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Apple launches iTunes movie store in Germany

post #1 of 30
Thread Starter 
Apple announced Thursday that movies from five major film studios and a handful of independent movie production houses are now available for rent or purchase on the iTunes Store in Germany.

The service debut includes over 500 Hollywood and German films -- including 100 HD titles -- from major studios including Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Pictures, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM), The Walt Disney Studios, Sony Pictures Television and independents Universum and Shorts International.

Some of the popular flicks included with service launch include Quantum Of Solace, The Dark Knight, Pineapple Express, High School Musical 3: Senior Year, Eagle Eye, Die Fälscher, Keinohrhasen and Aimee & Jaguar.

Individual titles start at 7.99 for catalog purchases, 9.99 for recent releases and 13.99 for new releases. Rentals are priced 2.99 for library title rentals and 3.99 for new releases, and high definition versions are priced at just one euro more.

With iTunes Movie Rentals, once a movie is rented, it starts downloading from the iTunes Store directly to iTunes or Apple TV, and users with a fast Internet connection should be able to start viewing the movie in seconds, Apple says.

Customers have up to 30 days to start watching it, and once a movie has been started customers have 48 hours to finish it -- or watch it multiple times.
post #2 of 30
Next up, Denmark!
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post #3 of 30
Is it still only 24 hours in the US?
WHY (whine)??
post #4 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

and once a movie has been started customers have 48 hours to finish it -- or watch it multiple times.

why do they get 48 hours once they begin watching? US only gets 24 hours, right?
post #5 of 30
If iTunes had a few thousand recent movies available for rent it would become the dominant movie rental site to millions of people and atv sales would rocket. As it is, much as I'd like to use the service, its like walking into a really really sub-par corner store with a few movies for sale / rent.
post #6 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

If iTunes had a few thousand recent movies available for rent it would become the dominant movie rental site to millions of people and atv sales would rocket. As it is, much as I'd like to use the service, its like walking into a really really sub-par corner store with a few movies for sale / rent.

And most of the movies IMO are pretty crappy too. Hardly anything prior to 1980 and barely anything non-English speaking. They need to beef up the catalogue.
post #7 of 30
Yes, the catalog definitely needs to grow, but I am sure it will. The initial selection here in Germany is not that bad, and the pricing is pretty much in line with other VOD services and these do not offer 720p HD. Most titles are also a bit cheaper than the equivalent DVDs from Amazon, and quite a few are multi-lingual (German and English). That's good. I do not care for extras (I know that actor X enjoyed working with director Y, how else would he have met his wife), just the lack of subtitles is a bit annoying. I bought two movies so far, both bi-lingual, both DD 5.1 and the quality is good on a 52" LCD (I do use a 1080p scaler between the AppleTV and the TV though). A good start.
post #8 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

If iTunes had a few thousand recent movies available for rent it would become the dominant movie rental site to millions of people and atv sales would rocket. As it is, much as I'd like to use the service, its like walking into a really really sub-par corner store with a few movies for sale / rent.

I've been toying with the idea of buying an Apple TV and using iTunes instead of cable for ages now, but price and catalogue is what always stops me. The rentals are cheap enough but (as you say) there is no selection.

The price of purchasing a movie in iTunes is still over-the-top ridiculous however.

My biggest critique overall is that they don't realise the value of back catalogue items in either the rental or purchase models and they don't price them accordingly. It's like going to blockbuster and finding that all they have are brand new movies and everything is priced at the same (premium) prices. Sometimes you want only want to rent (or buy) some old piece of crap movie, and sometimes you only want to spend a few bucks and aren't really interested in the latest action packed whatever with the big stars.
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post #9 of 30
Apparently, they have the 0.99 rental of the week, as well.
post #10 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

I've been toying with the idea of buying an Apple TV and using iTunes instead of cable for ages now, but price and catalogue is what always stops me. The rentals are cheap enough but (as you say) there is no selection.

The price of purchasing a movie in iTunes is still over-the-top ridiculous however.

My biggest critique overall is that they don't realise the value of back catalogue items in either the rental or purchase models and they don't price them accordingly. It's like going to blockbuster and finding that all they have are brand new movies and everything is priced at the same (premium) prices. Sometimes you want only want to rent (or buy) some old piece of crap movie, and sometimes you only want to spend a few bucks and aren't really interested in the latest action packed whatever with the big stars.

