Apple's iTunes lands Led Zeppelin, indie film exclusives

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Apple announced Tuesday that a special digital box set containing Led Zeppelin's entire discography is now available for pre-order exclusively from iTunes. Meanwhile, the digital download service is also reported to have landed exclusive distribution rights to a new indie film amidst its struggles to gain acceptance from more prominent Hollywood fixtures.



Led Zeppelin Digital Box Set



Apple on Tuesday issued a formal press release to announce that a special digital box set containing Led Zeppelin's entire discography, "The Complete Led Zeppelin," is now available for pre-order exclusively on the iTunes Store.



"The Complete Led Zeppelin" is a 165-track collection of all 13 of the legendary group's albums, including the new career-spanning "Mothership" retrospective, for only $99.



Led Zeppelin's "Mothership," a 24-track collection of the group's best-known songs, hand-picked by Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, is also available today for pre-order. Touching on every studio album, the collection contains defining songs including "Whole Lotta Love," "Rock and Roll" and "Kashmir."



In addition to "The Complete Led Zeppelin" and "Mothership," Led Zeppelin's entire catalog of songs and albums will also be available for individual purchase and download beginning November 13, Apple said.



Fans who pre-order "The Complete Led Zeppelin" or "Mothership" will be automatically entered to win the chance to see the band's reunion performance at London's O2 Arena on November 26 as part of the Ahmet Ertegun Tribute. The winners will receive two tickets to the show, round-trip airfare and hotel accommodations.



"Purple Violets" exclusive indie film



Meanwhile, the New York Times is running an interesting piece on Apple's fledging iTunes movie business, which has been courting top indie films in light of opposition from more prominent Hollywood studios.



The report says that filmmaker Edward Burns, who along with partners invested $4 million in the making of his latest romantic comedy, "Purple Violets," is gambling any chance of recouping his investment on a distribution deal that involves not a single theater.



"On Nov. 20 the film will go up for sale exclusively on iTunes," according to the Times. "It's the first time a feature film will make its commercial debut on Apple's digital download service, but only the latest deal aimed at winning attention for the iTunes movie category."



As recently as Sept. 25, iTunes began distributing a 13-minute short film, "Hotel Chevalier," a prequel of sorts to Wes Anderson's "Darjeeling Limited," as a publicity vehicle for that Fox Searchlight feature. The short, offered free, has since been downloaded more than 400,000 times and has helped drive the early box office performance of "Darjeeling," the studio said.



According to the Times, Apple offers filmmakers a cookie-cutter deal that is generous on paper, compared with Hollywood norms: It charges just 30 cents on the dollar, while, with independent films, another 10 or 15 cents typically goes to an aggregator, or middleman, who converts a film into Apple's format and accounts for the proceeds to the filmmaker. But Apple reportedly provides financial reports only every six months, and "it's safe to say that no one has gotten rich on an iTunes short film yet."



The piece over at the Times also delves into Apple's struggles to gain more popular video content for iTunes, and cites Forrester Research James L. McQuivey as spelling out the obvious: the company is teetering on the brink of failure in regards to its movie download service and Apple TV device.



Apple "is in a little bit of a crisis now," McQuivey said. "If they can't get the content soon, which may be why they're doing all sorts of attention-getting content deals now — they need to show they have some traction in the video space — they stand to lose whatever momentum they've gained."
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    Anyone else that bought an Apple TV feeling like they may have jumped the gun a little early? Yeah, I still use it often for listening to music over my home theatre. But, particualrly with my favorite The Office waving goodbye due to the NBA Universal fisaco, I don't do much in the video space any longer. Am I happy to have evolved past slapping my iPod into a cable and having no remote capability (Harmony universal remote works like a charm with Apple TV) when I want to listen to music? Yup, love it. But does it really justify the purchase price? Wish I could say it does, but it just doesn't.



    Apple, you made some recent strides in justifying my .Mac purchase each year. Please, please, please give me a reason to feel good about Apple TV, as well.



    (Oh, and if you fixed the glaring issue of Apple TV having no way to play more than one music video at a time, you'd double both my use of the box and my desire to recommend to my friends that they buy one)
  • Reply 2 of 42
    That's nice. I like LZ. But I'm just not interested in anything of lower audio quality than CD. And I'd prefer something of higher quality. CD audio is 20+ years old. How 'bout we move to something better?



