Disney lone major studio holdout for 4K movies in Apple's iTunes

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited September 2017
A significant gap in Tuesday's announcement of 4K movies coming to iTunes was Disney, normally one of Apple's closest corporate partners.




Most major studios, such as Universal and Warner Bros., are otherwise onboard for the deal, the Wall Street Journal noted. In a coup for Apple, participating firms have agreed to sell 4K movies for the same price as 1080p copies, and upgrade iTunes users' existing libraries at no extra cost.

Disney offers 4K video on other digital platforms such as Vudu, suggesting that the problem isn't with a lack of material, or a push for people to buy Blu-ray discs.

Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs was once in charge of Pixar, which was bought by Disney and turned Jobs into Disney's most powerful individual shareholder. Apple has often highlighted Disney content in marketing, especially in relation to iTunes, and Disney CEO Bob Iger now sits on the Apple board of directors.

One possibility is that negotiations are simply still ongoing, and might even be resolved by the time the Apple TV 4K ships on Sept. 22. The set-top will support 4K and HDR video, and upgrade to an A10X processor like the one used in this year's iPad Pros.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 20
    donsullivandonsullivan Posts: 1unconfirmed, member
    Your statement about Disney offering 4K content on other digital platforms is incredible misleading. To date, Disney has only released one (1) title in 4K (Guardians of the Galaxy 2) from any of their studio brands. All of the other Marvel stuff like Spiderman you see on services like Vudu is not produced by Disney but by other studios like Sony Pictures who acquired the movie rights to those characters before Disney acquired Marvel. It would not make sense to have Disney as a marquee partner for AppleTv 4K and then they only have one title.
    Rayz2016uraharasupadav03bloggerbloglollivercalijony0
  • Reply 2 of 20
    I doubt they are still negotiating. What would they say? Apple: Same price. Disney: No. Apple: Yes. Disney: No. And so on. But I guess now that others are doing it for the same price as HD, Disney won't risk looking greedy with higher prices. It actually doesn't cost the studios more because they've already shot the film, it's just a matter of processing 1 file per movie into the appropriate format, it actually costs Apple more because it's their servers that will host these larger files.
    CURRENT_YEARBERGlolliver
  • Reply 3 of 20
    Pretty awesome that people get a free upgrade to 4K from there original purchased videos on the iTunes Store, but with sites like VUDU selling them for $29.99 for the higher resolution, hopefully Apple gets this fixed so both don't charge for the higher quality which is total BS.If not other sites are going to loose business as people go with Apple instead. It doesn't matter how much it costs, Apple sure can afford it.
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 4 of 20
    Disney doesn't have much 4K content. Right now it's just Guardians of the Galaxy 2 with Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Men Tell No Tales next up. So I don't find Disney holding out as an issue right now. I do expect them to come on board eventually. Disney's a little slow with 4K. As it is you can't even buy 4K movies via thier movie club, you have to
    go to 3rd party retailers. 

    Edit: They added Guardians 4K to the movie club but still don't offer Pirates 
  • Reply 5 of 20
    Pretty awesome that people get a free upgrade to 4K from there original purchased videos on the iTunes Store, but with sites like VUDU selling them for $29.99 for the higher resolution, hopefully Apple gets this fixed so both don't charge for the higher quality which is total BS.If not other sites are going to loose business as people go with Apple instead. It doesn't matter how much it costs, Apple sure can afford it.

    It's not "free". 

    Apple's 4K device is double what the competition charges (Roku and Amazon 4K). So, Apple basically cooked the 4K content cost differential into the price of the unit.

