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Apple expected to announce new movie sales in iTunes

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
According to an article in Hollywood Reporter, Apple is expected to announce as early as Thursday a new deal with a wide array of major and mini studios to offer many new movie releases, including a broad slate of top-shelf films, for direct purchase at its iTunes Store at the same as their DVD release. [Update: Apple has formally announced the deal.]

The movie sales deal is an expansion of the January announcement that presented movie rentals in iTunes from all the major studios. Only a few movie studios, including Disney, had earlier agreed to sell their movies in iTunes starting in 2006, with the others cautiously testing the waters only in movie rentals beginning earlier this year.

Rental only titles now for sale

Apple originally only offered direct movie sales, not rentals, in a strategy that hoped to replicate the success of iTunes in selling music. The other studios were apparently worried that direct movie downloads would eat into physical DVD sales and anger high volume DVD movie retailers such as Wal-Mart. While Apple now sells more music than any other retailer, its movie business is still brand new. Fears of upsetting the current DVD retailers, who saw Apple as a looming threat in movies after having eaten up the lion's share of music sales, were certainly valid given the market power those retailers wield over existing DVD sales.

However, the popularity of Apple's iTunes has demonstrated an enthusiastic demand for digital downloads, which has reportedly been dramatic enough to prompt all the majors to offer their movie catalogs both for sale and for rent. The studios expected to be included in the movie sales announcement are Fox, Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., Paramount, Universal, Sony Pictures, Lionsgate and New Line. The deal reportedly will not include new titles from MGM but does extend to boutique firms such as Magnolia and Image Entertainment.

The movie rentals deal announced in January was tied to the release of the Take Two software update for Apple TV and updates for iTunes, the iPhone, and current iPods to allow users to rent titles for a 30 day period for $3 to $4, with select titles being offered in high definition from Apple TV. The new studios' titles have only available for rent, not for sale, which resulted in some confusion for iTunes users.

No business like show business

Today's announcement is also expected to release new numbers outlining the success of Apple's movie revenue to date. Back in March, Disney CEO Bob Iger publicly stated that its studios had sold 4 million movies via iTunes since partnering with Apple to become the first movie studio to sign up in 2006. Outside of Disney, MGM, and Paramount, a few major new releases from other studios have already been offered for sale in recent weeks on iTunes, including Fox's "Juno."

Apple originally announced plans to have a thousand movie titles available for rental, but many of those titles were held up by complications in establishing the digital rights required to offer them outside of DVD releases. Many writers and other talent have historically only signed off on royalties involving theater and DVD releases, so progress in digital downloads has hit some snags as the business adjusts to support iTunes' direct download distribution.

Convincing the movie studios to follow Apple's lead has apparently been a little more difficult than signing on music labels or lining up TV content. Many of the download-to-own titles offered by the early participating movie studios were limited to older titles. Apple's ability to sell those titles has encouraged the studios to expand their offerings both in the scope of their library selection and in the option to buy movies directly rather than only renting.

Time Warner CEO Jeffrey Bewkes announced yesterday that Warner Bros. will experiment with video on demand releases simultaneous with DVDs. Apple's new movie deal was originally expected to be announced earlier in the week at the fifth anniversary of iTunes on Monday. The announcement will put significant pressure on other online movie rental services as well as Amazon's Unbox and Microsoft Xbox Live Marketplace, which both rent and sell movies but have not been able to report significant movie downloads.

Update: Apple in an official press release has now confirmed that releases and catalog titles will be available from 20th Century Fox, The Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Lionsgate, Image Entertainment and First Look Studios.

"We're thrilled to bring iTunes Store customers new films for purchase day-and-date with the DVD release," said Eddy Cue, Apple's vice president of iTunes. "We think movie fans will love being able to buy their favorites from major and independent studios."

New releases available for purchase on the iTunes Store this week, concurrent with their DVD release, include "American Gangster" and "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly." Other popular titles now available for purchase include "Juno," "Cloverfield," "I Am Legend," "There Will Be Blood," "Alvin and the Chipmunks" and "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story."

Movies purchased from iTunes can be viewed on an iPod with video, iPhone, Mac or PC or on a widescreen TV with Apple TV, with new releases priced at $14.99 and most catalog titles at $9.99.
post #2 of 34
Still can't buy damn tv shows or iPhones here.

