iTunes movies sold at loss; MBP display stripes; Microsoft and Yahoo

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
Apple is allegedly taking a hit on each iTunes movie sale to spur permanent downloads. Also, owners of recent MacBook Pros are suffering from vertical display stripes on their displays' backlights, Microsoft and Yahoo may be closing in on a merger deal, and Apple has issued two iPod updates.



Report: Apple taking loss on each iTunes movie



Apple's decision to offer movies through the iTunes Store on the same day as DVD releases came at a price, the Wall Street Journal claims.



Although the prices of movies will remain the same, the asking amount reportedly drops below the wholesale cost. A new release movie bought for $15 costs the iPod maker roughly $16, the newspaper says while pointing to an anonymous person as the source.



Apple is believed to be making the move partly out of frustration with the lackluster performance of its video service, which is considered the market leader but has failed to gain acceptance as quickly as its music counterpart.



Other video download stores and media devices, including Blockbuster-owned Movielink and Vudu's set-top box service, have also had an advantage by offering their downloads at the same time as physical copies, while Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple has at times been forced to wait as much as a month before it can sell a video title.



MacBook Pros plagued with backlight "stripe" issues



Owners of Apple's current-generation MacBook Pro models are encountering an intermittent problem with the backlighting on their devices, according to numerous reports in the company's discussion forums.



Users report an intermittent issue in which alternating vertical elements of the LED backlighting on the displays fail to activate after waking from sleep, creating a "stripe" effect of light and dark on the screen.



Most owners describe being able to resolve the problem until a later session by sleeping and then re-waking the system, while others note that the problem can be triggered by attaching or removing the power connector.



Apple technicians appear to be unaware of a widespread issue and are repairing systems on a case-by-case basis.



Microsoft, Yahoo said close to merger deal



After three months at an impasse, Microsoft and Yahoo today are rumored to be moving forward on discussions that would fold Yahoo into Microsoft.



The Windows creator is purportedly conceding to Yahoo in place of launching a hostile takeover attempt and will raise its offer by "several dollars" per share to placate the search engine developer's board of directors, which has been determined to either remain independent or else increase the value of the deal.



Nothing is certain, and talks may fall apart if the two companies are unable to reach an agreement, the New York Times alleges.



Microsoft has argued since announcing its plans that the buyout is necessary to combat Google's supremacy in online search and web advertising, which currently leaves Microsoft and Yahoo well behind in marketshare.



Apple currently has multiple deals in place with Yahoo, including Flickr access through the Apple TV as well as search and weather features on the iPhone and iPod touch.



Apple issues iPod classic, iPod Reset Utility updates



Two iPod-related updates have concluded Apple's week.



iPod classic firmware version 1.1.2 is available through iTunes and includes unspecified "bug fixes" for the hard drive-based media player.



Meanwhile, Windows users have been given iPod Reset Utility 1.0.4 (4.9MB), an update to software that restores any generation of iPod shuffle to factory defaults when iTunes is unable to do so itself.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 47
    bsenkabsenka Posts: 799member
    If $16 is the COST price that the movie studios are charging for a lower quality digital file with no special features, they can kiss what's left of their business goodbye. Bitttorrent is looking better and better every day.
  • Reply 2 of 47
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsenka View Post


    If $16 is the COST price that the movie studios are charging for a lower quality digital file with no special features, they can kiss what's left of their business goodbye. Bitttorrent is looking better and better every day.



    I can't believe they are charging that much. I figured Apple had to buckle more than it's used to get the movie deal off the ground but that seems excessive.
  • Reply 3 of 47
    eaieai Posts: 417member
    The movie studios are digging their own grave here. They'll eventually realise it, but every day they don't, their customers are downloading their movies from other places for free.



    As for the backlights, Apple seem to have a general issue with their displays. They frequently seem to have problems with them in various forms...
  • Reply 4 of 47
    bobertoqbobertoq Posts: 172member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bsenka View Post


    If $16 is the COST price that the movie studios are charging for a lower quality digital file with no special features, they can kiss what's left of their business goodbye. Bitttorrent is looking better and better every day.



    aren't torrents illegal?
  • Reply 5 of 47
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bobertoq View Post


    aren't torrents illegal?



    Torrents aren't illegal, but sending copyrighted material via bit torrents without proper authorization is. Legal or not, I think Apple has shown that the best way to fight digital piracy is to offer a streamlined soltuion for selling digital media instead of trying to scare the illegal downloaders and uploaders into submission.
  • Reply 6 of 47
    ktappektappe Posts: 759member
    The iPod update is not just for iPod classic. iTunes downloaded and installed the 1.1.2 update last night on my 3rd gen. iPod Nano. The installer warned any rented movies had to be copied off of it first or they would be lost. Not much info on what changed. It seemed to work the same today.
  • Reply 7 of 47
    irelandireland Posts: 17,547member
    A loss? Pull the other one.
  • Reply 8 of 47
    anantksundaramanantksundaram Posts: 19,047member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by eAi View Post


    The movie studios are digging their own grave here. They'll eventually realise it, but every day they don't, their customers are downloading their movies from other places for free.



