First download-to-own film service announced

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Universal Pictures and the online rental firm Lovefilm are launching what they say is the world's first download-to-own movie service in Britain next month, CNN reports.



The service will reportedly launch with the availability of "King Kong" on April 10, and let users watch the films on their laptops, home computers or hand-held devices.



Films will be available to download the same day the DVD is released, the companies said. Consumers who use the service will get the film in three formats: two digital files available for instant download -- one for a PC or laptop and one for a portable device -- and a DVD copy sent by mail.



Initially, the service will serve up 35 Universal films, including "Pride And Prejudice," "The Bourne Supremacy," "Love Actually," "Nanny McPhee" and "Bridget Jones." They will be priced from £19.99 ($35) for the latest releases to £9.99 ($17.50) for older films.



"New films will be available at midnight on the day of release -- meaning consumers could be watching a DVD on a hand-held device on their train journey to work before stores have opened," CNN reports.



Eventually all 6,500 movies in Universal catalogue could be made available for downloading. Film downloads will reportedly take between 40 minutes and an hour.



Meanwhile, Apple and some of its potential partners appear to be researching an iTunes feature film download service, and analysts have said the company may be close to making an announcement in that department.



It has also been reported that online mega-retailer Amazon.com is gearing up for a similar service launch.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 42
    Reuters UK reports the download service will us the Microsoft DRMReuters UK
  • Reply 2 of 42
    jimzipjimzip Posts: 446member
    Here we go again.

    I just hope Apple doesn't encode the movies at 320x240..

    Oh and if there's DRM, I'm not buying it..



    Jimzip
  • Reply 3 of 42
    eaieai Posts: 417member
    Well, Apple still have time to launch theirs before April 10th, if they want to be first... Their birthday is coming up before then...
  • Reply 4 of 42
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by AppleInsider

    They will be priced from £19.99 ($35) for the latest releases to £9.99 ($17.50) for older films.







    Nice try.
  • Reply 5 of 42
    Let me see if I have this right...



    1. It is backed by Universal meaning that it is highly unlikely for there to be anything but Universal films available.



    2. The pricing is $35US for everything...but I could likely get those DVDs for $20US and watch them...well...where I already can...on my computer and on my TV.



    3. This is (currently) only available in the UK.



    Okay. Got it.







    P.S. There is no reason that Apple needs to be first. Best would be fine. The target (minimally) has to be DVD quality...and DVD pricing. You get the additional "convenience" of not having to go to the store to buy or rent it, I guess. But paying more for...well not really anything more? I mean...nice work if you can get it I guess.
  • Reply 6 of 42
    eckingecking Posts: 1,588member
    They give 3 files? That's pretty smart. Damn.



    I'm not going to comment on dvd pricing but I know tha Britian has jacked up prices on everything, so I have no idea what a dvd costs them.



    What handheld divices are they talking about though? Creative?
  • Reply 7 of 42
    mr. hmr. h Posts: 4,841member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ecking

    They give 3 files? That's pretty smart. Damn.



    I'm not going to comment on dvd pricing but I know tha Britian has jacked up prices on everything, so I have no idea what a dvd costs them.



    What handheld divices are they talking about though? Creative?




    I hardly ever part with more than £10 for a DVD. I wait for new releases to come down in price.



    Really, I don't get this service. What the hell is the point if they are going to send you the DVD anyway? I could just buy the DVD for less money, and then make the files for watching on my computer and hand-held device myself. It seems that what you are paying for is for someone else to make the files for you, and to get your "immediate fix". But if they think this is going to be an attractive alternative to online piracy, they are gravely, gravely mistaken.
  • Reply 8 of 42
    At that pricing it's probably dead before it's born.



    Look at the ads in the Sunday paper and there are always $5 & $9.99 DVDs all over the place. There are also used DVD shops that can have great selections at great prices.



    While someone might want to download a movie the day it comes out the $35 is pretty stiff - unless they are going to burn & sell like mad.



    Greed is only a motivator for the company - not the customers.
  • Reply 9 of 42
    andersanders Posts: 6,523member
    Apple is DOOMED!
  • Reply 10 of 42
    "Apple is DOOMED"



    Get real you fool.



    How many monkeys are offering digital music stores today? How are they all doing? Exactly. Just cause you wanna do something; doesn't mean you're actually good at it and will actually take off.
  • Reply 11 of 42
    banchobancho Posts: 1,517member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Jimmy01

    "Apple is DOOMED"



    Get real you fool.