Who cares about movie rentals...
post #3 of 34
I want rental in CAANAAADAAAAA.
post #4 of 34
Who wants to purchase every movie they want to watch?

E.g.: Last night the local station is playing "Stargate". Suddenly, I have the desire to watch the film, unedited, and without commercials. Go to the iTunes store but it is only available to purchase. Like I want to spend ten bucks to download a cheap thrill? Enter BitTorrent. An hour and half later, I had my consumer desired fulfilled, and two companies (at least) lost the opportunity to make some money.

Sad.
post #5 of 34
Me. I would purchase movies. I would purchase them in HD via AppleTV if I could. I rented my first HD movie last weekend and it looked great. I'd have loved to have been able to then pay an extra fee to keep the movie...

So far it seems purchasing is limited to standard definition...
post #6 of 34
Here's the official press release
post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenwaves View Post

Who wants to purchase every movie they want to watch?

E.g.: Last night the local station is playing "Stargate". Suddenly, I have the desire to watch the film, unedited, and without commercials. Go to the iTunes store but it is only available to purchase. Like I want to spend ten bucks to download a cheap thrill? Enter BitTorrent. An hour and half later, I had my consumer desired fulfilled, and two companies (at least) lost the opportunity to make some money.

Sad.

Another nefarious theft.

Sad.
post #8 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenwaves View Post

Who wants to purchase every movie they want to watch?

E.g.: Last night the local station is playing "Stargate". Suddenly, I have the desire to watch the film, unedited, and without commercials. Go to the iTunes store but it is only available to purchase. Like I want to spend ten bucks to download a cheap thrill? Enter BitTorrent. An hour and half later, I had my consumer desired fulfilled, and two companies (at least) lost the opportunity to make some money.

Sad.

Ummm, in case you missed it, Apple did begin offering movies to rent about two months ago. Unfortunately for your needs they have been unable to offer the internet's bit torrent back catalog in the limited time between then and now. And frankly, of all the movies Apple is looking to add to their available rental catalog, I am pretty sure Stargate is rather low on their priority list.

My point: more movies are coming to iTunes rental, keep your pants on. The ability to buy these movies, and on their same release day as DVD is HUGE to potentially establish Apple and iTunes and the potential long term dominant market leader in movie sales that it currently is for music. Apple can now offer services that companies like Netflix & Blockbuster cannot. And, it moves the industry ever closer, albeit step-by-step, to it's future of downloadable content (HD included) thus bypassing Blu-Ray as "the mainstream." Good times all around.
post #9 of 34
Day and date rentals would get me excited. I don't foresee myself having a large collection of iTunes movies that I own. I have too many concerns about the so called "infinite format war".
post #10 of 34
Now if only they would sell HD downloads.
post #11 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by zenwaves View Post

Who wants to purchase every movie they want to watch?

E.g.: Last night the local station is playing "Stargate". Suddenly, I have the desire to watch the film, unedited, and without commercials. Go to the iTunes store but it is only available to purchase. Like I want to spend ten bucks to download a cheap thrill? Enter BitTorrent. An hour and half later, I had my consumer desired fulfilled, and two companies (at least) lost the opportunity to make some money.

Sad.

Yes it is sad.

Sad that your impatience is enough for you to justify pirating a film.

Say you're Wal-mart and see the DVD for Stargate on sale for $10. You want it but don't think it's worth that price so you shove it in your coat and shoplift it from the store. What's different about this scenario and what you did?

And people wonder why the music and film industries have been so strongly pushing DRM...
post #12 of 34
But at what resolution???

I'd love to buy movies on iTunes to watch on my TV, but if its ipod-screen resolution, it'll look like junk, no?
post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by bloodstains View Post

Day and date rentals would get me excited. I don't foresee myself having a large collection of iTunes movies that I own. I have too many concerns about the so called "infinite format war".

DVD + RipDifferent.com my good sir. Solves all problems =D
post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

Yes it is sad.

Sad that your impatience is enough for you to justify pirating a film.

Say you're Wal-mart and see the DVD for Stargate on sale for $10. You want it but don't think it's worth that price so you shove it in your coat and shoplift it from the store. What's different about this scenario and what you did?

And people wonder why the music and film industries have been so strongly pushing DRM...

