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TV deals causing movies to disappear from iTunes Store

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
Exclusive deals between Hollywood studios and the networks that secure the rights to broadcast their feature films on TV are the reason iTunes shoppers are seeing movies disappear from the service in bunches, according to a new report.

In recent weeks, users of both the iTunes and Netflix digital download services have noticed an increasing number of titles either vanish from the services without explanation or turn up as being marked for removal.

For example, one user reported bookmarking 15 movies for later viewing on iTunes, but when he returned to his bookmark list later on, he noticed that 9 of those flicks were no longer available for purchase or rental. There was also no sign of them anywhere on the store.

For the most part, the releases were fairly new titles, such as Atonement, Charlie Wilsons War, Eastern Promises, and Michael Clayton. Essentially, they're movies that were released in theaters last year, have since made their way to DVD, and are now in line to turn up on pay-per-view and premium television stations.

What's happening, CNet News.com explains in a new report, is that Apple and Netflix are being affected by "release windows," an industry term used to describe a period of time in which the television networks (or other media outlets) purchase the rights to air these movies to their viewers as exclusive network premiers.

"Normally, release windows don't affect retailers or video-rental services after they've begun selling or renting films," the report notes. "Warner Bros. doesn't go into Best Buy and pull DVDs off the shelf when Comcast airs Casablanca. The corner Mom and Pop video store doesn't surrender copies of Gladiator to Universal Studios when the film appears on ABC."

But for whatever reason, Internet movie stores aren't being treated the same as their brick-and-mortar counterparts. They're instead seen by Hollywood as competitors to television networks and are therefor being treated as entertainment companies. The reason? Money.

According to News.com, a huge chunk of the revenues that studios make off their films come after their theater release, in the form of licensing royalties paid by premium cable and pay-per-view channels to air the titles to their viewers.

"If they say they don't want Apple, Netflix or any other Internet retailer selling or renting films inside their window then that's the way it is," two high-level studio execs reportedly told the publication.

And that's the reason why iTunes shoppers are seeing movies pop in and out of the service without explanation.
post #2 of 41
the studios seems to make the same mistake that the music industry made... deja vu all over again!

so it's back to bittorrent, LOL;-) those execs are so stupid and short sighted... to treat itunes like that and favor the networks unfairly... apple and netflix hopefully won't orget that treatment and will treat those studios accordingly the next time they want something!
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post #3 of 41
Hmmm. Sometimes, when I see that a network/channel will be showing a movie I have been interested in seeing, I will go and rent or buy it—especially if I forgot about the title. That way I don't have to see all the commercials.

You'd think that they would want to have the increased interest in their movies—and some money to go along with it. I guess that I will have to go to a brick and mortar store until they get their heads screwed on straight and let me buy it on iTunes, etc. It just better have digital copy included with the DVD version.
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post #4 of 41
These execs just don't get it. They get so blinded by greed and fearful of power that they make these dumb decisions. They only hurt themselves. How many times does it need to be proven that the iTunes model works. People are willing to legally buy movies and music if it is reasonably priced. But if they start messing with things again, people will just go back to illegal downloads.

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post #5 of 41
My favorite online retailer, The Pirate Bay, hasn't removed any movies from my watch list. And they provide them in a DRM free format, even 1080P.

Sheldon
post #6 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by stokessd View Post

My favorite online retailer, The Pirate Bay, hasn't removed any movies from my watch list. And they provide them in a DRM free format, even 1080P.

Sheldon

LOL;_)

mine, mininova.org and isohunt.com, as eztv.it for TV content, all seem to be having "special" deals with the studios and the mpaa;-) LOL...
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post #7 of 41
How many times have you watched a movie on tv and they had cut out 15 to 20 min of the movie to fit in more commercials. That alone is a reason to rent or buy a movie......Or download it. haha
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post #8 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissionGrey View Post

How many times have you watched a movie on tv and they had cut out 15 to 20 min of the movie to fit in more commercials. That alone is a reason to rent or buy a movie......Or download it. haha

15-20min for commercials??? normally they cut and sensor everything that has to do with the humand body and emotions... in our world: sex & love...

in US TV to kill, rape and torture is ok, but to show titts and ass is not... what a twisted world!!!

i'm also amused when americans see europeans beaches, topless women... i/we grew up like that, not having a problem with the humand body... man or women... but americans are pretty weird in that sense ->not all americans, there's quite a few that had "normal" parents... that did teach their kids...

i'm pleasently surpised about showtime and HBO, they have produced a few series and movies that have no problem with naked people and sex... but the networks thnx to the so called parenting organizations are a joke!!!
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post #9 of 41
With this knowledge, the next time I see a movie I might want, I'll just have to buy it right away or it might disappear!

