Apple launches movie offerings on the iTunes Store in the U.K. and Canada | iLounge News


Apple launches movie offerings on the iTunes Store in the U.K. and Canada

As expected, Apple has launched movie sales and rentals on the iTunes Store in both the United Kingdom and Canada. In the U.K., over 700 movies from film studios including 20th Century Fox, The Walt Disney Studios, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., MGM, Sony Pictures, and Lionsgate UK are available, with titles available for purchase on the same day as their DVD release. Over 100 films are available to rent in high definition on an Apple TV, as well. The films cost £6.99 for library title purchases and £10.99 for new releases, while iTunes Movie Rentals are £2.49 for library title rentals and £3.49 for new releases, with high definition versions priced at one pound more. iTunes Movie Rentals in the U.K. offer users 48 hours to finish watching the movie after they start it, although 30 day limitation on starting the movie remains the same as the US terms.

“We’re kicking off movies on the iTunes Store in the UK with over 700 films for purchase and rent,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of iTunes. “We think customers in the UK are going to love being able to enjoy their favorite movies on their iPod, iPhone or on a widescreen TV with Apple TV.”

In Canada, over 1200 films from 20th Century Fox, The Walt Disney Studios, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., Universal Studios, MGM, Sony Pictures, Lionsgate, and Maple Pictures are available for rent or purchase, and like the U.K., titles will become available for purchase the same day as their DVD release. The films sell at CAN$9.99 for catalog title purchases, CAN$14.99 for recent releases and CAN$19.99 for new releases. iTunes Movie Rentals are CAN$3.99 for library titles and CAN$4.99 for new releases, with high definition rental versions cost one dollar more. Over 200 titles are currently available in HD through Apple TV in Canada, and Canadian iTunes rentals share the 48-hour viewing window of those from the U.K.

“Canadians have made iTunes the most popular place to find and buy music and TV shows online,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of iTunes. “We’re thrilled to give iTunes customers access to over 1,200 movies from major studios to rent or purchase, whether to enjoy at home on their widescreen TV with Apple TV or on-the-go on their iPod.”

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I won’t be buying or renting from iTunes - too expensive.

e.g March Of The Penguins on iTunes = £6.99 to buy, = £3.99 to buy inc. free delivery.

Batman Begins is 50p more on iTunes than HMV and with HMV you get a bonus dvd.

DVDs are now so cheap and don’t forget ebay even cheaper.  Why?

Apple need to reduce the price to £3.99 and £1.50 and then I’ll consider it.

Take care,

Posted by Simon on June 4, 2008 at 9:42 AM (CDT)


Thanks Apple (Canada).  However, why the 25 to 35% price premium for rentals.  Did you forget that the Canadian dollar is at or over US par? Or is it just the Canadian thing to do. (e.g. ripoff).


Posted by Terry on June 4, 2008 at 10:18 AM (CDT)


Keep in mind this is a better deal then rogers ondemand.

Posted by Jayme on June 4, 2008 at 10:56 AM (CDT)


Can someone clarify Canadian movie rentals for me?  Do you still have 30 days from rental of a movie before time expires?

Posted by entogeek on June 4, 2008 at 2:32 PM (CDT)


Nevermind… found the answer in Apple’s press release!

Posted by entogeek on June 4, 2008 at 3:07 PM (CDT)


HD only available to apple tv users…wtf?

Posted by Brian on June 5, 2008 at 4:39 AM (CDT)


That’s not really anything new.  HD rentals have only been available to Apple TV users from the initial introduction of the service in the U.S. in January.

Keep in mind as well that you still cannot purchase HD movies either—they’re for rental only at this point.

This issue very likely is a consideration to the studios, since the Apple TV has an HDCP output, although rentals can still be viewed via the Component outputs (for now at least), HD rentals are effectively more “controlled” in this manner.

Realistically, however, since the Apple TV is the only media-specific device that supports HD video right now, there’s little incentive to make HD rentals available directly via iTunes, and probably some good reasons for Apple not to want to do this, such as promoting sales of the Apple TV over MCE PCs, and conserving bandwidth in general (HD rentals are generally 2-3x larger than their corresponding SD versions).

Personally, I’d be happier to see them fix the issue where SD movies rented on the Apple TV can be transferred back to your iTunes library for use on another device.  The actual SD movie itself is the same quality whether you download it from the Apple TV or from iTunes on your PC, but if you choose to purchase it on the Apple TV, it’s pretty much stuck on that Apple TV and has to be watched on that particular device.  This is most definitely an artificial restriction that has absolutely no need to exist.

Posted by Jesse Hollington on June 5, 2008 at 11:34 AM (CDT)


I’d like to echo Brian’s comment about HD rentals being only available through AppleTV.

A year ago, I made the conscious decision to spend EXTRA $$$ on a Mac Mini, instead of purchasing an AppleTV box. This Mac Mini is now permanently hooked up to my home theatre through DVI connection. The sole purpose of the device is to access media over my home network to show if off on the big screen.

Now, the good news story isn’t such good news because I can’t rent an HD movie from a computer. Wow, Apple sure has a way of shooting itself in the foot with all this stuff. First, we have to wait 2 years to get movies on iTunes, and now, all these restricitions which basically only aim at selling more AppleTV boxes.

I already own 3 recent Mac and 5 iPods. How much more hardware do I have to buy from Apple until I get to use this stuff the really want to?

And also, what are 24 inch Mac users and Cinema Display owners supposed to feel about having to watch an SD movie on those gorgeous screens.

For me, it’s back to the video store… again…sigh…

Posted by Pascal C. on June 5, 2008 at 4:04 PM (CDT)


I am pleased to see movies added to iTunes here in the UK.
And whilst of course I’d like them cheaper, realistically I think in many cases the prices are acceptable.

I’ve seen quite a few reviews saying prices are cheaper at places like HMV, but for me the advantage is that I wont need to spend time converting the film myself.
At least I’ll know the film is a certain quality, and ready to watch.

So for me the convenience makes this addition very welcome, now I’m almost looking forward to my next business trip and deciding what I’ll be watching!

Posted by Cyberman on June 5, 2008 at 4:37 PM (CDT)

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