Agree. personally I would never buy a movie except for kiddie ones, but they should have a huge back catalog for rent and / or sale. Like all the 40's and 50's b&w gems. Hard to find collectors items for cheap to rent prices. Ditto all those great early technicolor 60's movies and the great classics from the 70's. Etc etc. By having a strong back catalog of oldies the movie section might build a larger user base and the whole thing might slowly gain traction. As it is I keep thinking there is something I am missing - I mean - where the hell are the movies? I still haven't figured out how I can see all the rental movies at once. It is difficult to navigate.

In terms of number of titles available I have to give Apple the benefit of the doubt, however. I am sure it is not for the lack of want the selection is so paltry. Anybody who sets up a video rental service must know that their business will live and die by the content they offer and Apple must be painfully aware of how limited their service is.
post #11 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by T'hain Esh Kelch View Post

Next up, Denmark!

Hmm, is it legal for Apple to withhold movies for the rest of EU?

The free movement of goods and services is one the fundamentals of EU.

Anyone with knowledge of EU law?

Best,

Daniel

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post #12 of 30
I'm not sure I'd find this newsworthy...
post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel B View Post

Hmm, is it legal for Apple to withhold movies for the rest of EU?

The free movement of goods and services is one the fundamentals of EU.

Anyone with knowledge of EU law?

Best,

Daniel

A shop doesn't have to have a branch in every country, and I don't think there's any GPS tagging on the movies that will cause them to combust if you leave Germany. Should be fine.

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post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel B View Post

Hmm, is it legal for Apple to withhold movies for the rest of EU?
The free movement of goods and services is one the fundamentals of EU.

Well, this will be sorted out at some point... so far the movie industry is licensing movies for every single member country and release days on video and/or for rent follow different patterns, as they monetize differently in different countries (e.g. in some countries some PayTV channels have a period of exclusive time between the cinema and the video phase, etc.). The EU has started to question that model (as it did with the different pricing for music). But it might be years before there is any change.

For the time being, you can go to Germany and buy any DVD and move it around freely. You can also buy an iTunes card, open an account with iTunes Germany and download what you like (it will still work elsewhere), but Apple can not officially allow you to buy/rent anything if you are not having a German iTunes account. Of course you can buy some German iTunes Store cards off e.g. eBay, pick a German name and address from the phone book and shop from where you are... it is not illegal to do that, just a violation of terms. Thousands of Germans have US iTunes accounts and we have been buying movies and TV shows from there all the time and I do not know a single case in which Apple has investigated :-)
post #15 of 30
ARGGGGGGHHHHH! When the F**K is Apple going to launch the iTunes "music" store in Singapore?

No wonder Asians download illegally when they cant get it legally.........
post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by grayum View Post

ARGGGGGGHHHHH! When the F**K is Apple going to launch the iTunes "music" store in Singapore?

No wonder Asians download illegally when they cant get it legally.........

Aren't you risking getting 'caned' even for faking a profanity in Singapore?

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post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel B View Post

Hmm, is it legal for Apple to withhold movies for the rest of EU?

In the US, content owners have a right to release their content where and when they choose. I mention this as it seems a good deal of the content is Hollywood-based. Apple is not the content owner, they just a distributor and therefore are not allowed to release any movie they wish in any country they wish simply because it's available in one iTunes Store catalogue or because it is technically possible to buy the DVD and upload it to the iTunes Store.
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post #18 of 30
Would be nice to have it also in the Netherlands...
post #19 of 30
Thank God Keinohrhasen is in there. I couldn't live without that!

post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by syb03 View Post

Would be nice to have it also in the Netherlands...


Exactly! I have to use an American account to rent movies. It works fine for me. But for people whom's English isn't as good, it is hard to watch the movies without subtitles. I wonder whether the movies in Germany (in iTunes) have subtitles.

The more this service expands the more people will 'need' iPods and Apple TV's.
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post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacShack View Post

Exactly! I have to use an American account to rent movies. It works fine for me. But for people whom's English isn't as good, it is hard to watch the movies without subtitles. I wonder whether the movies in Germany (in iTunes) have subtitles.

The more this service expands the more people will 'need' iPods and Apple TV's.

I'm surprised that video works with a non-US IP address. Though music works fine across IP addresses so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised.