    - Jasen.
  • Reply 3 of 42
    Great news on the Led Zep exclusive... I just might spring for that one.



    More good news for the independent filmmakers of the world... of course, Netflix has a good arrangement with the indies already and they've made available some good films for rent. However, movies are not like music (the development and production process is much longer and you don't know if you have a successful film until it's delivered, whereas a piece of music can almost instantly be judged good or bad), and I'd like to see Apple seriously courting more obscure music acts, as long as they make good music.
  • Reply 4 of 42
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,615member
    Apart from fixing hardware issues with apple TV there is a simple way to make it a huge success - rentals. Add PVR and, YAY, here's my cash!
  • Reply 5 of 42
    donlphidonlphi Posts: 214member
    I would hardly call it a crisis. I don't think Apple is going to lose any money on the deals. I am actually one of the few "suckers" that bought an AppleTV and i gotta say I am pretty disappointed. I haven't seen anything new since YouTube and there are still issues getting anything to show up that isn't one of the top 100 hits (I'm exaggerating of course).



    I think they need to just focus on getting the devices to do more rather than trying to run the monopoly.



    Things that would save AppleTV:

    1. Turn it into a Netflix Box - allow movies to be dowloaded through Netflix.

    2. Allow access directly to the AppleTV through devices like the iPOD and iPhone (ala slingbox)

    3. Allow movie rentals on iTunes music store. I've said it once and I'll say it again... MOST people do not want to buy movies. They take up too much space whether it be in DVD format or stored on your hard drive.



    As of right now, it's pretty weak... When they came out with Youtube a month after the release, I figured they would have another update relatively soon after, but nothing.
  • Reply 6 of 42
    ranumranum Posts: 43member
    A few weeks ago, during some sort of announcement (forgive me--I know not which one), Steve Jobs and another Apple guy were asked specifically about the Apple TV. Steve's answer was something like (paraphrasing) "we're not going to answer that now but we will have news about that very soon".



    Then along comes someone who discovered code in one of Apple's error feedback scripts that refers to problems with movie rental downloads.



    AI once again speculates that the Mini is being EOL'ed soon.



    MOSR (Yes, I know...) fans the rumor flames further by speculating on a Mac Nano. Maybe it's the heir to Mac Mini. Maybe it's the offspring of Mac Mini and Apple TV. Maybe it's AppleTV 2.0 Crunch Gear also comes along to fan this flame more, stating that iTunes will be getting HD content "this month" (meaning October).



    And now, today's news of the exclusive movie release of "Purple Violets" on iTunes in just a little under one month from now and the info on Apple's pursuit of indie movies.



    Looking at the few pieces scattered about, I would guess that Apple already has some sort of finished product that will replace either the Mac Mini or Apple TV, or both. It would seem, especially if the NYT article is to be believed, that Apple is having a hard time getting the big studios on board and is trying to get content in place so they can debut the content along with whatever device is waiting in the wings altogether at some big event. My guess is that whatever "it" is will be announced and released prior to November 20, just before Thanksgiving and the Christmas buying season. (It would be natural to assume, given Steve's position with Disney/Pixar, that at least those big studio movies will be available right away as well.)



    Or maybe I'm way off in my interpretation of all the little pieces strewn about.
  • Reply 7 of 42
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by paxman View Post


    Apart from fixing hardware issues with apple TV there is a simple way to make it a huge success - rentals. Add PVR and, YAY, here's my cash!



    Exactly!



    The AppleTV could also use Safari and a wireless keyboard out-of-the-box. iTunes Wi-Fi should also make it over.
  • Reply 8 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ranum View Post


    A few weeks ago, during some sort of announcement (forgive me--I know not which one), Steve Jobs and another Apple guy were asked specifically about the Apple TV. Steve's answer was something like (paraphrasing) "we're not going to answer that now but we will have news about that very soon".