    In fact, if you think about it, Apple not lowering the price of the last gen Apple TV means they are also shifting the 4K differential cost onto the folks who aren't even buying a 4K box (because that price should have been lowered to about $120).

    edited September 2017
  • Reply 6 of 20
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 1,719member
    Disney is going to be offering their own streaming service. So I wonder if this is just part of that. Even if most of their movies currently out there are not in 4K format, that doesn't mean that they couldn't be, just that Disney didn't want to release them in 4K. Even Original FILM is in a much higher resolution then 4K.
    Mcnaugha2
  • Reply 7 of 20
    Haven't we been hearing how soon Disney's own (DOA) streaming service is going to be the only way to watch Disney content? Obviously this is yet another poor decision in their utterly doomed attempt to not share revenue with anyone.
    jbdragonMcnaugha2
  • Reply 8 of 20
    wigbywigby Posts: 668member
    simply258 said:
    I doubt they are still negotiating. What would they say? Apple: Same price. Disney: No. Apple: Yes. Disney: No. And so on. But I guess now that others are doing it for the same price as HD, Disney won't risk looking greedy with higher prices. It actually doesn't cost the studios more because they've already shot the film, it's just a matter of processing 1 file per movie into the appropriate format, it actually costs Apple more because it's their servers that will host these larger files.
    It doesn't cost the studios more according to you to go to 4K with no price increase but it does cost them. They build these price increases into future revenue earnings years in advance. To have Apple come along and negotiate them out of those revenue increases is the same as losing money to them. We will see if the shareholders notice this little speed bump in their earnings calls.
    gatorguy
  • Reply 9 of 20
    smaffei said:
    Pretty awesome that people get a free upgrade to 4K from there original purchased videos on the iTunes Store, but with sites like VUDU selling them for $29.99 for the higher resolution, hopefully Apple gets this fixed so both don't charge for the higher quality which is total BS.If not other sites are going to loose business as people go with Apple instead. It doesn't matter how much it costs, Apple sure can afford it.

    It's not "free". 

    Apple's 4K device is double what the competition charges (Roku and Amazon 4K). So, Apple basically cooked the 4K content cost differential into the price of the unit.

    In fact, if you think about it, Apple not lowering the price of the last gen Apple TV means they are also shifting the 4K differential cost onto the folks who aren't even buying a 4K box (because that price should have been lowered to about $120).

    Well, Apple is in the business of selling hardware. Although they're always under criticism for grabbing at money, Apple is actually doing something interesting here. Content providers have a long history of re-selling their content by upgrading the playback quality. Who among us hasn't bought multiple copies of favorite albums or movies, etc, just to get the better format? When we were buying physical media, that made sense, because some sort of free upgrade would have involved returning physical copies or other means of proving ownership. Now, if you've already bought a digital license to "own" music or a film, Apple knows it, so why would they need to charge you extra just to redirect a link to a higher-bitrate file? Answer: they don't. They could do that and get away with it, but they've chosen not to.  ITunes Match let you access higher-quality versions of songs you owned at no extra charge, so it's not that surprising that they can do the same with 4K video media. Hopefully this will have a positive effect on adoption of 4K. The barrier to buying 4K TVs, ATVs, etc., is limited content. By making much of your existing content 4K, that barrier is removed. Apple is in the business of selling hardware.

    Meanwhile, your cable company is still probably charging you extra for HD. What's surprising is that your cable company isn't also charging a fee to enjoy your content in glorious color.
  • Reply 10 of 20
    Exactly and owning your own hardware helps you from paying that extra bigger price, even from your cable company to make that bill lower and still give you everything.
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 11 of 20
    supadav03 said:
    Disney doesn't have much 4K content. Right now it's just Guardians of the Galaxy 2 with Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Men Tell No Tales next up. So I don't find Disney holding out as an issue right now. I do expect them to come on board eventually. Disney's a little slow with 4K. As it is you can't even buy 4K movies via thier movie club, you have to
    go to 3rd party retailers. 