    I wonder, is Disney (of which Jobs is the largest shareholder) doing this too?
  • Reply 9 of 47
    petermacpetermac Posts: 115member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple is allegedly taking a hit on each iTunes movie sale to spur permanent downloads.



    Report: Apple taking loss on each iTunes movie



    Apple's decision to offer movies through the iTunes Store on the same day as DVD releases came at a price, the Wall Street Journal claims.



    [ View this article at AppleInsider.com ][/url][/c]



    Maybe the studios have a tiered pricing model for new releases versus older movies, also the scale (volume) of Apple's movie sales could turn that loss into a small margin.

    But, I definitely agree with others here and elsewhere, its gotta be 720p and less than regular DVD media, because we all know its cheaper to deliver digital content versus actual media. So, although Apple reportedly losses $1.01 on every new release sale, its not a better deal than buying the actual DVD. The movie studios are trying to artificially restrict Apple's ability to make a success out of this and are simply digging their own graves right on top of the music industry.



    I actually wonder if the market is so happy with the iTunes model, they are just waiting for the players to sort themselves out.



    Here in Australia where data downloads are counted and most ISP plans are capped at 600Mb - 20GB, movie downloads will never take off. For example my plan prices data at $AUD 8.00 per Gb. So I'll just buy the DVD.



    BTW, BluRay titles here are upwards of $40 - so BR wont go anywhere until the media prices come down to approach or match DVD.



    My partial loss explanation, is that Apple is selling the current releases for $1 below cost, but I feel sure that all other titles achieve some modest profit thereby retaining iTunes stated goal of operating at near cost or small profit.
  • Reply 10 of 47
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by petermac View Post


    The movie studios are trying to artificially restrict Apple's ability to make a success out of this and are simply digging their own graves right on top of the music industry.



    I don't think they are digging their own grave. As a strategy, I think the movie studios are fending off Apple quite well. I think they have been keeping Apple in a rare position where they need the studios more than the studios need them. I also think they will offer Apple more options once there are more widespread competitors to the the AppleTV/iTunes Store megalith so they can keep these companies fighting for dominance that result in paying the studios higher fees for better service (e.g.: more movies and first run movies before other online distributers).
  • Reply 11 of 47
    eaieai Posts: 417member
    I guess the studios could be trying to play with the market to avoid letting Apple get a major market share. They can charge Apple more, other companies less and then see what happens.
  • Reply 12 of 47
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 30,837member
    Hmm... WSJ sees things a little differently...



    Quote:

    Microsoft, Yahoo Try to Make Nice

    BY KEVIN J. DELANEY, MATTHEW KARNITSCHNIG AND ROBERT A. GUTH

    Word Count: 827 | Companies Featured in This Article: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google

    Talks between Microsoft Corp. and Yahoo Inc. intensified Friday as the two sides explored the possibility of a last-ditch friendly deal with a sweetened Microsoft offer, according to people familiar with the matter.



    Though the talks had intensified, a deal was not imminent and the people familiar with the matter said an agreement was not likely on Friday. The people cautioned that the talks could fail to produce an accord, as have previous attempts to reach a deal. Microsoft and Yahoo were Friday discussing a possible price in the mid-$30s range per share, the people said.



  • Reply 13 of 47
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    The problem with move sales is not the price, it's "files."



    People are still confused as to what you're supposed to do with them, how you manage them and use them. Apple needs to do their magic to help people understand here. Time Machine and Apple TV are part of it but there's still some simple concept missing that's needed.
  • Reply 14 of 47
    pg4gpg4g Posts: 383member
    Either way, the movie companies are being pathetically greedy over this thing.



    If a competitor to iTunes comes along, good on them, offer them a similar deal, and let the two fight it out.



    In the meantime, in what seems to be the Studio's attempts to restrict iTunes from market dominance, they are shooting themselves in the foot.



    We know: iTunes doesn't give as much money back to the studios as DVD's

    We know: iTunes isn't as profitable for anyone



    But we know: iTunes allows people to view stuff that they otherwise wouldn't, and I know I buy more from iTunes because of the lower price, so that makes up for it anyway.