It would be much better if Apple could give you a heads up if a movie on your wish list is about to get wiped.

It's brilliant marketing to make something seem scarce or time-limited. It gets people who may be slow to act snap into action instead. Look at the Barack Obama plates. They say they are going to make 65,000 and then destroy the mold forever. FOREVER! (and that's a mighty long time). If you are too slow, you will not be able to see his "kind eyes and confident smile." KIND EYES!
post #10 of 41
Broadcast TV? Is that old tech still around?
post #11 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post

With this knowledge, the next time I see a movie I might want, I'll just have to buy it right away or it might disappear!

It would be much better if Apple could give you a heads up if a movie on your wish list is about to get wiped.

It's brilliant marketing to make something seem scarce or time-limited. It gets people who may be slow to act snap into action instead. Look at the Barack Obama plates. They say they are going to make 65,000 and then destroy the mold forever. FOREVER! (and that's a mighty long time). If you are too slow, you will not be able to see his "kind eyes and confident smile." KIND EYES!


They used a bad picture of him for those plates, he has a creepy smile in it.


haha, thats one plate for every four thousand five hundred americans.
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post #12 of 41
BAH! The reason I don't have cable or satellite is because I refuse to abide by somebody else's schedule when watching content (PVR notwithstanding). My XBox doesn't tell me I can only play Fable 2 at exactly 8pm on Tuesday. My Matrix DVD doesn't tell me I can only play it at 10pm on Friday. www.slashdot.org doesn't force me to view a particular thread at 9pm on Wednesday night only. None overtly force me to watch ads, though they all do to a certain extent. Hell, even the movie theatre gives me a choice of times to watch the movie, even though I do have to watch ads.

And yet here are the broadcasters telling me that I have to:

1) Pay them a monthly rate.
2) Watch only at the specific times they tell me to (unless I use their PVR).
3) Watch ads.

It's a rip-off of monumental proportions.

Now, these rip-off artists try to take away the content I was viewing somewhere else, in a vain attempt to force me to maintain a cable subscription in addition to what I'm already paying for content?

No thanks. I, and I alone, will decide when I watch. That's why I've bought some DVDs of TV seasons for shows I absolutely want to watch.

GRRR! I'd boycott these clowns if I wasn't already.
post #13 of 41
With only one or so good movie put out a year i.e. Batman, they should be glad the networks even want to show there movies on tv, oh wait most of their shows are even worse.
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post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissionGrey View Post

How many times have you watched a movie on tv and they had cut out 15 to 20 min of the movie to fit in more commercials. That alone is a reason to rent or buy a movie......Or download it. haha

I've even seen some with alternate endings.
post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by tkimage View Post

Hmmm. Sometimes, when I see that a network/channel will be showing a movie I have been interested in seeing, I will go and rent or buy itespecially if I forgot about the title. That way I don't have to see all the commercials.

You'd think that they would want to have the increased interest in their moviesand some money to go along with it. I guess that I will have to go to a brick and mortar store until they get their heads screwed on straight and let me buy it on iTunes, etc. It just better have digital copy included with the DVD version.

I couldn't agree more. I actually subscibe to the HDNet movies RSS feed to see what's coming up on their schedule. It gives me ideas for Netflix.

The way the studios, networks, and music industry treat Apple looks like sour grapes extreme version. Apple handed them a polished and complete distribution network. But they'd rather sell through any other web presence. Amazon having access to so many DRM-free tracks puts the exclamation point behind the music industries fear and resentment of Apple.

Lastly, the funniest part is that they allow Netflix to distribute DVDs that anyone can rip with two clicks at virtually no cost. If I were the studios I'd prefer to distribute with iTunes DRM any day.
post #16 of 41
Please show all your friends how to steal content until these muppets get how to distribute their content digitally in HD for a reasonable price without protection.
post #17 of 41
javaCowboy-

Watching seasons on dvd is great, I watched the first 6 seasons of 24 in a about 3 months. If you have cable or satellite, you should have DVR or tivo, then you can skip all the ads. and watch them when you want too.
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post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by JavaCowboy View Post

BAH! The reason I don't have cable or satellite is because I refuse to abide by somebody else's schedule when watching content (PVR notwithstanding). My XBox doesn't tell me I can only play Fable 2 at exactly 8pm on Tuesday. My Matrix DVD doesn't tell me I can only play it at 10pm on Friday. www.slashdot.org doesn't force me to view a particular thread at 9pm on Wednesday night only. None overtly force me to watch ads, though they all do to a certain extent. Hell, even the movie theatre gives me a choice of times to watch the movie, even though I do have to watch ads.