    How many monkeys are offering digital music stores today? How are they all doing? Exactly. Just cause you wanna do something; doesn't mean you're actually good at it and will actually take off.




    I'm not sure about you, but I sensed a good measure of sarcasm in Anders post.
  • Reply 12 of 42
    andersanders Posts: 6,523member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Jimmy01

    Get real you fool.



    Hi Mr. One Post



    Welcome to Appleinsiders boards. I hope you will find your stay here pleasant.



    Remember this place goes back about eight years and we have a lot of history. You will probably come across posts that doesn´t make sense at the first look. In most cases they refer to that history and it would be useful for you to just sit back and see if you catch the meaning later.



    With kind regards,



    A Moderator.
  • Reply 13 of 42
    Quote:

    Originally posted by eAi

    Well, Apple still have time to launch theirs before April 10th, if they want to be first... Their birthday is coming up before then...



    Apple doesn't have to be the first to launch a movie service; they just have to do it right, and give the public what they want.
  • Reply 14 of 42
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Jimmy01

    "Apple is DOOMED"



    Get real you fool.



    How many monkeys are offering digital music stores today? How are they all doing? Exactly. Just cause you wanna do something; doesn't mean you're actually good at it and will actually take off.



    Recommended reading:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humor

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irony

    And for days where you're feeling advanced:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sarcasm

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forum_moderator

    Or even:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social
  • Reply 15 of 42
    chuckerchucker Posts: 5,089member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by damiansipko

    Apple doesn't have to be the first to launch a movie service; they just have to do it right, and give the public what they want.



    Precisely.



    Let's remember that iTMS wasn't the first music store either. It was just the first one to offer a user-friendly platform.
  • Reply 16 of 42
    'Mr One Post' Now that's funny!
  • Reply 17 of 42
    mark2005mark2005 Posts: 1,158member
    This is not a good sign for the Apple service. It reveals that at least Universal is thinking more along the lines of what Amazon wanted to do. Sell the DVD, and add a fee for downloaded versions delivered sooner.



    The news about Playstation 3 and its online links to a refurbished Connect service is also not a good sign. Sony seems like it will hold back the Sony movie catalog until the Playstation 3 debuts.



    I hope Apple can sign up at least one other studio besides Disney/Pixar for their service.
  • Reply 18 of 42
    addaboxaddabox Posts: 12,665member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Mr. H

    I hardly ever part with more than £10 for a DVD. I wait for new releases to come down in price.



    Really, I don't get this service. What the hell is the point if they are going to send you the DVD anyway? I could just buy the DVD for less money, and then make the files for watching on my computer and hand-held device myself. It seems that what you are paying for is for someone else to make the files for you, and to get your "immediate fix". But if they think this is going to be an attractive alternative to online piracy, they are gravely, gravely mistaken.




    I believe that nails it. I'm assuming that the two download files are low res for the handheld and medium res or heavy compression for the computer, with the full DVD quality considered still too large for pragmatic download-- hence the DVD in the mail.



    Which makes no sense whatsovever, particularly at the indicated price point.



    As Mr. H says, how many people are going to be willing to shell out an extra $15-$20 just to get a copy of a movie slightly before the DVD (apparently the pitch is that you can download your movie on the day of the DVD release before the video store opens!), and so you can get a low res copy for your handheld made for you? (The "computer" version doesn't even merit mention, since pretty much every computer has a DVD drive in it already.)



    I think we're seeing why the industry needs Apple to bring some sanity to the market. Left to their own devices, their greed and arrogance mean they'll just keep rolling out completely witless "solutions", and the video download market will pretty much stay where the music download market was before Apple fixed it.
  • Reply 19 of 42
    jimzipjimzip Posts: 446member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by addabox



    As Mr. H says, how many people are going to be willing to shell out an extra $15-$20 just to get a copy of a movie slightly before the DVD (apparently the pitch is that you can download your movie on the day of the DVD release before the video store opens!), and so you can get a low res copy for your handheld made for you? (The "computer" version doesn't even merit mention, since pretty much every computer has a DVD drive in it already.)





    I agree.

    This is one of the most half-baked schemes I've heard of so far. Are people really that impatient nowdays that they can't wait 8 hours (At least 6 of which are spent sleeping..) for a store to open?



    Jimzip
  • Reply 20 of 42
    kosicekosice Posts: 2member
    MS DRM!



    Again a Windows only service!



    My god, the French were right again... with there new law, this would force Universal to enable playing the movie on OSX
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