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Wal-Mart and Apple talking about being friends

post #1 of 71
Thread Starter 
Apple Computer and Wal-Mart are in discussions over an alliance that could allow the retail giant to profit from iTunes movie downloads, says Variety.

According to the report, a deal could take the form of a digital download "coupon" that would allow consumers to buy movies, TV shows or music on iTunes with Apple paying Wal-Mart a percentage of the proceeds.

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs is said to have personally reached out to Wal-Mart CEO H. Lee Scott, "who badly wants to get into the digital film biz."

Apple's new iTunes movie service has been a source of frustration for the retail giant, mainly because Jobs has mandated that movie studios license new movie releases through iTunes for about $3 less than the wholesale price charged to Wal-Mart. So far, only Walt Disney agreed to such terms.

"Studio sources say the rest of the majors are very close to joining Disney in a deal with Apple but are holding off until the end of the key fourth quarter, when half of all DVD sales occur," Variety said.

Wal-Mart, which controls about 40 percent of DVD sales in the US, had previously warned studios about undercutting the price of DVDs in its stores by agreeing to Jobs' terms for iTunes.

The report notes that Wal-Mart's demand "was enough to shatter a planned alliance among Fox, Universal and Lionsgate to join Disney in supplying films to iTunes" earlier this year.

Fox was said to have had a verbal agreement with Apple requiring that it be joined by two others. Meanwhile, its reported that Universal pulled out of the deal first, with the other non-Disney studios following suit.
post #2 of 71
Boo Wal-Mart those manipulative bastards.
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post #3 of 71
first post

why would apple want to give profit to walmart for free? What will Apple get in exchange. I doubt this...
post #4 of 71
Quote:
why would apple want to give profit to walmart for free?

Its business.

Because Wal-Mart is the biggest seller of DVD. Some of the studios are probably nervous about joining iTunes because iTunes undercuts Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart prides itself on undercutting everyone else. Studios fear Wal-Mart may retaliate by ordering fewer of their DVD's. Especially around the crucial holidays.

If Apple shares profit with Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart won't be as bitter about loosing sales to iTunes, studios will not fear Wal-Mart retaliation for joining iTunes.
post #5 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell

Its business.

Because Wal-Mart is the biggest seller of DVD. Some of the studios are probably nervous about joining iTunes because iTunes undercuts Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart prides itself on undercutting everyone else. Studios fear Wal-Mart may retaliate by ordering fewer of their DVD's. Especially around the crucial holidays.

If Apple shares profit with Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart won't be as bitter about loosing sales to iTunes, studios will not fear Wal-Mart retaliation for joining iTunes.

We have winner!
post #6 of 71
we have a winner indeed! bingo! this will get the other studios to go with apple!

Steve Jobs = No dummy,He can make peace and profits at the same time, kind of like a mix of ghandi and Donald trump!

post #7 of 71
Remember people. Apple makes a majority of its profit selling the hardware.
post #8 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catman4d2

kind of like a mix of ghandi and Donald trump!

That's kind of like mixing matter and anti-matter...

...but point taken.

(and btw, it's spelled "Gandhi")
post #9 of 71
I'm not sure why a movie download of lesser quality, that includes less content, and that has more restrictive consumer rights wouldn't cost less than a DVD.
post #10 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell

Its business.

Because Wal-Mart is the biggest seller of DVD. Some of the studios are probably nervous about joining iTunes because iTunes undercuts Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart prides itself on undercutting everyone else. Studios fear Wal-Mart may retaliate by ordering fewer of their DVD's. Especially around the crucial holidays.

If Apple shares profit with Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart won't be as bitter about loosing sales to iTunes, studios will not fear Wal-Mart retaliation for joining iTunes.

Agreed. A peace treaty with Wal-Mart is a great idea, which hopefully will end up with Apple securing other movie studios for iTunes. It's also nice to consolidate a little competition, though the thought of Apple working with Wal-Mart is a little odd.

It could also turn into yet another kick in the pants for Zune.
post #11 of 71
Step 1: Sell at a loss, driving your competition out of the market.

Step 2: ???

Step 3: Profit!!

What, we are talking about Wal-Mart, right?


This could be a good thing for Apple if it brings in other studios to the Movie Store.
You need skeptics, especially when the science gets very big and monolithic. -James Lovelock
The Story of Stuff
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You need skeptics, especially when the science gets very big and monolithic. -James Lovelock
The Story of Stuff
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post #12 of 71
The thing to keep in mind about this is that Apple has basically said it doesn't care about making wads of money on content sales. They get money from the hardware they sell that plays the content.
post #13 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Catman4d2

we have a winner indeed! bingo! this will get the other studios to go with apple!