    Edit: They added Guardians 4K to the movie club but still don't offer Pirates 

    VUDU is probably there best retailer aside from Apple, they even give you the option to setup a Disney Anywhere link that shows those movies right on your iTunes account to view on your Apple TV, iPhone and iPad and along with giving you points for every Disney movie you purchase to give you points that you can use towards the purchase of movies.And now that VUDU is now available on the Apple TV it is now a Win! .


    edited September 2017
  • Reply 12 of 20
    AppleZulu said:
    Well, Apple is in the business of selling hardware. Although they're always under criticism for grabbing at money, Apple is actually doing something interesting here. Content providers have a long history of re-selling their content by upgrading the playback quality. Who among us hasn't bought multiple copies of favorite albums or movies, etc, just to get the better format? When we were buying physical media, that made sense, because some sort of free upgrade would have involved returning physical copies or other means of proving ownership. Now, if you've already bought a digital license to "own" music or a film, Apple knows it, so why would they need to charge you extra just to redirect a link to a higher-bitrate file? Answer: they don't. They could do that and get away with it, but they've chosen not to.  ITunes Match let you access higher-quality versions of songs you owned at no extra charge, so it's not that surprising that they can do the same with 4K video media. Hopefully this will have a positive effect on adoption of 4K. The barrier to buying 4K TVs, ATVs, etc., is limited content. By making much of your existing content 4K, that barrier is removed. Apple is in the business of selling hardware.

    Meanwhile, your cable company is still probably charging you extra for HD. What's surprising is that your cable company isn't also charging a fee to enjoy your content in glorious color.
    Oh, I'm buying the Apple TV. I want the 4K and I'm fine with the pricing.

    I just take issue with the use of the word "free." It's shady.
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 13 of 20
    smaffei said:
    AppleZulu said:
    Well, Apple is in the business of selling hardware. Although they're always under criticism for grabbing at money, Apple is actually doing something interesting here. Content providers have a long history of re-selling their content by upgrading the playback quality. Who among us hasn't bought multiple copies of favorite albums or movies, etc, just to get the better format? When we were buying physical media, that made sense, because some sort of free upgrade would have involved returning physical copies or other means of proving ownership. Now, if you've already bought a digital license to "own" music or a film, Apple knows it, so why would they need to charge you extra just to redirect a link to a higher-bitrate file? Answer: they don't. They could do that and get away with it, but they've chosen not to.  ITunes Match let you access higher-quality versions of songs you owned at no extra charge, so it's not that surprising that they can do the same with 4K video media. Hopefully this will have a positive effect on adoption of 4K. The barrier to buying 4K TVs, ATVs, etc., is limited content. By making much of your existing content 4K, that barrier is removed. Apple is in the business of selling hardware.

    Meanwhile, your cable company is still probably charging you extra for HD. What's surprising is that your cable company isn't also charging a fee to enjoy your content in glorious color.
    Oh, I'm buying the Apple TV. I want the 4K and I'm fine with the pricing.

    I just take issue with the use of the word "free." It's shady.
    How is it shady? The new Apple TV 64 gig is the same price as the 4th generation model. 
    lollivercali
  • Reply 14 of 20
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 5,990member
    smaffei said:
    AppleZulu said:
    Well, Apple is in the business of selling hardware. Although they're always under criticism for grabbing at money, Apple is actually doing something interesting here. Content providers have a long history of re-selling their content by upgrading the playback quality. Who among us hasn't bought multiple copies of favorite albums or movies, etc, just to get the better format? When we were buying physical media, that made sense, because some sort of free upgrade would have involved returning physical copies or other means of proving ownership. Now, if you've already bought a digital license to "own" music or a film, Apple knows it, so why would they need to charge you extra just to redirect a link to a higher-bitrate file? Answer: they don't. They could do that and get away with it, but they've chosen not to.  ITunes Match let you access higher-quality versions of songs you owned at no extra charge, so it's not that surprising that they can do the same with 4K video media. Hopefully this will have a positive effect on adoption of 4K. The barrier to buying 4K TVs, ATVs, etc., is limited content. By making much of your existing content 4K, that barrier is removed. Apple is in the business of selling hardware.