And yet here are the broadcasters telling me that I have to:

1) Pay them a monthly rate.
2) Watch only at the specific times they tell me to (unless I use their PVR).
3) Watch ads.

It's a rip-off of monumental proportions.

Now, these rip-off artists try to take away the content I was viewing somewhere else, in a vain attempt to force me to maintain a cable subscription in addition to what I'm already paying for content?

No thanks. I, and I alone, will decide when I watch. That's why I've bought some DVDs of TV seasons for shows I absolutely want to watch.

GRRR! I'd boycott these clowns if I wasn't already.

Hearing that people turned off their sat/cable used to be so rare. I hear more and more people saying it all the time now. The only thing I miss out on is ESPN. SAT/Cable should be leaning on their networks to find a way to make movies whole again.

One of the last straws for me with watching stations like TNT is that the ads actually play right during the show. Animated people running across the screen on top of a movie! It's amazing that a network could have so little respect when they actually produce content themselves.

The butchering, the watermarks, the fast microscopic credits roll - it's a joke. SAT/Cable should be leaning on their networks to find a way to make movies whole again.
post #19 of 41
This is quite a stretch of logic on the studio's part. They are assuming that there are so many online purchases/rentals that it would affect the Nielson ratings which in turns affects the price the TV network can charge for ads which affects how much they are willing to pay to get the broadcast rights for the movie which dictates how much the studios make.

There are so many bad assumptions in that chain of logic I don't even know where to begin. I'm sure it makes perfect sense to some accountant someplace, but it utterly fails to take into account the real world that the rest of us live in.
post #20 of 41
why piracy is so prevalent. Why would you make things inconvenient for customers? Who would go to a restaurant that closed from 12:00-2:00 and 6:00-8:00? Rent n Rip happens for this reason.
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post #21 of 41
I think having that much money cuts off the circulation of to the brain. These big time movie companies are acting as incompetent, irrational, and down right stupid as the Big 3 car companies. But, then of course, we'll probably bail them out too when they don't have any money left because people aren't buying their products anymore.

Such a sad state of society we've delved into. Now, while all that is going on, let's go trample someone to death so we can get that 10 percent off on that flat screen tv to replace our perfectly working tv we have at home. Sorry for the facetiousness, but it's gotten really bad in this country.
post #22 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by stokessd View Post

My favorite online retailer, The Pirate Bay, hasn't removed any movies from my watch list. And they provide them in a DRM free format, even 1080P.

Sheldon

post #23 of 41
wow! Hollywood studios are really serving Apple with the short end of the stick here. Not only are most of the new releases on the iTunes store are for purchase only, the same titles are available for rent at competing businesses such as Blockbusters and Netflix. Moreover, with iTunes purchases you cannot lend them to friends, and once you're done you can't sell them on eBay either.
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post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by podpacker View Post

why piracy is so prevalent. Why would you make things inconvenient for customers? Who would go to a restaurant that closed from 12:00-2:00 and 6:00-8:00? Rent n Rip happens for this reason.

Thats what i think as well

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post #25 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by JavaCowboy View Post

BAH! The reason I don't have cable or satellite is because I refuse to abide by somebody else's schedule when watching content (PVR notwithstanding). My XBox doesn't tell me I can only play Fable 2 at exactly 8pm on Tuesday. My Matrix DVD doesn't tell me I can only play it at 10pm on Friday. www.slashdot.org doesn't force me to view a particular thread at 9pm on Wednesday night only. None overtly force me to watch ads, though they all do to a certain extent. Hell, even the movie theatre gives me a choice of times to watch the movie, even though I do have to watch ads.

And yet here are the broadcasters telling me that I have to:

1) Pay them a monthly rate.
2) Watch only at the specific times they tell me to (unless I use their PVR).
3) Watch ads.

It's a rip-off of monumental proportions.

Now, these rip-off artists try to take away the content I was viewing somewhere else, in a vain attempt to force me to maintain a cable subscription in addition to what I'm already paying for content?

No thanks. I, and I alone, will decide when I watch. That's why I've bought some DVDs of TV seasons for shows I absolutely want to watch.

GRRR! I'd boycott these clowns if I wasn't already.

This further motivated me to shut off my directtv. I'm done. I'll get my HD fix somewhere else. I'm so tired of seeing crap on tv. TV shows are easy to find on the internet, i'll just go that route.