I wish I could figure out how to get the BBC's iPlayer working outside the US. As it stands now, I just torrent my UK shows. Can't wait for the next series of Top Gear.
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post #22 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowley View Post

A shop doesn't have to have a branch in every country, and I don't think there's any GPS tagging on the movies that will cause them to combust if you leave Germany. Should be fine.

You are talking out of your culo. It's a digital product, sold in an online store.

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post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacShack View Post

I wonder whether the movies in Germany (in iTunes) have subtitles.

Sorry, no subtitles so far.

Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism

I'm surprised that video works with a non-US IP address. Though music works fine across IP addresses so I guess I shouldn't be too surprised.

I wish I could figure out how to get the BBC's iPlayer working outside the US. As it stands now, I just torrent my UK shows. Can't wait for the next series of Top Gear.

The IP addresses are not checked, because selling to a US citizen residing outside the US (business people, soldiers, travelers) has to and is allowed to work.

It seems the only way to beat BBC's iPlayer is to have somebody in the UK set up a private proxy for you, as they block all known proxies.
post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel B View Post

You are talking out of your culo. It's a digital product, sold in an online store.

And this fact does not change a thing.

An online store too can be targeted at only a specific country --either by requiring a credit card of said country or by blocking IP ranges. This is essentialy the same as having a local store.

A technological abillity (that you can sell to everyone in the world) IS NOT a necessity by law (that you are required to do so).
post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel B View Post

Hmm, is it legal for Apple to withhold movies for the rest of EU?

The free movement of goods and services is one the fundamentals of EU.

Anyone with knowledge of EU law?

Best,

Daniel

No store is obliged to provide service over the whole of Europe, just like the corner shop doesn't have to provide service in a town 20km away. Any business can have terms and conditions that limit their area of delivery to a certain geographic area, and as such Apple is no different. I cant subscribe to BBC TV here in Germany as another example.

The free moverment of goods and services means theat a company *may* offer its services wherever it wants int he EU, and local government can not (generally) prohibit a legal service.

So in a nut shell, Apple *could* offer their service EU wide, but are *not* obliged to.

Distribution rights is another bucket of poo poo.
post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ogee View Post

No store is obliged to provide service over the whole of Europe, just like the corner shop doesn't have to provide service in a town 20km away. Any business can have terms and conditions that limit their area of delivery to a certain geographic area, and as such Apple is no different.

It is not that simple. It also means, that no store can refuse to provide service to a citizen of a member country, and it also means that you can resell goods in any member country. You do not have to ship outside of a freely chosen area, but with digital delivery there is no shipment. Basically the country-specific iTunes Stores (and other online media stores) are operating in a grey zone right now, and the EU has to somehow balance the grandfather rights (and stubbornness) of the record and music industries with todays missing borders... And the reality makes this situation downright absurd... When I am in Germany, I order most Blu-Ray disks from Amazon UK, as new releases are on average 8-10 EUR cheaper than from Amazon Germany, but the very same movie industry is not allowing Apple to sell the very same movie in more than one country.
post #27 of 30
Won't the Germans be disappointed when they learn that none of the movies offered feature David Hasselhoff? Because those Germans love David Hasselhoff.
post #28 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel B View Post

Hmm, is it legal for Apple to withhold movies for the rest of EU?

The free movement of goods and services is one the fundamentals of EU.

Anyone with knowledge of EU law?

Best,

Daniel

A long time ago the French negotiated an exception for films and other such issues from the general free movement of goods to protect their culture from being overrun by Anglo Saxon dominance. It has never been repealed.
post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Aren't you risking getting 'caned' even for faking a profanity in Singapore?

haha, SpamSandwich. Lets make it worth their while - "FUCK"!
post #30 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

Won't the Germans be disappointed when they learn that none of the movies offered feature David Hasselhoff? Because those Germans love David Hasselhoff.

Well, it's not all lost, actually! iTunes Germany has:
- 4 David Hasselhoff albums
- The Knight Rider Podcast
- The "Jump in my car" music video
- The movies "Click", "Anaconda 3: Offspring" and the "Sponge Bob SquarePants Movie"

Enough from an individual that has one facial expression and can hit one note, or? Going by the charts, the original language version of "Chappelle's Show Uncensored" seems to be doing better than all of those, so there might be hope.
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