Apple prepares debut of full-length feature films via iTunes Store in time for 2006 holiday season

“Consumers have been willing to spend 99 cents to buy Shakira’s ‘Hips Don’t Lie’ or $1.99 for an episode of ‘Desperate Housewives’ from iTunes,” Laura M. Holson and Eduardo Porter report for The New York Times. “Now Steven P. Jobs is betting they will also pay $9.99 to download ‘The Godfather’ to play on their iPods.”

“For weeks, Apple Computer has been talking with executives at all the major studios — including the Walt Disney Company, 20th Century Fox, Warner Brothers and Universal Studios — about adding movies to its popular iTunes music store, several people involved in the negotiations said,” Holson and Porter report.

“Mr. Jobs, who is Apple’s chief executive, has been participating in the negotiations and telling studio executives in Los Angeles that he wants to have a deal in place by the fall, people involved in the negotiations said,”: Holson and Porter report. “Disney, which was the first studio to put some TV shows (like “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives”) on iTunes, is also expected to be the first to put some movies on Apple’s online service, the people involved in the talks said.”

“People involved in the negotiations said there were several potential snags, including fears about piracy and Mr. Jobs’s proposal to charge a flat price of $9.99 for movies already sold on DVD,” Holson and Porter report. “Under Mr. Jobs’s proposed plan, there will be several prices for movies, depending on when they have their debut on iTunes. The prices have not yet been determined, but some studios are worried about releasing movies too close to their theatrical release dates.”

“The reports of Apple’s discussions with movie studios have renewed speculation that Apple is preparing to offer a living room-oriented entertainment device later this year, in time for the Christmas season,” Holson and Porter report.

Full article here.

“Some Hollywood studios have also been talking to Microsoft about licensing movies for use with the company’s upcoming portable digital device, the Wall Street Journal said. The company hopes to launch an iPod competitor, which could hit the market as soon as the fourth quarter of this year,” Reuters reports.

Full article here.

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Related articles:
Report: Movie studios flatly reject Apples’ proposed $9.99 pricing for feature films via iTunes – June 19, 2006
Report: Apple in negotiations with movie studios; $9.99 feature films coming to iTunes soon? – June 19, 2006


  1. “Disney, which was the first studio to put some TV shows (like “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives”) on iTunes, is also expected to be the first to put some movies on Apple’s online service, the people involved in the talks said.”

    Revived tagline: “You’ll beWITCHED! You’ll beDAZZLED! You’ll be swept into a world of enchantment BEYOND ANYTHING BEFORE!”

  2. We better get more than 320×240 resolution or it’s a complete waste of money. If bandwitdth is an issue, implement a bittorrent system and reward users who help uploading with credits that can be used towards movies or songs.

    Also, how about higher prices for better quality? A video airport express sending a movie to one’s TV (especially digital) will look terrible at 320×240.

    Please, Apple, give us options.

  3. Give me an Apple-branded 42-inch LCD television with Mac mini built-in. Please.


    Why would you want a Mac mini built in? Considering the lifespan of a tv is 7-10 years, the built in mini would become legacy long before the tv would. I’d prefer to keep mine seperate.

  4. Two things need to happen to make this a success for the long term:

    1. Offer HD versions (720p/1080i will work for now).

    2. Update iPod with a massive hard drive (120GB?) and to output HD (dock to HDMI?) and digital optical audio.

    Could this be the “real” year of HD Steve has been talking about?

    Also, Apple needs to offer lossless versions of all its music too. And then have iTunes be able to drop the quality down when dumping it to the iPod. The bandwidth is there, no excuses…

  5. It makes me chuckle. The recording industry did it first, now it’s the movie studios. They want to keep on screwing the consumer for as long as they can. The consumer turns to piracy. The studios lose money. It’s a changing marketplace. Adapt, or get out of the way.

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