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BusinessWeek: Don’t expect movies on iTunes ‘any time soon’

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Wednesday, June 21, 2006
News Categories: iTunes

Apple’s foray into full-length movie downloads is unlikely to happen any time soon, according to those familiar with the negotiations between Apple and the Hollywood studios. BusinessWeek reports: “Apple has hoped to get the store up and running within weeks, Hollywood sources say. But the deal isn’t yet done—and there’s a chance it won’t be any time soon. That’s because Apple and studios remain at loggerheads on a range of issues, from how much movie downloads should cost, to the degree of piracy protections they should carry.” BusinessWeek also quotes an unnamed source that says iTunes may not get movies until next year. “This will take months and months to figure it out,” said the source, who is reportedly involved in the talks. “It may even be a 2007 kind of thing.”

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Comments

1

I hope this doesn’t delay the release of the 6G, proper video iPod. I’ve been waiting to upgrade my 4G Photo.

Posted by ShowsOn in South Australia, AUSTRALIA on June 21, 2006 at 10:11 AM (PDT)

2

I’m surprised we haven’t seen any Pixar movies on the iTunes Music Store, seeing as how Steve Jobs is CEO of Pixar.

Posted by I-Roc Z Podder on June 21, 2006 at 11:54 AM (PDT)

3

Five bucks says an iMovie type store comes out THIS year.  They always do this in hopes to ‘surprise’ us consumers.

Posted by jegero on June 21, 2006 at 11:55 AM (PDT)

4

The MPAA has a lot of power, and they’re just as selfish and paranoid as the RIAA. Of course, as a member of ASCAP I’ve never felt either group was serving my best interests. This is about the studio heads and lawyers getting their cut- It has very little to do with a legitimate concern that people are going to replace watching movies in theaters and on DVD with small, low-quality iPod formatted movies, or that piracy is going to kill their sales. This is a simple struggle over the bigwigs seeing more of the profits than they would under Apple’s proposed price structure.

Personally, I think $9.99 is a fair price. I pay less than that at the movie theater (just slightly, anyway) and if you had an audience of millions open up to the possibility of carrying around their movies on the most popular portable device of the modern age, that would not be chump change. It would possibly rival box office numbers, and blow DVD sales out of the water.

But what do I know?  I’m just one of the front-line salespeople and consumers who sees the market first-hand every day. The guys who spend their lives in offices within ivory towers must *surely* be better equipped to determine what will sell, and what won’t.

All I know is that I wouldn’t pay more than $9.99 for a movie from iTMS. Anybody who prices their stuff higher will not see a penny extra from me.

Of course, none of this really worries me as I’m rocking a 2nd Generation iPod, and I’m quite happy with it!  :D

Posted by Wilder_K_Wight on June 21, 2006 at 12:12 PM (PDT)

5

That’s OK Hollywood… take your time!  We don’t need no stinking $10 movies!

Posted by Mike M on June 21, 2006 at 1:12 PM (PDT)

6

Pixar is now a part of Disney, and while Jobs is on the board and owns a considerable share of Walt’s old company, any decisions regarding Pixar and Disney films will still have to go through the regular channels—and Jobs doesn’t have the absolute power to call all the shots. But if there’s any movies that could have a rubber stamp for iTMS sales, Disney content would be it.

As for the $10 price point…I don’t see any of the movie houses doing anything less for newly released vid content, but older films should be scaled less just as their DVD versions already are now. I’m not surprised that the studios are reluctant to jump at the $10 price point, though. With first-release DVDs usually selling around $20 and up (after the first week sales have passed), there’s a lot of potential profit that’s being tossed away, especially if these new downloads are intended for a higher-res, next-gen vid iPod in the future. Such iTMS content would have a strong potential to cramp DVD sales (both media AND hardware), and the MPAA are not blind to that, particularly if they’re going to start pushing BluRay and HD-DVD and leave DVDs towards the bottom-feeder part of the vid marketplace. And of course, they have plenty of delivery options that don’t involve iTMS, Apple Computer and that pesky Jobs fellow.

Moreover, anything that takes the content off the relative security of that silver disc is going to make the MPAA twitchy, and if Apple insists on allowing downloads to work on multiple computers like DRMed AACs do, I guess that the studios will sit on the sidelines for a LONG time. There’s nothing more galling to these guys than to know that their movie content is on someone’s hard drive and more or less out of their control, DRMed or not (yes I know there’s software out there that allows DVDs to be ripped, but unlike audio CDs all that’s still 100% illegal even for personal use no matter what twist one puts on it, and ultimately most pirate P2Ps in the end can be sued and prosecuted out of existence).

Posted by flatline response on June 22, 2006 at 12:31 AM (PDT)

7

In regards of privacy protection, I don’t mind if the video downloads can’t be burnt out to DVD’s. I’d like to see the 6G iPod having video-out abilities (S-Video, RCA, etc.) so I can buy movies from iTunes (with check-in, check-out to my iPod) and use it as a HTPC of sorts.

The prospect of having all the classics in one neat library for browsing through, via an intuitive interface - yum!

Posted by red on June 22, 2006 at 4:36 AM (PDT)

8

The studio execs are just shooting themselves in the foot.  They can charge more than $10 for a download but me, and millions of others will just continue to buy DVD’s the first week at 10 bucks rip it to our PSP’s and ipods and go about our business. 

What the music and movie studios fail to realize is that there is something to be said for volume.  Sure you’d like to sell your movies at $20 bucks a pop but if I can sell a million more at $10 bucks I’m goin’ that route. 

No matter, let them haggle.  With decreasing movie attendance and slowing DVD sales it’s their loss.

Posted by JinKazama on June 22, 2006 at 5:13 AM (PDT)

9

I understand the concern for piracy but unless theirs a DVD Ripper out their for free or under $10.00 that acually works theirs no way for most people to get movies onto their iPod or evan iTunes!

Posted by Spencer on June 22, 2006 at 10:18 AM (PDT)

10

That’s right, Spence. Handbrake. If there were just some easy way to get DVD content onto iPods. Handbrake. Maybe one day someone will crack that nut. Handbrake. Would be especially great if it were free. Handbrake.

Guess we’ll just keep waiting for Apple to work something out with Hollywood.

Posted by Jake B on June 22, 2006 at 10:50 AM (PDT)

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