 

 

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post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by podpacker View Post

why piracy is so prevalent. Why would you make things inconvenient for customers? Who would go to a restaurant that closed from 12:00-2:00 and 6:00-8:00? Rent n Rip happens for this reason.

And they turn around and try and slap us with lawsuits and fines because of it. Really fair isn't it?

 

 

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post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeonit View Post

LOL;_)

mine, mininova.org and isohunt.com, as eztv.it for TV content, all seem to be having "special" deals with the studios and the mpaa;-) LOL...

Could we not get a ban on dumb asses who like to come here and brag about pirating stuff? And maybe forward their user info to the MPAA in the process...
post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by JavaCowboy View Post

And yet here are the broadcasters telling me that I have to:

1) Pay them a monthly rate.

You mean cable companies, not broadcasters, right?
post #29 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by JavaCowboy View Post

BAH! The reason I don't have cable or satellite is because I refuse to abide by somebody else's schedule when watching content (PVR notwithstanding). My XBox doesn't tell me I can only play Fable 2 at exactly 8pm on Tuesday. My Matrix DVD doesn't tell me I can only play it at 10pm on Friday. www.slashdot.org doesn't force me to view a particular thread at 9pm on Wednesday night only. None overtly force me to watch ads, though they all do to a certain extent. Hell, even the movie theatre gives me a choice of times to watch the movie, even though I do have to watch ads.

And yet here are the broadcasters telling me that I have to:

1) Pay them a monthly rate.
2) Watch only at the specific times they tell me to (unless I use their PVR).
3) Watch ads.

It's a rip-off of monumental proportions.

Now, these rip-off artists try to take away the content I was viewing somewhere else, in a vain attempt to force me to maintain a cable subscription in addition to what I'm already paying for content?

No thanks. I, and I alone, will decide when I watch. That's why I've bought some DVDs of TV seasons for shows I absolutely want to watch.

GRRR! I'd boycott these clowns if I wasn't already.

Really, what are you going on about? This article has pretty much NOTHING to do with the cable/television networks. It's about the studios.

As for your rant about TV, maybe you don't know that 2) and 3) on your list have ALWAYS been a part of television viewing. It's not like something has suddenly fundamentally changed. Further, TV shows AREN'T disappearing from iTunes or Netflix streaming, MOVIES are. So if you prefer to pay Apple $1.99-2.99 an episode, you can still happily do that. Or happily still wait for the DVD.
post #30 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

Could we not get a ban on dumb asses who like to come here and brag about pirating stuff? And maybe forward their user info to the MPAA in the process...

.... on what... pirating tv shows? That is broadcasted over the airwaves? For free?

 

 

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post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by stokessd View Post

My favorite online retailer, The Pirate Bay, hasn't removed any movies from my watch list. And they provide them in a DRM free format, even 1080P.

Sheldon

Exactimo - this pissing about by the big boys sure is a shot in the arm for PB and MN et al. For me, renting is the best way because it is near instant - but ultimately I go where the content is. And buying is out of the question. What would I do with all those dvd's?
post #32 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by emig647 View Post

.... on what... pirating tv shows? That is broadcasted over the airwaves? For free?

This article was about MOVIES not TV SHOWS. Thus it's about pirating MOVIES. And really, I'm sick of the dumb asses here bragging about pirating content (movies or music). Sorry if it offends you that I have an issue with people gleefully admitting they like to steal stuff. And people wonder why the studios are so set on DRM. It's because of dumb asses like that who feel they're entitled to things they haven't paid for.
post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

This article was about MOVIES not TV SHOWS. Thus it's about pirating MOVIES. And really, I'm sick of the dumb asses here bragging about pirating content (movies or music). Sorry if it offends you that I have an issue with people gleefully admitting they like to steal stuff. And people wonder why the studios are so set on DRM. It's because of dumb asses like that who feel they're entitled to things they haven't paid for.

No the article was about movies ON TV as TV showings.

TV... SHOWING MOVIES. OVER AIR WAVES. FOR FREE. i.e. it was a TV STUDIO showing a MOVIE (that disappears from itunes / netflix) OVER AIR.

You can be pissed off all you want, but we're all entitled to free speech. If someone brags about pirating on an open system like pirate bay... odds are they will get caught and have to deal with the consequences. There will always be piracy no matter what. Getting them not to talk about it isn't going to solve the problem of piracy, and therefor won't solve the problem of you being pissed off about piracy.

With that being said, someone who brags about pirating DESERVES to be caught and probably will be some day.

