TV deals causing movies to disappear from iTunes Store

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
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 Wilson?s 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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 40
    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!
  • Reply 2 of 40
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 40
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 40
    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
  • Reply 5 of 40
    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...
  • Reply 6 of 40
    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
  • Reply 7 of 40
    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!!!
  • Reply 8 of 40
    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!
  • Reply 9 of 40
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    Broadcast TV? Is that old tech still around?
  • Reply 10 of 40
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 40
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 40
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 40
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 40
    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 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.



    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.
  • Reply 15 of 40
    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.
  • Reply 16 of 40
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 40
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 40
    wigginwiggin Posts: 2,265member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 40
    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.
  • Reply 20 of 40
    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.

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