Apple trying to negotiate movie-download price with studios

“Apple Computer Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. are both quietly negotiating with the studios to make movie downloads the next frontier, according to informed insiders,” Anne Thompson reports for The Hollywood Reporter.

“Officials at both Internet trailblazers declined to discuss any such moves, but the evidence is mounting,” Thompson reports. “There has been wide speculation that the secretive Apple could bring out a new horizontal video iPod device, with a larger screen, by the end of this year. And Apple is reportedly trying to negotiate a reasonable movie-download price with the studios.”

Thompson asks, “What is the right price for a high-resolution movie download? $5? $15? ‘The studios don’t want to figure that out yet,’ one studio digital executive says, ‘not until digital downloads make real money, or Wal-Mart wants to get into that business.'”

Full article, mainly about Amazon, here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Mac a day” for the heads up.]

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Does Apple face delivery issue if they want to sell movies via iTunes Store? – June 28, 2006
Warner Bros. to distribute movies on Guba.com – June 27, 2006
BusinessWeek: Apple agreement with movie studios for iTunes Store unlikely any time soon – June 21, 2006
Apple prepares debut of full-length feature films via iTunes Store in time for 2006 holiday season – June 20, 2006
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
Disney to sell movies over Internet via CinemaNow in Windows Media Video format – June 05, 2006
Warner Bros. to sell movies and TV shows via BitTorrent – May 09, 2006
Universal launches film download/DVD service in UK – March 23, 2006
If Front Row can stream movie trailers from Apple, why not whole movies? – January 06, 2006
BusinessWeek: Movie studios need to smarten up and let Apple sell their movies – or be left behind – October 18, 2005
Universal to put its movies online – October 06, 2005

25 Comments

  1. My problem with a ‘blanket set price’ is that not all movies, like songs, should be priced the same.

    There needs to be a drastic ‘price restructure’ on the iTunes Music Store in my opinion.

    Why should a song that was released in the 1940s by a long forgotten jazz singer be the same price as a very popular pop star from today?

    Albums I can find at Walmart, Target or even Sam Goody for 1/3rd of the price go for full price on iTunes and that’s just not right.

    Same goes for the TV Shows. You can by the Munsters at Best Buy for 1/2 of what iTunes sells it for…because iTunes charges the set ‘blanket price’.

    In order for movies to be greatly popular, who’d pay full price for some movie that’s being rerun on cable 3 times a week and was made 30 years ago??

    Sure, we’ll pay full price for something popular but get screwed on old stuff.

  2. So you want to pay $5-$10 for the #1 hit song and $.50 for Louis Armstrong? I prefer one blanket price. Movies could be different, but why should I pay a high price for a song, I might not listen to in a few months anyway?

  3. I would have thought that a good move would be the addition of added value content to go with HD-DVD or BLU-RAY discs. If they can tie themselves into the movie business by getting itunes onto standalone non-computer devices it can surely only increase their standing. They may not make anything on the hardware end (in comparison to the iPod/music angle) but full movie downloads still have bandwidth problems. I’ve read about next-gen dvd’s having downloadable trailers, commentaries etc. If iTunes can host them, tie them in with podcasts etc it will ensconce them.

  4. “Why should a song that was released in the 1940s by a long forgotten jazz singer be the same price as a very popular pop star from today?”

    This implies that it should cost less but the arguement could be made that it should be priced considerably higher. It takes the same time to encode and the same space on the servers but will be downloaded maybe 500 times verses the 50,000,000 times for the hot single. In the past you may have had to roam city to city and store to store to lay your hands on a piece of vinyl that started degrading the first time the diamond stylus traced the path around it’s surface. I love the world of point, click and download for a buck. (which is what I recall a single costing in the early days of the Beatles.)

  5. Surely the quality of music to any given listener is timeless if that track is enjoyed by that listener. On the other hand movies are rarely something you wish to view continually and therefore the older they are and the more they have been shown and viewed comparatively the less valuable they tend to become, even the top notch block busters. Therefore I think that their intrinsic monetary value varies far more than with music. I think a single price is defendable for music though brand new tracks could arguably have a higher value for a while, but a single price for films seems prtty unworkable to me. That said any price regime should be as simple as possible to understand and different price points kept to a minimum.

  6. Single price is nice and easy.

    I rather think that music/movie companies will try to price UP for new stuff, rather than DOWN for old ‘uns.

    Or maybe I’m just an old cynic!

  7. I stopped shopping at Walmart 4 years ago and will never spend one cent in their stores ever again.

    Walmart is NOT the Apple of the business world, not that it makes any sense to say that to begin with. Apple has a soul, Walmart does not.

  8. Christopher is obviously a paid shill for the RIAA. Either that or his just a mentally challenged 14 year old.

    Albums I can find at Walmart, Target or even Sam Goody for 1/3rd of the price go for full price on iTunes and that’s just not right.

    Then buy it at Walmart, dimwit.

    Sure, we’ll pay full price for something popular but get screwed on old stuff.

    If you feel you’re “getting screwed” and yet you still purchase, you must be mentally challenged. If you feel the transaction is unfair, don’t participate. It’s really that simple. If the movie is on three times a week on basic cable and it’s “made 30 years ago” (though I don’t understand how that effects quality or value), don’t buy it. Why are you arguing that you should be able to buy dog shit for 50 cents and horse shit for a dollar?

    Me, I won’t buy a low quality movie for more than $5.

  9. The “Market” is like water. In time it will, without fail, find it’s own level. The problem is that no one wants to get locked into a long term contract that could, ultimately, be disadvantageous. Once again, the inability of sellers and buyers to be able to do business without the spectre of lawsuits hanging over every move is thwarting advances that would otherwise naturally occur.

  10. “Why should a song that was released in the 1940s by a long forgotten jazz singer be the same price as a very popular pop star from today?”

    I agree. No way would I be willing to pay as much for the latest flash-in-the-pan pop loser as I would for Billie Holiday or Oscar Peterson.

    If your music is good enough to have an audience 60+ years after the fact, then the price should go up…

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