Apple Computer Inc. is in the final stages of building an online service that will “allow easy and legal access to potentially thousands of movies on demand,” Dawn C. Chmielewski reports for The Los Angeles Times.
“Apple, which invigorated online music with its iTunes Music Store, will reveal plans next week to offer downloadable movies from the Walt Disney Co.,” Chmielewski reports.
Chmielewski reports that Apple’s plans were confirmed by several people familiar with them. Details such as pricing and title lineups were unclear Tuesday, as was information about how the service will work.
“Apple plans to unveil its movie service Sept. 12 with full-length features from Disney, the same initial partner it chose to inaugurate downloadable television shows last fall. Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs is a Disney board member, a position he assumed when Disney bought his Pixar Animation Studios earlier this year.
Since Apple started offering video last fall, the company has sold 35 million clips — including music videos, classic TV shows and new installments of popular shows such as “Desperate Housewives” and “The Office.”
Disney declined to comment Tuesday and Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr said only that “we do not comment on rumors and speculation.”
In tandem with the movie service, Apple is expected to unveil a new version of the its popular iPod media player.
Other major studios are still in talks with Apple, according to people familiar with the discussions. The studios have reservations about the digital locks Apple uses to prevent unauthorized copying. They also don’t like Apple’s refusal to charge higher prices for new releases.
That issue has also been a contentious one between Apple and the record labels that sell their songs for a flat 99 cents on iTunes. Apple has long insisted that flat prices make things easier for customers. It does the same with its video offerings, charging $1.99 per clip. Labels and studios, however, argue that new songs or movies are more valuable than older material in their catalogs.
More info, including news about other services coming from Amazon, Sprint and others, here.
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