 

 

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post #34 of 41
whoa. bad discussion.
post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by techno View Post

These execs just don't get it. They get so blinded by greed and fearful of power that they make these dumb decisions. They only hurt themselves. How many times does it need to be proven that the iTunes model works. People are willing to legally buy movies and music if it is reasonably priced. But if they start messing with things again, people will just go back to illegal downloads.

Apple TV is only a small portion of users buying movies off iTunes. These execs are making a huge mistake, a lot of people buying these movies want to watch them on their computer or iPod/iPhone. That is not market they can convert to pay per view, just dumb dumb dumb.

& they wonder why they have piracy issues with people downloading off bittorrent. I don't condone it but those who do steal videos off the web justify it by the increasing greed of these execs.
post #36 of 41
Maybe there are laws that could prevent this market to become a monopoly
post #37 of 41
You make a lot of assumptions. I have *never* paid for cable or satellite *ever*. I had it for free in an apartment building that split the cable, but that's it. So when I complain about the state of television, I complain about the way *it's always been*. Paying for TV *and* having to watch ads is ludicrous.

Actually, I would prefer to rent TV shows from Apple for less than what I would pay to buy them, since I intend to watch the show only once. That's what Apple should do, and would make AppleTV actually live up to the name.

Quote:
Originally Posted by caliminius View Post

Really, what are you going on about? This article has pretty much NOTHING to do with the cable/television networks. It's about the studios.

As for your rant about TV, maybe you don't know that 2) and 3) on your list have ALWAYS been a part of television viewing. It's not like something has suddenly fundamentally changed. Further, TV shows AREN'T disappearing from iTunes or Netflix streaming, MOVIES are. So if you prefer to pay Apple $1.99-2.99 an episode, you can still happily do that. Or happily still wait for the DVD.
post #38 of 41
And they/we/everyone wonders why SJ is so emphatic about his content deals. While brick & mortar retailers have a vested interest (in those bricks & mortar) Apple also have a vested interest in their product install base - they're not just selling content for profit.

It does show fear on the part of the incumbents that broadcasters would insist on studios excluding online retailers from distributing the content and the studios are keen to ensure iTunes/netflix don't run away with the market. It reinforces the credibility of the download model. They have nothing to worry about though, the fly in the ointment for the online retailer's market will be ISP capacity capping.

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post #39 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by tkimage View Post

Hmmm. Sometimes, when I see that a network/channel will be showing a movie I have been interested in seeing, I will go and rent or buy itespecially if I forgot about the title. That way I don't have to see all the commercials.

You'd think that they would want to have the increased interest in their moviesand some money to go along with it. I guess that I will have to go to a brick and mortar store until they get their heads screwed on straight and let me buy it on iTunes, etc. It just better have digital copy included with the DVD version.

I don't understand this either. They want to make money from us via the ads on the aired show. So, they prevent themselves from earning money from us via Netflix/iTunes.

They're shooting themselves in the foot here.
post #40 of 41
Sorry cNet.

This has nothing to do with windows or premium channels. This is a negotiation tactic pure and simple.
I went to netflix and viewed my "instant" viewing queue. Out of 49 movies, 22 where scheduled to be removed by Jan 1. That is 45% of a random sample of movies are going to be gone in a couple of weeks. Some of these movies where from 1966 and not exactly in high demand. ie: Dual at Diablo: 1966 or The Hunter: 1980. I doubt that the cable or sat companies want to show these dogs. Channels like Starz or TCM maybe... Nobody I know is willing to sit through commercials to watch these old B rated movies. The advertisers need to understand how the "previous channel" button works. I cancelled my directTV subscription because most of the crap they put on is not worth it. So called hundreds of channels and nothing to watch but informercials. Does it make sense to pay money to be advertised to? Not to me. I much prefer the freedom to choose what I watch and when. I think the broadcast/cable/sat model is doomed anyhow.

A call to the Netflix folks resulted in me being told that the rights to all these movies are set to expire on or about the same date. I asked how the rights to movies negotiated with each individual studio could possibly be set to expire on the same date. I was told that studios issue their licenses for a specified period of time. I assume that the agreement with the various studios all went into affect at the same time. Anything else is fodder for the FTC.

Netflix will have to re-negotiate the licenses and put them back on the servers. This seems like a terrible waste of time. Perhaps companies like Netflix can disable them without actually removing them. I was told that the "Instant" view was wildly popular, and that the industry is scrambling to make sure that they each get their share of the pie. I don't mind somebody getting their fare piece, but greed can be a powerful motivator. Only competition keeps it in check.

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