    Meanwhile, your cable company is still probably charging you extra for HD. What's surprising is that your cable company isn't also charging a fee to enjoy your content in glorious color.
    Oh, I'm buying the Apple TV. I want the 4K and I'm fine with the pricing.

    I just take issue with the use of the word "free." It's shady.
    Of course it's shady. Anything advertised as 'free' is a damned lie. Nothing is free. You pay for everything one way or the other. OTA television is 'free' too but you pay for it by being forced to watch more advertising than content.
  • Reply 15 of 20
    It's literally NOTHING for a studio to offer 4k content in iTunes. 

    Apple does all the hosting and delivery. 

    A studio simply sends apple a file. Once. Then the money rolls in. 

    Many holdup must be viewed as the ridiculous greed/power play it is. 

    A consumer pays pays more for the tv to view 4k. Then they pay again for a device or service capable of 4k. They shouldn't have to then pay even more for every little thing they want to see. It's not costing the studio any more. 
  • Reply 16 of 20
    supadav03 said:
    Disney doesn't have much 4K content. Right now it's just Guardians of the Galaxy 2 with Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Men Tell No Tales next up. So I don't find Disney holding out as an issue right now. I do expect them to come on board eventually. Disney's a little slow with 4K. As it is you can't even buy 4K movies via thier movie club, you have to
    go to 3rd party retailers. 

    Edit: They added Guardians 4K to the movie club but still don't offer Pirates 

    VUDU is probably there best retailer aside from Apple, they even give you the option to setup a Disney Anywhere link that shows those movies right on your iTunes account to view on your Apple TV, iPhone and iPad and along with giving you points for every Disney movie you purchase to give you points that you can use towards the purchase of movies.And now that VUDU is now available on the Apple TV it is now a Win! .


    You can link your Disney Movie Anywhere account to iTunes, Vudu, Amazon Video, Google Play Movies & Microsoft movies. I actually have my library shared across all those services. 
    bruckheimer
  • Reply 17 of 20
    The solution is quite simple: consumers, unite. Total boycott to Disney products. That will fix it overnight. End of problem. Move ahead.
  • Reply 18 of 20
    calicali Posts: 3,495member
    smaffei said:
    Pretty awesome that people get a free upgrade to 4K from there original purchased videos on the iTunes Store, but with sites like VUDU selling them for $29.99 for the higher resolution, hopefully Apple gets this fixed so both don't charge for the higher quality which is total BS.If not other sites are going to loose business as people go with Apple instead. It doesn't matter how much it costs, Apple sure can afford it.

    It's not "free". 

    Apple's 4K device is double what the competition charges (Roku and Amazon 4K). So, Apple basically cooked the 4K content cost differential into the price of the unit.

    In fact, if you think about it, Apple not lowering the price of the last gen Apple TV means they are also shifting the 4K differential cost onto the folks who aren't even buying a 4K box (because that price should have been lowered to about $120).

    Apple didn't raise the price and no way in hell my 250+ movie collection is "baked" into the Apple TV price. Lmao this is comedy.

    With Apple having their own GPU team don't be surprised if they start releasing Apple TVs more often.
    to keep these boxes relevant and from being taken over by smart TVs they will need to innovate and cater to gamers who drop $500 easily on consoles.
    I believe the next big thing is intergration that top iPhone X camera bar into a device that sits in front of the TV or in the remote allowing people to shop for glasses, play games, play with AR etc. a hit for kids.
    I believe a $199 Apple TV is way too cheap. I would have loved a $250 version with a custom gaming chip and better remote.
    edited September 2017
  • Reply 19 of 20
    jbdragon said:
    Disney is going to be offering their own streaming service. So I wonder if this is just part of that. Even if most of their movies currently out there are not in 4K format, that doesn't mean that they couldn't be, just that Disney didn't want to release them in 4K. Even Original FILM is in a much higher resolution then 4K.
    Ding, ding, ding, jackpot! The one and only reason this is happening. Roger wrote AppleInsider's own article noting this. It's like it completely went out of his head when he wrote this article.
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