Report: Apple to launch movie service with only Disney offerings

The Wall Street Journal reports that Apple will use its special event next week to add full-length movie downloads to the iTunes Music Store, but that the company has so far only signed up Disney and no other major Hollywood studio. In contrast, plans this week to unveil its new Windows Media-based movie-downloading store with films from all of the major Hollywood studios except Disney. Apple’s lack of studio partnerships is due to Apple’s refusal to charge higher prices for new releases. Apple reportedly plans to sell older movies for $9.99 and $14.99 for new releases. According to Variety,’s movie prices will range from $9.99 to $19.99—about the same as those for other online movie services such as CinemaNow, Movielink and AOL. The movies on both stores are expected to go on sale at the same time as the DVD versions are released.
Apple was always expected to have no problem signing Disney because of Apple CEO Steve Jobs’ role as a Disney board member and large Disney shareholder. In October of 2005, months before Jobs sold Pixar and joined the Disney board, Apple launched the TV show section on the iTunes Music Store with only a handful of shows from Disney’s ABC unit. Other networks quickly followed, adding their content throughout the rest of the year and into 2006.

In addition to launching full-length movie downloads, Apple also next week will announce a revamped lineup of iPods, according to the Journal. “Among the devices expected as early as next week is a version of the video iPod with more storage capacity than Apple’s current high-end model, which has 60 gigabytes of memory for storing up to 150 hours of video. Apple is also expected to introduce versions of its most popular music player, the iPod Nano, in bright new colors,” the paper reports.

  1. How long will a full-length feature film take to download? Portable DVD player have large and heavy battery packs, which last between 2-3 hours. You need to be able to watch a movie and then play a couple of hours of music on ONE CHARGE. An iPod needs to play MUSIC and PHOTOS as well – NOT JUST MOVIES.
    I would like to see an iPod Nano 8GB in bright new colours. I don’t need 60GB but my 4GB Mini is full.

  2. Apple is basically trying to achieve with movies what it has achieved with TV shows : first disney stuff, and when everyone screams for more content, other studios will have no choice but to follow. Smart move.

    What worries me is the ipod video itself. It seems no major evolution is planned next week. there is just no way people will want to spend hours watching feature films on a 2.5 inch screen, especially if the battery dies after 1 film !

    I really hope we’ll get a true video player next thursday …

  3. i honestly wish they’d stop working on things like bringing out a previous product in new fun colors and instead bring out a 12″ macbook pro. i’ve already got an ipod, i’m not going to buy a new one because it is colored, that’s what cases are for, just bring out a new 12″

  4. How long will it take to download? I’ve downloaded a few shows, that were over an hour and a half long. They take a good while, But just do it when you go to sleep, lol, then it works fine. I’ll be getting some hopefully. I hope the WB gets on there.

  5. The studios just don’t get it. The greedy weasels just can’t get past their charge more for less mentality. $14.99 for a downloaded movie is too much. They need multiple price points. One price for PMP resolution movies, one for full featured DVD quality/resolution downloads. And yet another for the folks who bought the iPod resolution movie, then decided they want to buy the DVD. Money paid for an iPod resolution movie counts toward purchase of a DVD of the same movie. Its rare that I buy a DVD, sorry… there aren’t that many movies that I’ll watch over and over. The studios would make more money off of me if they adopted better pricing.

    Oh, and I’m with you twistrman, give us a 12 inch macbook pro, some people actually use macs for business and have to travel.

  6. i have an ibook g3 that’s been lasting me through school, but i need a lot more power, space, memory etc.

    i would have gotten a 12″ powerbook but couldn’t before they got rid of them. the macbook pro is amazing, some of my friends have them, but 15 is too big, and 17 is ridiculous. i would settle for a 13 macbook except the integrated video scares me off.

  7. Rand, I agree with you fundamentally. Aren’t DVD videos cheaper than the downloaded prices anyway? There isn’t much value here.

    Twistman, those Intel GPUs are actually better than the ATI ones in the iBook AFAIK.

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