    I think you are right that there is a bigger picture out there somewhere but how it comes together is anyones's speculation right now... I have to agree that my new Touch has more functionality than the AppleTV...
  • Reply 9 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by donlphi View Post




    Things that would save AppleTV:

    1. Turn it into a Netflix Box - allow movies to be dowloaded through Netflix.



    It is if you rip your netflix.
  • Reply 10 of 42
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ZagMac View Post


    Anyone else that bought an Apple TV feeling like they may have jumped the gun a little early? Yeah, I still use it often for listening to music over my home theatre. But, particualrly with my favorite The Office waving goodbye due to the NBA Universal fisaco, I don't do much in the video space any longer. Am I happy to have evolved past slapping my iPod into a cable and having no remote capability (Harmony universal remote works like a charm with Apple TV) when I want to listen to music? Yup, love it. But does it really justify the purchase price? Wish I could say it does, but it just doesn't.



    I hope this doesn't cause you hit your head for not thinking of it, but doesn't the iPod AV dock have a remote control? I thought that's why there was an IR window on the front of that thing, and that the Apple remote works with that.
  • Reply 11 of 42
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,949member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by snofoam View Post


    It is if you rip your netflix.



    That still has some problems, even ignoring the potentially questionable legality of doing that. Ripping a DVD from Netflix still means having to wait a day to get the DVD, ripping from the Netflix web streaming service is probably a bit of a complex series of steps that's a lot more difficult than the DVD, and more complex than say clicking to rent and just watching it.
  • Reply 12 of 42
    donlphidonlphi Posts: 214member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    That still has some problems, even ignoring the potentially questionable legality of doing that. Ripping a DVD from Netflix still means having to wait a day to get the DVD, ripping from the Netflix web streaming service is probably a bit of a complex series of steps that's a lot more difficult than the DVD, and more complex than say clicking to rent and just watching it.



    Yes... agreed. Not legal for one thing. The other issue is still a matter of storage. I took my entire DVD library and pressed it into a new additional internal 750 GB HD in my PowerMac G4 Quicksilver which serves as my media hub now. The problem is, I have at least 10,000 songs and hundreds of videos (all converted from CDs or DVDs I own mind you). I'm not almost out of space or anything, but I really do think it is limiting.



    Eventually as I continue to use the device I'm going to want to add more but I'll eventually run out of space, which I'm sure I'll be able to upgrade to a larger drive for the same price, but storage is storage whether it be physical or virtual.



    Don't get me wrong, I love Spaceballs and Blazing Saddles, but I just watched Blazing Saddles for the first time in probably 2 years the other day, and I haven't watched Spaceballs in a long time.



    I think as the media continues to get higher quality like Blu-Ray and HD-DVD, the devices like AppleTV are not that enjoyable to watch. It's great having my own ON-DEMAND server in my house, but I am not going to go click and buy something forever when I'll probably never watch it again.



    Looking back when I purchased it, I'm sure it was probably a bad choice. Oh well...
  • Reply 13 of 42
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,200member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple "is in a little bit of a crisis now," McQuivey said. "If they can't get the content soon, which may be why they're doing all sorts of attention-getting content deals now ? they need to show they have some traction in the video space ? they stand to lose whatever momentum they've gained."



    I guess it's make or break for Apple. They should have leveraged the Universal fiasco to get HiDef & Rentals going with the other studios only to take back Universal when they finally realised that iTS/iPod/AppleTV eco-system is more than just slapping another site on the web. Surely this move with the independents will only serve to alienate other studios.



    McD
  • Reply 14 of 42
    xaoxao Posts: 30member
    Does anyone know if the Led Zeppelin tunes are going to be in iTunes Plus?



    I don't so care about the DRM (I'm one of the few who don't), but I would love to get them at 256k!



    Thanks!
  • Reply 15 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by McDave View Post


    I guess it's make or break for Apple. They should have leveraged the Universal fiasco to get HiDef & Rentals going with the other studios only to take back Universal when they finally realised that iTS/iPod/AppleTV eco-system is more than just slapping another site on the web. Surely this move with the independents will only serve to alienate other studios.



    McD



    I don't agree that it's "make or break" time for AppleTV... Apple can afford to have it languish for years as a video distribution platform. I don't think it provides any drag on Apple overall.
  • Reply 16 of 42
    mcdavemcdave Posts: 1,200member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by MacTel View Post


    Exactly!



    The AppleTV could also use Safari and a wireless keyboard out-of-the-box. iTunes Wi-Fi should also make it over.



    And maybe a decent remote control - perhaps an extra function of iPhone or iPod?



    And where are the interactive video podcasts with hot chicks selling us the latest films, shows & music videos at the click of a remote?