No physical distribution (which costs more money than a file) was stolen. You're completely off the mark here. Plus, he deleted the file I'm sure, so its the effect of shoplifting, then coming to put it back. Granted, its not great, but its not the black-and-while scenario you just put forth.
post #15 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by AmmoniaD View Post

But at what resolution???

I'd love to buy movies on iTunes to watch on my TV, but if its ipod-screen resolution, it'll look like junk, no?

iTunes movies are higher than iPod res, I think they are about 720 now (correct me if I'm wrong). Then again, they don't look that good on my 23" Apple Cinema Display. But... most TV's resolutions suck anyways, at least compared to the glory of 1920 x 1600...
post #16 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

Yes it is sad.

Sad that your impatience is enough for you to justify pirating a film.

Say you're Wal-mart and see the DVD for Stargate on sale for $10. You want it but don't think it's worth that price so you shove it in your coat and shoplift it from the store. What's different about this scenario and what you did?

And people wonder why the music and film industries have been so strongly pushing DRM...

I think the difference is that physical shoplifting would get you a small fine and probably some community service. For internet 'piracy', the law will bend you over and rape you for every penny that you're worth.

Clearly, 'piracy' is far more evil.

/sarcasm off
post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Achiever View Post

Ummm, in case you missed it, Apple did begin offering movies to rent about two months ago. Unfortunately for your needs they have been unable to offer the internet's bit torrent back catalog in the limited time between then and now. And frankly, of all the movies Apple is looking to add to their available rental catalog, I am pretty sure Stargate is rather low on their priority list.

My point: more movies are coming to iTunes rental, keep your pants on.

Perhaps the exclamation mark in my post led you to believe that I had my pants off?

I'm well aware of everything you mentioned, and was simply pointing out that more people want to rent movies instead of purchasing. Steve Jobs stated this when he made the case for owning, rather than renting music.

What I was hinting at, is that I think it would've been a bigger deal had they announced same day rentals.
post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by federmoose View Post

No physical distribution (which costs more money than a file) was stolen. You're completely off the mark here. Plus, he deleted the file I'm sure, so its the effect of shoplifting, then coming to put it back. Granted, its not great, but its not the black-and-while scenario you just put forth.

Congratulations on the most disingenuous justification for theft I've ever seen.
I'm against DRM, but as the original poster said, this helps you understand why the industry is paranoid about users who think its only theft if you steal atoms.
post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

Congratulations on the most disingenuous justification for theft I've ever seen.
I'm against DRM, but as the original poster said, this helps you understand why the industry is paranoid about users who think its only theft if you steal atoms.

you misunderstood. I didn't justify, I just explained that it wasn't the doom and gloom scenario that was originally put forth. stealing content is wrong, I never said otherwise.
post #20 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by federmoose View Post

you misunderstood. I didn't justify, I just explained that it wasn't the doom and gloom scenario that was originally put forth. stealing content is wrong, I never said otherwise.

Sorry, but...

"Enter BitTorrent. An hour and half later, I had my consumer desired fulfilled, and two companies (at least) lost the opportunity to make some money."

He stole it, even if its just a 'viewing' that he stole. Doesn't matter if its 'doom and gloom'.

That said, I'm personally annoyed at the push for purchase rather than rental. I want to own very few movies. Hopefully this is just the beginning of the rental wave. I rented my first iTunes Store movie last week and it was a great experience.
post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by federmoose View Post

iTunes movies are higher than iPod res, I think they are about 720 now (correct me if I'm wrong). Then again, they don't look that good on my 23" Apple Cinema Display. But... most TV's resolutions suck anyways, at least compared to the glory of 1920 x 1600...

Current iTunes movies (those purchased) are 480p (slightly better than DVD which is effectively 480i, although much of that is diminished by the higher bitrate of a DVD). Current purchased iTunes movies are also not 5.1 encoded.

iTunes rentals can be (for a subset of the catalog) found in 720p with full 5.1 sound.

I won't be buying many moves until they are available in full HD.
post #22 of 34
Quote:
and mini studios to offer many new movie releases, including a broad slate of top-shelf films

over 20 posts and no one's mentioned apple is going to be selling porn
post #23 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

Sorry, but...