Steve Jobs = No dummy,He can make peace and profits at the same time, kind of like a mix of ghandi and Donald trump!


40% of the DVDs sold in America are sold by WALMART.
Steve can't afford to make enemies out of WALMART with the Zune coming to town.
WALMART will sell iTunes Movie gift cards, you buy it take it home and then decide which movie you want from the Store.
With WALMARTs blessing the other movie studios will jump on board.
The movie giftcards might be a WALMART exclusive.

Gandhi with a bad hairpiece! I can see it now.
<Apu accent>Your FIRED! Please come again.</Apu accent>
post #14 of 71
Apple is just offering an olive branch here... I doubt WalMart will accept any reasonable deal.
Remember, WalMart makes Microsoft look like a mom and pop shop. WalMart has the power to buy Apple outright and explode it for kicks if it wanted. They are not affraid of bullying Apple.

I think Apple would be better off starting their own studio then dealing with WalMart. Besides, how many people who shop at WalMart would buy an Apple product... not many at all is my guess. They want the $15 Mp3 player that holds 30 whole songs.

I see nothing crucial comming out of this. Although, we have seen Apple making alliances with some of the other evil corporations... Coke, and Nike.
They seem to want to get all slutty with the nasties. Damnit Jobs...
post #15 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell

Its business.

Because Wal-Mart is the biggest seller of DVD. Some of the studios are probably nervous about joining iTunes because iTunes undercuts Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart prides itself on undercutting everyone else. Studios fear Wal-Mart may retaliate by ordering fewer of their DVD's. Especially around the crucial holidays.

If Apple shares profit with Wal-Mart, Wal-Mart won't be as bitter about loosing sales to iTunes, studios will not fear Wal-Mart retaliation for joining iTunes.

Does that mean that WalMart wasn't afraid of Cinema Now and Unbox?
post #16 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by bcharna

first post

why would apple want to give profit to walmart for free? What will Apple get in exchange. I doubt this...

As the Variety article said, Apple issues coupons to several chains. It's like a gift certificate. Perhaps that's what they are talking about here as well.

If it smooths the way, then it's fine. No one other than Walmart has this clout.
post #17 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM

Does that mean that WalMart wasn't afraid of Cinema Now and Unbox?

I would imagine.

We'll see what happens when MS tries to sell movie downloads.
post #18 of 71
I don't get this deal. Is Walmart going to hand out some kind of coupon in their stores, or would apple just give them a cut of every movie they sell? The latter sounds ridiculous.
post #19 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder

I don't get this deal. Is Walmart going to hand out some kind of coupon in their stores, or would apple just give them a cut of every movie they sell? The latter sounds ridiculous.

Likely a coupon. There is no way that a business would just give a "cut".
post #20 of 71
So, I guess these guys are friends because Apple slips Wal-Mart a kickback now? Laughable, but no doubt necessary the way Wal-Mart dominates in this area.

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post #21 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich

So, I guess these guys are friends because Apple slips Wal-Mart a kickback now? Laughable, but no doubt necessary the way Wal-Mart dominates in this area.

If it were just Walmart, maybe. But it's not. Apple does this with others.

And it was pointed out that Walmart sells more iPods than anyone else. Possibly more than Apple.
post #22 of 71
Quote:
Does that mean that WalMart wasn't afraid of Cinema Now and Unbox?

I'm sure Wal-Mart can clearly see of the three Apple has had the clearest vision about its media distribution and presentation, as well as the most effective execution.

Cinema Now nor Unbox have anything close to the iPod. Apple has aggressive plans for the future. So far we have not seen the same vision from Cinema Now or Unbox.
post #23 of 71
How is it Wal-mart has so much power, just because it sells things?

Say the rumors that it was sending Disney DVDs back are true. Now, there are millions of parents who still want to buy Disney DVDs, so they'll just go to another store that actually stocks them, like K-Mart.

And while the parents are there, they may buy baby food and $100 worth of other groceries.

Wal-mart loses the DVD sale, and the grocery sale. The studios still sell their DVDs.

Doesn't Wal-mart have more to lose from this pig-headed attitude?
post #24 of 71
Quote:
I'm not sure why a movie download of lesser quality, that includes less content, and that has more restrictive consumer rights wouldn't cost less than a DVD.

Price is not based on the quality or the DRM. For one people over state the difference between 720x480 and 640x480. In the real world people cannot see the difference.

For two DVD's have DRM also, just because its DRM has been broken does not negate the fact that its against the law to break it.

The price difference between iTunes movies and DVD is in the fact that the iTunes movie is only data. The DVD has to be replicated onto a physical medium and packaged.

