to get on board by the time the vPod appears or..they'll..be...saaaawwwy.....
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post #34 of 118
Quote:
Lower than DVD quality. A 16:9 DVD movie is 720x480. An iTunes movie is 640x360. Really. Not bad, not noticeable.

Quality is based on more variables than just pixels.

Quote:
Using the iPod as a transport medium is I think exactly what Apple is trying to get you to do. Rather than go over to a friend's place with a stack of cds and dvds, you can take one pocket-sized device.

I agree the cost is about convenience.

Quote:
-even though iTunes uses H.264, which is slightly better then MPEG-2 (maybe 30-40% better), there's just not enough bandwidth being used to offer 'DVD Quality'
- so you'll get blocky artifacts on fast moving scenes.

Bandwidth is important. But it is not the sole reason for artifacts. If it were then you would never see artifacts in DVD's. Artifacts are more prominent in older DVD's and less prominent in newer ones because the art of compression was not as good as it is now. Artifacts can be over come with good compression and encoding technique.

Professional compression companies discriminately apply compression differently to different parts of a movie. More compression is applied to parts of the movie that have long stagnant shots or shots that are bright. Less compression is applied to scenes that are fast moving or extremely dark.

Quote:
I know that the movies cost more, but they also have a bigger audience.

No television has a much bigger audience than movies.

A network television show with decent to good ratings has an audience of around 8-12 million people watching it at the same time. Anything under that is mediocre. A network television show with great ratings has 18-20 million people watching it at the same time.

A movie is a smash hit if 2 million people watch it in the theater on the first weekend.
post #35 of 118
Quote:
This rate of downloads will NOT sustain into the future. NOBODY -- and I mean NOBODY -- wants to download movies that are the exact same price as DVD's but offer NO compelling advantages at all.

I think you underestimate the people who spend $2.50 for a ring tone.
post #36 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell

I think you underestimate the people who spend $2.50 for a ring tone.

HAHA YES!

And once more, where are you all buying your movies for 10 dollars? The best price I could find was at Amazon for 13.99 for Hitchhickers widescreen DVD.... and iTunes sells it for 9.99. I don't see where people are paying extra for convienience, to me it seems like its cheaper for a similar product. 14.99 for a brand new movie? I can't even find one in stock at walmart for 20 bucks!
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post #37 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by AjayBot

HAHA YES!

And once more, where are you all buying your movies for 10 dollars? The best price I could find was at Amazon for 13.99 for Hitchhickers widescreen DVD.... and iTunes sells it for 9.99. I don't see where people are paying extra for convienience, to me it seems like its cheaper for a similar product. 14.99 for a brand new movie? I can't even find one in stock at walmart for 20 bucks!

Yup, there's the "good buy" factor. And for those with kids, it's worse. My son wants to see the latest Disney flick. At $2.99 on pay-per-view, he can watch it over and over and over again... for 24 hours. A week later, he wants to see it again. We're now up to $6. Not to mention I don't want to get up and go to the movie rental store. And even if I did, whose to say it isn't all rented out (hey, hey, I should call first... but that's more hassle). So, for me, this is great.

HD? Sure, I want it. But how much are brand new Blueray discs going to cost me? Once our bands are broader and we can download HD from iTunes, there will be an even greater profit margin, and better deal for us.
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post #38 of 118
A Fortune Magazine Senior Editor is calling Amazon Unbox "a horror show".
The bad horror show not the good one.

http://money.cnn.com/2006/09/18/tech...tune/index.htm
post #39 of 118
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell

I think you underestimate the people who spend $2.50 for a ring tone.

Ringtones are used hundreds or thousands of time, depending on number of calls you get. Tough to watch a movie that many time.
post #40 of 118
Comparing selling movies vs. TV by comparing audiences is now officially useless. More people watch TV, but more people rent movies .... these trends don't really matter anymore. The huge gaps between TV and movies and YouTube is going to get smaller and smaller so that kids today won't think of them as we do.

iPods and iTunesStore have changed the paradigm, the debate, the framework for the discussion.

Old opinions and models no longer work.

We don't know how many movies per week is great or not yet. We don't know if it can be sustained. We don't know yet what people will do with them yet.
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