"Enter BitTorrent. An hour and half later, I had my consumer desired fulfilled, and two companies (at least) lost the opportunity to make some money."

He stole it, even if its just a 'viewing' that he stole. Doesn't matter if its 'doom and gloom'.

Quote:
Say you're Wal-mart and see the DVD for Stargate on sale for $10. You want it but don't think it's worth that price so you shove it in your coat and shoplift it from the store. What's different about this scenario and what you did?

I think a better analogy is:

Say you're in Blockbuster Video and see the DVD for Stargate for rent for $4. You want it but don't think it's worth that price so you shove it in your coat and shoplift it from the store. A few days later you sneak it back into the store and put it back on the shelf.

You stole a service but the store itself is none the worse for it. Still bad but I think it's a distinct difference.

I own...

1 Android Phone, 2 iPads, 1 Nook reader, 1 Mac Desktop, 1 Windows Laptop, 1 Linux Server, 1 FireTV

 

They all are used regularly and each have their place. Competition is good.

Reply

I own...

1 Android Phone, 2 iPads, 1 Nook reader, 1 Mac Desktop, 1 Windows Laptop, 1 Linux Server, 1 FireTV

 

They all are used regularly and each have their place. Competition is good.

Reply
post #24 of 34
What's sad is that it's so hard for Apple to make the movie services available internationally. It's been like one and a half year or something now since movies was introduced on iTunes. If the history of the music service helps to estimate the future availability of the movie service then here's a recap:

Day 1: April 2003 US release of iTunes Music Store.
14 months later: June 2004 first international stores. France, Germany and the UK.
18 months: October 2004, most of europe
25 months: May 2005 scandinavia, yeey <-- my territory
...

I don't know why I'm spending all this time on this... maybe because I'd like to see the damn movie rentals available over here. So where are we on the movie service? We're at the point where the first none US movie/TV-shows deals are starting to show up, right? Perhaps not so different schedule from the music business after all...
post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by djames42 View Post

Current iTunes movies (those purchased) are 480p (slightly better than DVD which is effectively 480i, although much of that is diminished by the higher bitrate of a DVD).

The DVD format is actually more complicated than that. The basic standard is 480i, but most DVDs of theatrical movies are encoded (flagged) in such a way that it's pretty easy for any player to pull out a 480p image without any hard work. Pretty much all "big studio" movie DVDs are that way. Most TV series DVDs on the other hand, don't seem to be that way, but many of them are encoded for easy 480p playback. The DVDs that aren't flagged for 480p do need a special deinterlacer routine or chip, and doing it well is hard.
post #26 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo2k2k View Post

over 20 posts and no one's mentioned apple is going to be selling porn

Maybe we didn't understand it that way? It can mean that, but I think it can also mean the better movies. I didn't see any studios or movies listed that suggest to me that porn is going to be sold. It's possible the AI writers weren't aware of that possible connotation when writing the story.
post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by federmoose View Post

No physical distribution (which costs more money than a file) was stolen. You're completely off the mark here. Plus, he deleted the file I'm sure, so its the effect of shoplifting, then coming to put it back. Granted, its not great, but its not the black-and-while scenario you just put forth.

It's not the physical DVD disk that is the property stolen, it's the movie viewing. However you do it, whether sneaking into a movie theater, lifting a DVD at Blockbuster, or in this case, downloading a pirated DVD via bittorrent, you've stolen the rights to watch that movie...you might want to thoroughly read the copyright warning before each movie to see that this is the case.

And deleting the file is not the same as taking a shoplifted DVD back, it's the same as throwing it in your trash can. As stated above, the value of the item has already compromised upon viewing, not in the physical cost of a plastic DVD disk and case. It's like stealing a pie from a store, eating it, then returning the tray to the store...you've consumed what's really of value.

In any case, I doubt anyone is going to be happy to see you return an item you stole from them. Then you're not only a thief but an idiot, too!

/
post #28 of 34
Quote:
but I think it can also mean the better movies

oh crap, you're probably right
post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by pairof9s View Post

It's not the physical DVD disk that is the property stolen, it's the movie viewing. However you do it, whether sneaking into a movie theater, lifting a DVD at Blockbuster, or in this case, downloading a pirated DVD via bittorrent, you've stolen the rights to watch that movie...you might want to thoroughly read the copyright warning before each movie to see that this is the case.