Studios pay for DVD media, replication, and packaging. Studios incur none of those costs with iTunes movies.
post #25 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell

Price is not based on the quality or the DRM. For one people over state the difference between 720x480 and 640x480. In the real world people cannot see the difference.

I guess I'm not the real world. There's a significant difference between a letterboxed 640x480 video and an anamorphic 720x480 video. I quit buying non-anamorphic videos a long time ago. Most widescreen DVDs are anamorphic. Heck, the free iTunes Galactica promo didn't have very impressive video quality.
post #26 of 71
Anamorphic DVD. Come back to me when you are projecting 2K in your home then you have something to be high and mighty about.

Whether its anamorphic DVD, letterboxed DVD, digital broadcast television, iTunes movie, bittorrent. They are all extremely compressed and all have lost extreme amounts of resolution, detail and color.

Your anamorphic DVD's look like shit in comparison to the HD master it was replicated from. That HD master looks like shit in comparison to the answer print that was struck form the original negative.

From the answer print to HD master is a huge step down. From HD to DVD master is a huge step down.

Anamorphic DVD, digital broadcast, and letterbox DVD, iTunes movie are just shades of difference.
post #27 of 71
If you hook up with say Target, the people that shop there (and I'm one of them) usually are more financially sound. I'm not disrespecting anyone that shops at Wal-Mart, I'm just stating a visual and numbers fact. And like rain said in his post, most go for the cheap MP3 player and unfortunately never understand the quality of an iPod do to the price tag. I see no reason to work with a company like Wa-Mart. I just have a bad taste about that place and I feel a lot more comfortable walking into a nice, clean Target. Maybe it's just me?
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post #28 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell


Anamorphic DVD, digital broadcast, and letterbox DVD, iTunes movie are just shades of difference.

An anamorphic DVD can hold 50% more detail than a letterboxed iTunes video for about the same price, if you take out the value of the 5.1 audio and other features.
post #29 of 71
Yes anamorphic DVD's do contain more resolution than letterboxed. I'm not denying that.

Its the best of the worst. But its not so much better that you can look your nose down at the other options as being greatly inferior.

Viewing HDCAM SR on a $14,000 Sony HD monitor puts everything in context.
post #30 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell

Yes anamorphic DVD's do contain more resolution than letterboxed. I'm not denying that.

Its the best of the worst. But its not so much better that you can look your nose down at the other options as being greatly inferior.

Viewing HDCAM SR on a $14,000 Sony HD monitor puts everything in context.

I was comparing things of what I see as noticibly different quality but very similar prices. Your camara example falls well outside the similar prices bit. I would hope that a $14k camera can produce an image that's better than what you can buy on a $10 DVD, but that's not even comparing similar types of products either.
post #31 of 71
The point is to see an image that is far better brings context to the difference between two highly compressed images.

If you were able to watch an image in HDCAM SR. Watch that same image in anamorphic DVD and letter boxed DVD.

Because the first is so much better than the latter two. You see slight differences between the latter two but neither are nearly as good as the first.

The difference between anamorphic and letterbox become negligible in comparison to how much worse they both look in comparison to HDCAM SR.
post #32 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell

The difference between anamorphic and letterbox become negligible in comparison to how much worse they both look in comparison to HDCAM SR.

I still don't see how that's relevant. I do enjoy seeing HD footage but I still think the difference between iTunes and DVD is still very noticible. Is HDsomething much better? Yes, but when it comes to a given budget, iTunes is clearly inferior to DVD.
post #33 of 71
People on these lists pertain to be such sticklers for video quality. The funny part is everything you have to compare is highly compressed and consumer quality.

While there is nothing wrong with consumer quality you have to acknowledge I'm watching consumer quality.

I work with high quality images as a profession. Whatever anyone thinks they've seen I've seen far better.

Once you've seen what Movies and TV shows look like before they are broadcast or encoded for DVD. Then you know debating which highly compressed consumer format looks better than whichever other highly compressed consumer format becomes a matter of opinion at best. Because they are both highly compressed consumer formats.

Quote:
iTunes is clearly inferior to DVD.

You certainly are free to your opinion.
post #34 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelb

How is it Wal-mart has so much power, just because it sells things?

Say the rumors that it was sending Disney DVDs back are true. Now, there are millions of parents who still want to buy Disney DVDs, so they'll just go to another store that actually stocks them, like K-Mart.

And while the parents are there, they may buy baby food and $100 worth of other groceries.

Wal-mart loses the DVD sale, and the grocery sale. The studios still sell their DVDs.

Doesn't Wal-mart have more to lose from this pig-headed attitude?

Walmarts sales last year were $250 billion. Yes, you read it right.