    But this is just ridiculous. Movie studios see no point in Digital downloads. How sad is that! Its the way of the future, and the studios are stuck on the biggest buck for their bang philosophy. It doesn't work like that... Either include extras for the customers like they do on DVD's, or pull their big fat heads in and deflate their egos over what they think is reasonable pricing!
  • Reply 15 of 47
    petermacpetermac Posts: 115member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    I don't think they are digging their own grave. As a strategy, I think the movie studios are fending off Apple quite well. I think they have been keeping Apple in a rare position where they need the studios more than the studios need them. I also think they will offer Apple more options once there are more widespread competitors to the the AppleTV/iTunes Store megalith so they can keep these companies fighting for dominance that result in paying the studios higher fees for better service (e.g.: more movies and first run movies before other online distributers).



    Maybe an overstated outcome, yes, however, by putting it this way, I was really referring to their overpriced digital download policy as something which will perpetuate peer to peer illegal downloads. Again, I refer to the high cost of data bandwidth here in Australia, and I can't imagine a better deterrent to using torrents. A 720p movie at say 1.3Gb will cost me $10.40 just in downloading fees. Mind you, if Apple had movie downloads here in Australia, it would still cost me the same to download a legal copy. Therefore, if I want a movie for my library, I buy it on physical media.



    Thanks for your comments, all the same, I frequently come here to learn and read of other peoples opinions and perspectives.
  • Reply 16 of 47
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by petermac View Post


    Maybe an overstated outcome, yes, however, by putting it this way, I was really referring to their overpriced digital download policy as something which will perpetuate peer to peer illegal downloads. Again, I refer to the high cost of data bandwidth here in Australia, and I can't imagine a better deterrent to using torrents. A 720p movie at say 1.3Gb will cost me $10.40 just in downloading fees. Mind you, if Apple had movie downloads here in Australia, it would still cost me the same to download a legal copy. Therefore, if I want a movie for my library, I buy it on physical media.



    Thanks for your comments, all the same, I frequently come here to learn and read of other peoples opinions and perspectives.



    Understood. That is unfortunate that you still have pay-per-usage. Are you in a rural area or is that for the whole of Australia?



    BTW, Apple's SD (or DVD or near-DVD) quality downloads are about 1.3GBytes. Their 720p HD rentals on the AppleTV are around 4.5GBytes. That is about $30 not including the price of the rental. Hopefully you can get unlimited/unlimited down under soon.
  • Reply 17 of 47
    petermacpetermac Posts: 115member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by solipsism View Post


    Understood. That is unfortunate that you still have pay-per-usage. Are you in a rural area or is that for the whole of Australia?



    BTW, Apple's SD (or DVD or near-DVD) quality downloads are about 1.3GBytes. Their 720p HD rentals on the AppleTV are around 4.5GBytes. That is about $30 not including the price of the rental. Hopefully you can get unlimited/unlimited down under soon.



    All ISP have varying plans, but they are all limited to some degree. Starting at around $15-$20 for 600MB/month (256K down & 64K up) for std ADSL through to $90 -$120/month will give you 25GB -60GB/month at 1.5Mbps down & 256K up. Some of the more expensive plans break their data limits into off peak (midnight - 6 AM) and peak (all other hours). So a 60GB plan is usually 20GB peak & 40Gb off peak.



    ADSL2 is slightly cheaper than std ADSL plans but is very much limited to larger urban areas. A common catchphrase used by our major ISP, BigPond, a division of Telstra, says ADSL & ADSL2 covers 80% of the population, but that really only represents about 3% of the land mass. Very much the same argument exists when talking about 3G phone coverage. The CDMA network here in Australia was switched off earlier this week, which provided widespread geographical coverage here in the country. These rural peoples are now expected to use 3G, which just does not have the same coverage. One phone company here offers 2GB/month data plans on 3G for $20/month.



    I live 20 km (12 miles) from the centre of Brisbane on 3 acres, and my local exchange just upgraded their DSLAM's to ADSL2 4 weeks ago. Although ADSL2 sprukes 20MB/sec downloads, real life experience shows 8 - 12.



    It is the huge land mass of Australia and the predominance of its population to reside in major cities, that makes it so non commercial to provide decent internet access to the minor rural population. Hence we have govt intervention (maybe not enough) to try and legislate a reasonable service for rural dwellers.



    Cable TV has been laid out again throughout the major population centres of Australia by mainly Fox (our old Aussie mate, now US citizen, Rupert Murdoch). It starts at about $45/month for a basic package, running up to $120/month for an all you can eat plan.



    I don't see data counting ending anytime soon, if at all. In fact from what I read in the US, I am thinking it will only be a matter of time before you get limited data plans in the US. Didn't Ted Turner's Commcast experiment with this recently? However, in its early days of implementation, you guys will get fairly generous data limits.



    About our only advantage here, is the widespread implementation of 3G phone network. BTW, WiFi hot spots here are near non existant, aside from a few coffee houses, airports and MacDonalds, and they all cost $$'s not free. I think the MacDonalds WiFi is about $4.99 for 20 mins.



