Target warns studios over movie download pricing | iLounge News


Target warns studios over movie download pricing

Target has sent a letter to movie studios expressing concern that Apple and other companies will get a better deal from the studios for digital movies than the retailer gets on wholesale DVDs. The sharply worded letter from Target President Gregg Steinhafel said the retailer didn’t object to competition but wanted “a level playing field,” and also said that if Target didn’t receive fair pricing from the studios it would reconsider its investment in the DVD business. Target accounts for about 15% of DVD sales in the U.S. The letter follows similar complaints to studios from Wal-Mart and comes just weeks after Apple added full-length movies from Disney to the iTunes Store for as little as $12.99 each.

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These big companies want to ensure a “level playing field” on price, but have to qualms about offshoring jobs and manufacturing when it’s cheaper to do so.


Posted by AgingGeek on October 9, 2006 at 12:04 PM (CDT)


Level playing field? Are we talking about business or mommy I dropped my ice cream cone? Level playing field…that made my day with the best laugh in a long while.

Posted by FahrenheiPod 451 on October 9, 2006 at 12:12 PM (CDT)


Not to mention the fact that it’s two different products.  A DVD is a different product than a digital download.  I would expect to pay more for a DVD considering it’s a higher quality picture/sound and I get the actual packaging and such.

To me Apple charges too much for digital movie downloads for a lower quality product and no packaging (read physical copy).  I have a similar argument on their digital music downloads.  But I also understand the amount of bandwidth to have downloadable movies so I guess that might be where the extra cash is going.

Posted by Koby on October 9, 2006 at 12:13 PM (CDT)


Laaa. Like there was *any* incentive for buying movies from iTunes at the moment. Such as a better price, or at least equal quality.


Posted by Bad Beaver on October 9, 2006 at 12:16 PM (CDT)


Thanks for saving me the typing Koby.  That’s what I was going to say too.

Posted by mtnagel on October 9, 2006 at 12:16 PM (CDT)


Physical media will be dead in 5 years any way. Retailer don’t make much on DVD’s and CD’s anyway. They are just to get people in the store for other junk.

Posted by mstngo on October 9, 2006 at 12:30 PM (CDT)


I think that resellers, Target, Wal-Mart, Tower Records should and will eventually be given the opportunity to re-sell digital downloads at an Apple approved in-store kiosk.  For Target to yap about a “level playing field” is a ridiculous head-in-the-sand mentality.  Digital downloads are just another way deliver the content, but like others said, it’s not at the same quality and it lacks the packaging of a CD or DVD.

I continue to buy CDs for some music and movies from a brick-and-mortar store because 1) I love record stores and browsing through all the shelves 2) I want a physical copy of my music and movies with all the associated artwork.  3) Sometimes - for classical music especially - I want to make sure I’m getting every single possible sound available out of the recording…even if my untrained ears can’t hear it, I think that these hidden sounds are delivered unconsciously.

In other words buying physical copies of content is not going to go away.  These brick-and-mortar stores may see their market-share deminished, but there will always be a place for them for people like me.

Having said all that, their market-research probably confirms all of it.  They don’t want their market-share to shrink so instead of thinking of creative ways to counter or incorporate this new medium, they’re whining and calling in the lawyers.

Posted by alex on October 9, 2006 at 12:36 PM (CDT)


What is also funny is that the chances of Target pulling out of the DVD business are slim to none.  Sure they may threaten, but consumers want to buy DVDs and target just halting sales of them because the downloads are “cheaper” (heck they should be even cheaper since there is no physical distribution) would really shoot themselves in the foot.

Posted by Jim on October 9, 2006 at 1:43 PM (CDT)


I personally love Target and agree with what they are saying.  While DVDs and online movies may be a different format and one may cost less to sell, it would still be unfair to the big chains to have to sell movies for so much more than iTunes.  I honestly hope that downloading movies online does NOT catch on, as I love DVDs and the packaging they come in.  It would also be nice if places like Target and WalMart could lower DVD prices to $12.99 or $14.99 for every DVD…I am not willing to pay $30 for a “what-used-to-be-standard-2-disc-DVD” that is now considered a “collector’s edition” or something like that?

Posted by Daniel on October 9, 2006 at 2:11 PM (CDT)


Well I for one am boycotting Taget and walmart. I refuse to buy any of their dvds. Mainly because they are stalling progress. I’ve been dreaming of a time when ALL my media can be digital. Of course the current music store model isn’t anything close to what I’d like but…whatever…I have ways… The sooner the world embraces digital video is the sooner I get closer to MY ideal. I want dvd quality movies, smaller files size and faster encoding.

Apple is really the only people that has helped make my dreams somewhat of a reality. Because of apple there are programs like videora. MP3 players w/ video capabilities are now common and affordable… Apple sees the big picture…although I’d never buy thier drm filled crap…still it’s a move in the right direction. So why don’t these other big companies make moves in the right direction and also start selling digital content. They could have little kiosk instore that sells digital movies and music. Just plug in your mp3 players, slide your credit card and select what you want…stop stalling progress!

Posted by Glorybox3737 on October 9, 2006 at 2:19 PM (CDT)


I don’t see digital media as a challenge. I will not buy video that has DRM. And I have already limited myself to buying anymore tunes that have DRM. I will stick to DVD’s and the occasional CD for music.

Posted by veggiedude on October 9, 2006 at 2:29 PM (CDT)


This coming from the company that sells their own generic brands at a reduced price right next to the national brands. But oh no - don’t you dare undercut our prices. That’s not fair!

Posted by J3 on October 9, 2006 at 6:31 PM (CDT)


high five J3

big chains stores ala walmart and target can got take it up the a$$ cuz they do exactly what they are “protestin”

free enterprise!!!

Posted by BIGP on October 9, 2006 at 11:36 PM (CDT)


Well I for one am boycotting Taget and walmart. I refuse to buy any of their dvds.

If these threats by both Target and Wal*Mart (and any other brick & mortar) means cheaper prices for DVDs from the studios, I say ‘Gripe On, Dudes!’

I think that resellers, Target, Wal-Mart, Tower Records…

Not Tower. The bankruptcy courts have given the last rites to Tower Records. The End Is Near; our last two local stores shut down in less than a week.

Posted by flatline response on October 10, 2006 at 3:05 AM (CDT)


“This coming from the company that sells their own generic brands at a reduced price right next to the national brands.”

Umm…almost every single store in the United States has a generic brand.  Most of the time, that generic brand is actually made by the real brand but they allow the store to put their name on it and sell it for less.  For example, milk at Sam’s Club comes from Crowley, however, the “Sam’s Club” milk is Crowley milk with the Sam’s Club brand on it.  Your argument was worthless.

Posted by Daniel on October 10, 2006 at 4:08 PM (CDT)


“I think that resellers, Target, Wal-Mart, Tower Records should and will eventually be given the opportunity to re-sell digital downloads at an Apple approved in-store kiosk.”

Not Tower… they are going out of business.

Posted by dx on October 10, 2006 at 11:23 PM (CDT)


Steve jobs is right to say that movies downloads are priced too high. Movie downloading is never going to take off if movie studios persist with the greed and keep thinking that movie downloads are competing with DVD’s. Inferior quality Downloads should be cheap $9.99 or less.  DVD"s should be marketed as a premium product.

Posted by silvertrailer on October 12, 2006 at 3:30 PM (CDT)

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