While they have found that people buying a DVD buy more than other shoppers, it isn't either, or. They will lose some. But it would amount to a small percentage. But 40% of all DVD's are sold through Walmart. In many places where Walmart is, there are no other places to go to buy DVD's, or much anything else, for that matter.

The movie industry has far more to lose.
post #35 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM

I guess I'm not the real world. There's a significant difference between a letterboxed 640x480 video and an anamorphic 720x480 video. I quit buying non-anamorphic videos a long time ago. Most widescreen DVDs are anamorphic. Heck, the free iTunes Galactica promo didn't have very impressive video quality.

Jeff, I'm not quite sure what you are saying.

Widescreen DVD's are 720 (vertical) pixels, by whatever is needed for the height. 320 pixels if the ratio is 2.25 to 1. That is about the widest one gets. 16/9 would be 405.

Anamorphic requires a lens to undistort the image, and leads to LOWER quality. Remember the number of pixels is fixed. An anamorphic image would have to be stored as a 720 vertical pixel file. If you stretch that out, you are still getting 720, now stretched, pixels.

That requires a front projection unit with a reverse anamorphic lens. There is no other way to do true anamorphic production.
post #36 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross

Likely a coupon. There is no way that a business would just give a "cut".

If it is Walmart getting money just for 'allowing' the studios sell their products, that is simply extortion and someone should look at a RICO investigation. Seriously, if a guy on a Harley came into your business and said he would allow you to sell products, so long as you give him a kickback, that is extortion.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #37 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by TenoBell

Price is not based on the quality or the DRM. For one people over state the difference between 720x480 and 640x480. In the real world people cannot see the difference.

For two DVD's have DRM also, just because its DRM has been broken does not negate the fact that its against the law to break it.

The price difference between iTunes movies and DVD is in the fact that the iTunes movie is only data. The DVD has to be replicated onto a physical medium and packaged.

Studios pay for DVD media, replication, and packaging. Studios incur none of those costs with iTunes movies.

I'm not so much hung up on the quality difference (though there IS a difference). But the rights are significantly different, and I'm not talking about ripping DVDs. With iTunes Store music, you can always burn the music and have a CD. The quality will be lower than if you'd bought the CD straight, but you've got a CD if you lose your data, give up computers, don't want an iPod, etc. You can't do that with iTunes Store videos. You also don't have chapters (?), commentaries, or other extras that often come with DVDs.
post #38 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross

Jeff, I'm not quite sure what you are saying.

Widescreen DVD's are 720 (vertical) pixels, by whatever is needed for the height. 320 pixels if the ratio is 2.25 to 1. That is about the widest one gets. 16/9 would be 405.

Anamorphic requires a lens to undistort the image, and leads to LOWER quality. Remember the number of pixels is fixed. An anamorphic image would have to be stored as a 720 vertical pixel file. If you stretch that out, you are still getting 720, now stretched, pixels.

Anamorphic DVD is not as close to anamorphic filming / projection as you seem to think. The concepts are similar but what you do with it is different. For one, it is very likely that if you own widescreen DVD, most of them are anamorphic DVD. A lens is not required to "fix" an anamorphic DVD image. The DVD player (software or deck) or the TV does the (un) stretching, a lens is unnecessary.

"Stretching" is done for either a 4:3 or 16:9 image. Note that assuming a DVD image had square pixels, its aspect ratio would hypothetically be 1.5:1. For a 4:3 image and non-anamorphic widescreen images on a DVD, the pixel is actually narrower than it is tall (.88:1), for widescreen images, the pixel is wider than it is tall (1.18:1). Anamorphic DVD simply makes better use of the image area for widescreen movies. A standard letterboxed 16:9 video would only use 360 scan lines but on an anamorphic DVD would use all 480 scan lines.
post #39 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by BRussell

You also don't have chapters (?), commentaries, or other extras that often come with DVDs.

Another forum member said that the movie they bought had chapters.
post #40 of 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas

If it is Walmart getting money just for 'allowing' the studios sell their products, that is simply extortion and someone should look at a RICO investigation. Seriously, if a guy on a Harley came into your business and said he would allow you to sell products, so long as you give him a kickback, that is extortion.

If Walmart simply threatened to blackball Apple, by not selling any more iPods, or the movie studios, by not selling DVD's, then yes.

But, we really don't know what was said, or the context in which it was said. We don't know if what was said was said in a serious manner, or in an offhand, not really meant way.

If Apple and Walmart come to a deal, it will be better for both of them. Apple will sell more downloads with Walmart selling coupons, and Walmart will sell more iPods. The movie studios will also sell more downloads.

Everyone will be happy.
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