Amazon considering movie, TV show download service that would allow DVD burning

“ is in talks with three Hollywood studios about starting a service that would allow consumers to download movies and TV shows for a fee and burn them onto DVD’s, according to three people briefed on the discussions,” Richard Siklos reports for The New York Times. “If the advanced negotiations are successfully concluded, Amazon’s service would position itself in the media world alongside rivals like Apple Computer’s iTunes as a place where people go not just to order goods to be sent by mail, but to instantly enjoy digital wares as well.”

“So far, Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios and Warner Brothers are engaged in the talks, said one person close to the talks who, like the others, asked not to be identified because the negotiations are continuing,” Siklos reports. “Depending on the pricing of downloaded movies and the agreed split between the studios and Amazon, electronically selling DVD’s to consumers could represent a way to increase profit margins, as the overall growth of DVD’s has cooled. But the studios also face a delicate balancing act in ensuring that physical retailers like Wal-Mart, which account for the bulk of their existing sales, do not feel left in the lurch by the new digital endeavors.”

Full article here.

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Related articles:
Amazon’s digital download service unlikely to make much headway against Apple’s iTunes Store – February 24, 2006
Apple’s iTunes+iPod market dominance underscored with more than 1 billion songs sold – February 24, 2006
Apple’s iTunes Music Store hits one billion songs sold milestone – February 23, 2006
Amazon’s music ambitions pose no threat to Apple’s market-dominating iPod+iTunes – February 18, 2006
Amazon preps Amazon-branded music players, digital music service to rival Apple iPod+iTunes Store – February 16, 2006


  1. I don’t think with the download speeds we have today that it’s really worth it. You would have to spend nearly 2 days online to get a DVD to download. Maybe more for some 9gigs of data on some of them.

    the whole of Asia would scream with happiness since now they’ll be able to have masters for their pirate services without all the hassle.

    That is the whole reason why the iPod’s is low resolution and with blue ray here in a month people will not want to have standard res anymore

  3. Tommy Boy,
    Do you have proof of that, or is that just your assumption?

    You’re correct when it comes to full length, DVD quality movies, but TV shows or low-res movies would be great to legally DL and burn to DVD.

  4. “I don’t think with the download speeds we have today that it’s really worth it. You would have to spend nearly 2 days online to get a DVD to download. Maybe more for some 9gigs of data on some of them.”

    I’ve been using 350M AVI’s and converting them to reasonably watchable DVD’s for some time now. It takes about three to four hours total. I doubt any studio is talking about full DVD-quality downloads anyway.

  5. It’s all about compression. I do not believe the downloaded (amazon) movie would look much better than todays iTunes video (which is marginally acceptable for some entertainment).

    I’m not paying $10 to download an iTunes (video quality) product whether they let me burn it on disc or not. I’m not an HD snob, but as someone else intimated, I’ll just wait to buy the real DVD at Walmart for $10 or less, then Handbrake a copy for my viPod and have a decent quality master to watch on my big screen TV.

    Amazon is really stupid to waste there energy and resources on this. Apple has the advantage of an inhouse engineering dept. Amazon and anyone else who wants IN (on this market) better have a monster engineering staff devoted to hardware design and media technologies.

    Why doesn’t Amazon innovate more on their core business? and improve the whole genre of “selling stuff online” instead of chasing Apple.

    Oh well, let the piss waste of money begin and may the best tech company win.

  6. Great! Just what I always wanted! Low-res movies!!! yipeee…!

    Seriously, current physical DVDs offer the most flexibility in storage, ripping, conversion and resale if you no longer want the watch the movie.

    Music was different. People wanted to purchase individual songs affordably and create custom playlists.

    Movie downloads offer nothing better than the current system unless the quality is maintained and the price is reduced, neither of which have been suggested.

    Soon HD movies will be available at your local rental store, and download services will not be able to compete.


  7. Compression,
    Wow, you completely missed the entire point.

    1. Regardless of whether YOU are willing to pay for iTunes quality videos, there are obviously plenty of people that ARE willing.

    2. Sure, you can buy a DVD movie at Wal-Mart for $10, but individual TV shows are still unavailable.

    3. Why would Amazon need a monster staff devoted to hardware design? All they need is some software that would allow you to download and/or burn the video to a DVD.

    4. Amazon IS trying to explore new ways of “selling stuff online.” Just because they might offer something that Apple also offers does not mean that they are trying to overtake Apple.

  8. Its too bad movie studios have myopic vision. I think if they allowed downloading, and had some way to embed a watermark or id in the video, they could nip piracy in the butt. Their lawsuits might actually have some meat to them.

    But no. They are still in a pre-1980 mindset.

    I guess I’ll keep my Netflix subscription, get the movies I want to see from there. Less money for the studios. Besides, hardly any new movies are worth owning nowadays.

  9. Unlike Apple, Amazon really needs DVD burning since they don’t provide a system for getting the movie from the computer to a TV (or non-computer display).

    Apple has the mac mini (with Front Row with Bonjour) and future “iPod video” to provide that functionality.

  10. “I don’t think with the download speeds we have today that it’s really worth it. You would have to spend nearly 2 days online to get a DVD to download. Maybe more for some 9gigs of data on some of them.”

    Yeah right…I just have regular old comcast internet and I can download a 5gig DVD in 1 hour 45 minutes from usenet.

    Now if apple offered streaming h264 HD movies, then BOOYA

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