And deleting the file is not the same as taking a shoplifted DVD back, it's the same as throwing it in your trash can. As stated above, the value of the item has already compromised upon viewing, not in the physical cost of a plastic DVD disk and case. It's like stealing a pie from a store, eating it, then returning the tray to the store...you've consumed what's really of value.

In any case, I doubt anyone is going to be happy to see you return an item you stole from them. Then you're not only a thief but an idiot, too!

/

Granted on the last ("idiot, too") point. But You analogy is still flawed. The DVD is not thrown away, because if you return it others can still view it. It's not like blockbuster only rents a movie once, so if you steal one view of the movie, its not like the DVD is worthless.
and again, granted on the copyright warning. nevertheless, your analogy is an overstatement.

can we get a copyright/properties lawyer in on this discussion? cause otherwise I think we're in a deadlock.
post #30 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by federmoose View Post

Granted on the last ("idiot, too") point. But You analogy is still flawed. The DVD is not thrown away, because if you return it others can still view it. It's not like blockbuster only rents a movie once, so if you steal one view of the movie, its not like the DVD is worthless.
and again, granted on the copyright warning. nevertheless, your analogy is an overstatement.

can we get a copyright/properties lawyer in on this discussion? cause otherwise I think we're in a deadlock.

It doesn't take a lawyer to know that downloading copyrighted bits without compensating the owner is wrong. Perhaps the professional to be consulted may be a moral advisor.

But easier yet, try this...
Look your 10-year-old in the face and tell them its wrong to steal when they come back at you with "But Dad!... you rip DVDs you've rented for your collection! Isn't that stealing too?"
I subjected myself to that exactly once, then let my daughter watch as I deleted the files.

Try it.
post #31 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by federmoose View Post

Granted on the last ("idiot, too") point. But You analogy is still flawed. The DVD is not thrown away, because if you return it others can still view it. It's not like blockbuster only rents a movie once, so if you steal one view of the movie, its not like the DVD is worthless.
and again, granted on the copyright warning. nevertheless, your analogy is an overstatement.

can we get a copyright/properties lawyer in on this discussion? cause otherwise I think we're in a deadlock.

There is no deadlock.

As others have stated, the real value (the viewing of the movie) was stolen. People don't go to Blockbuster thinking they are going to rent some plastic disc, they go to rent the entertainment that is on the disc.
post #32 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by penchanted View Post

There is no deadlock.

As others have stated, the real value (the viewing of the movie) was stolen. People don't go to Blockbuster thinking they are going to rent some plastic disc, they go to rent the entertainment that is on the disc.

the deadlock was relating to the severity of the crime. stealing is stealing (and I hear you on the daughter aspect, but as a college student those years are a tad ahead of me), but the analogy is a tad more malicious/damaging than I believe it should be.

and I'm not saying they are renting a plastic disk, I'm saying that one person ripping the value is ripping the value of one person watching it, not the value of the DVD.
that's like saying if someone steals a physical DVD, the movie no longer has any value.
post #33 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by federmoose View Post

the deadlock was relating to the severity of the crime. stealing is stealing (and I hear you on the daughter aspect, but as a college student those years are a tad ahead of me), but the analogy is a tad more malicious/damaging than I believe it should be.

and I'm not saying they are renting a plastic disk, I'm saying that one person ripping the value is ripping the value of one person watching it, not the value of the DVD.
that's like saying if someone steals a physical DVD, the movie no longer has any value.

Only that someone who rips the DVD and/or downloads it from bittorrent, can then themselves burn DVDs to give to others (e.g. - Chinese black market), so once again a DVD on disk has no bearing in the argument. That's the point that is trying to be made...the medium the movie is viewed upon is irrelevant to the crime, it's the watching the movie without compensating those who produced it that is the crime.

Once again, I refer you to the extensive movie copyright warning shown before any major studio movie. It clearly states its rights without distinguishing a medium or the relevance of such a medium to the crime's severity.

/
post #34 of 34
Digital downloads usually lack the details of the DVD. Rarely do they come closecaptioned, except when foreign movies are subtitled. This is a snub for those ipdiots whose ears have been blown, not to mention other deaf and hardofhearing folks -- numbers are growing exponentially as ipodiots age.
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