    There you have it.



    Cheers



    Pete
  • Reply 18 of 47
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by petermac View Post


    ]...]

    I don't see data counting ending anytime soon, if at all. In fact from what I read in the US, I am thinking it will only be a matter of time before you get limited data plans in the US. Didn't Ted Turner's Commcast experiment with this recently? However, in its early days of implementation, you guys will get fairly generous data limits.



    About our only advantage here, is the widespread implementation of 3G phone network. BTW, WiFi hot spots here are near non existant, aside from a few coffee houses, airports and MacDonalds, and they all cost $$'s not free. I think the MacDonalds WiFi is about $4.99 for 20 mins.



    That really bites. You aren't going to have widespread WiFi hotspots if the data isn't unlimited. That was started by Mom and Pop shops, the big companies only followed suit when they saw it was good for business. And it's not good for business if the data isn't unlimited.



    Paying per GB for cabled data won't happen here. The country is too entrenched with competing services in many areas (e.g.: DSL vs. cable) and it's more densely populated than Australia. Our carriers are now competing with each other for cheaper unlimited/unlimited data rates.



    Maybe the slow and steady move in cellular technologies is a better move in the long run. The EU want from GPRS to HSDPA with barely a carrier touching EDGE. That seems to have come at a huge cost, and while the service on average seems to be faster than the US, the cost to the consumer seems to be much higher. Fatigue riddled speculation
  • Reply 19 of 47
    iammacuseriammacuser Posts: 77member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by petermac View Post


    All ISP have varying plans, but they are all limited to some degree. Starting at around $15-$20 for 600MB/month (256K down & 64K up) for std ADSL through to $90 -$120/month will give you 25GB -60GB/month at 1.5Mbps down & 256K up. Some of the more expensive plans break their data limits into off peak (midnight - 6 AM) and peak (all other hours). So a 60GB plan is usually 20GB peak & 40Gb off peak.



    ADSL2 is slightly cheaper than std ADSL plans but is very much limited to larger urban areas. A common catchphrase used by our major ISP, BigPond, a division of Telstra, says ADSL & ADSL2 covers 80% of the population, but that really only represents about 3% of the land mass. Very much the same argument exists when talking about 3G phone coverage. The CDMA network here in Australia was switched off earlier this week, which provided widespread geographical coverage here in the country. These rural peoples are now expected to use 3G, which just does not have the same coverage. One phone company here offers 2GB/month data plans on 3G for $20/month.



    I live 20 km (12 miles) from the centre of Brisbane on 3 acres, and my local exchange just upgraded their DSLAM's to ADSL2 4 weeks ago. Although ADSL2 sprukes 20MB/sec downloads, real life experience shows 8 - 12.



    It is the huge land mass of Australia and the predominance of its population to reside in major cities, that makes it so non commercial to provide decent internet access to the minor rural population. Hence we have govt intervention (maybe not enough) to try and legislate a reasonable service for rural dwellers.



    Cable TV has been laid out again throughout the major population centres of Australia by mainly Fox (our old Aussie mate, now US citizen, Rupert Murdoch). It starts at about $45/month for a basic package, running up to $120/month for an all you can eat plan.



    I don't see data counting ending anytime soon, if at all. In fact from what I read in the US, I am thinking it will only be a matter of time before you get limited data plans in the US. Didn't Ted Turner's Commcast experiment with this recently? However, in its early days of implementation, you guys will get fairly generous data limits.



    About our only advantage here, is the widespread implementation of 3G phone network. BTW, WiFi hot spots here are near non existant, aside from a few coffee houses, airports and MacDonalds, and they all cost $$'s not free. I think the MacDonalds WiFi is about $4.99 for 20 mins.



    There you have it.



    Cheers



    Pete



    WOAH! WiFi for Mc Donalds in the UK is free
  • Reply 20 of 47
    teckstudteckstud Posts: 6,476member
    That whole thing is so frustratingly backwards. Most people are upgrading to HD TVs. For its full benefit we watch DVDs upconverted on either an upconverting DVD player or Blu-ray to give us a better than DVD quality- near blu-ray quality actual experience. DVDs when released cost $13-$15 at any Best Buy or Circuit City with tons of extras as well, some with DTS sound. And you can convert the DVD to play on an iPod as well.

    Who in their right mind would buy a $15 inferior download with less than DVD quality copy( this near DVD quality description is asinine) and no extras???? That's like throwing money out the window! Both the studios and Apple are trying to put a fast one on uninformed consumers. For what these downloads offer they should cost $7.50 since there is no physical materials involved at all and smear vision. The only thing these files look good on is a small screen iPod and therefor Apple is just as guilty for pushing this crap to sell.
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