    McD
  • Reply 17 of 42
    Wow. I just couldn't disagree more with most people here about the Apple TV. I love my Apple TV. It's a daily part of my entertainment regiment. And the last thing I want Apple to do to it is add a bunch of complicated features that ruin its simplicity.



    PVR? I already have that in my cable box. And TiVo has a much smaller marketshare of overall TV viewers than people think. I don't think this would help sell that many more Apple TVs.



    Safari? Really? Surfing the web on my TV? Have you actually tried doing that? Why not just get a Mac Mini?



    If there's one thing Apple knows, its that adding features often makes a product less attractive, rather than more, if you don't add the correct features.



    That being said, Apple TV is far from perfect. What it needs, though, could easily be done in software.



    The first obvious thing that I'm guessing will come soon is the equivalent of the iTunes WiFi Store on the iPhone. Make a video version of that which allows you to search, browse, purchase, and download movies and TV shows directly on the device itself, rather than having to buy them separately on the computer first. I initially thought this would be a lame idea on the iPhone, but it turned out to be such a satisfying experience that I've now used it quite a bit more than I ever thought. And I don't think it would be hard for Apple to match that experience on the Apple TV.



    The second thing would be some sort of rental for videos. But it needs to be done extremely carefully. I hate all those lame Microsoft "watch it in 24 hours or it disintegrates" DRM schemes. It often takes me more than two or three days to finish a movie, as I tend to watch a lot of movies late night and fall asleep in the process. It needs to work exactly like Netflix. Pay a set amount every month; keep any video file as long as you want, but require a video to be "checked back in" before downloading another. Have a sliding scale of one, three, five videos allowed to be checked out at a time, and price accordingly. I imagine getting this out the door is a matter of negotiations, rather than Apple's lack of interest.



    Finally, they need to get more selection. This, again, is up to the studios. The TV shows are there. Quite a good selection. But too many new movies aren't available.



    Right now, there seems to be a lot of uncalled-for negative sentiment from the studios, and the implication is that they shun Apple on purpose in order to limit Jobs' negotiating power. Very shortsighted, considering that without Apple, there would be no legal downloading systems that people actually wanted to use. With a little more vision, these companies could easily replace the DVD with digital downloads as easily as the music industry has replaced the CD with music downloads. And everyone would win. The studios wouldn't have to worry about physical production, shipping, storage, stocking titles on store shelves, etc. Home users wouldn't have to store piles of DVD boxes, and they could have instant access to their whole library without leaving the couch.



    And Apple could put Blockbuster and Netflix out of business at the same time. That's where the money is.



    And, of course, there's always the consideration of quality. But honestly, if DVDs are good enough for most people (as is evident from the poor sales of HD DVD, Blu-Ray, and even HD TVs) then upping the iTS videos to HD isn't going to help Apple in the short run. It just isn't even a consideration for most people right now. What Apple offers is just a smidgeon below DVD quality, at least to my eyes on my HD TV. Plenty good enough for The Daily Show, or any other TV show that doesn't even broadcast in HD, anyway. HD videos are larger files, and they take longer to download. Let that come later, when broadband speeds improve and hard drive space is cheaper.
  • Reply 18 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Xao View Post


    Does anyone know if the Led Zeppelin tunes are going to be in iTunes Plus?



    I don't so care about the DRM (I'm one of the few who don't), but I would love to get them at 256k!



    Thanks!



    No. They look to be regular iTunes tracks. That's a label thing, not Apple's choice.
  • Reply 19 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


    I hope this doesn't cause you hit your head for not thinking of it, but doesn't the iPod AV dock have a remote control? I thought that's why there was an IR window on the front of that thing, and that the Apple remote works with that.



    The iPod remote dock lets you stop, play, fast forward, rewind, and jump to the next or previous tracks. But that's it. Can't navigate through the menu system with it. Which makes it oh so lame.
  • Reply 20 of 42
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ZagMac View Post




    (Oh, and if you fixed the glaring issue of Apple TV having no way to play more than one music video at a time, you'd double both my use of the box and my desire to recommend to my friends that they buy one)



    How does one watch more than one music video at a time? Wouldn't that be rather cacophonous? I think I'm misunderstanding what you mean.
Sign In or Register to comment.