Disney sells nearly 500,000 movies via Apple’s iTunes Store in less than two months

“Box office success with Pirates of the Caribbean 2 and bigger audiences for its hit ABC television shows such as Grey’s Anatomy helped Disney double its fourth-quarter net income,” Matthew Garrahan reports for The Financial Times.

“Bob Iger, chief executive, said the company would build on digital initiatives such as the sale of movies and TV shows on Apple’s iTunes by revamping Disney.com, adding features such as streaming of its programmes and social networking,” Garrahan reports. “Since June there have been 53m downloads of shows on DisneyChannel.com while ABC streamed 19m advertiser-supported episodes of programmes such as Desperate Housewives and Lost. Disney has sold nearly 500,000 movies on iTunes.”

“However, the group’s digital push has not pleased everybody, with US retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target privately expressing concern about the effect of digital sales of Disney product on DVD sales,” Garrahan reports. “Mr Iger said the digital strategy had created ‘tensions over issues like pricing and [release] windows.’ But he added: ‘In general, our relations with retailers are in great shape.'”

“Disney’s fourth-quarter net income rose from $379m to $782m. Revenues increased from $7.73bn to $8.8bn. Full-year net income rose $2.5bn to $3.4bn,” Garrahan reports.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Notes:
• After the initial week of curiosity with approximately 125,000 movies sold via Apple iTunes Store, the following 7-8 weeks averaged roughly 50,000 movies sold per week.
• On Monday, Disney announced that the #1 animated film of the year, Disney/Pixar’s “Cars,” and the #1 motion picture of the year, Walt Disney Pictures’ “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” will be available for download at Apple’s iTunes Store on November 7th and December 5th respectively.

Related articles:
Fox movies, including ‘Star Wars’ franchise, coming soon to Apple’s iTunes Store? – November 08, 2006
Analyst: two major studios seen joining Apple’s iTunes Store – October 10, 2006
Report: Apple and Wal-Mart in discussions over iTunes Store alliance – September 29, 2006
Disney’s remarkable 1st week iTunes movies sales should have studios clambering aboard Apple train – September 20, 2006
Disney sells 125,000 movie downloads via Apple’s iTunes Store in first week – September 19, 2006
Apple debuts iTunes 7 – September 12, 2006


  1. > This is a shocker…

    I bought and downloaded one, partly out of curiousity about the user experience. It was very good (the movie and the experience), although watching an entire 2+ hour movie on my computer display was a bit strange.

    I use Netflix, so now I’m waiting to see what January 2007 MacWorld adds to the picture…

  2. What’s so hard to believe? People pay almost as much for a fancy cup of coffee! Skip a cup and buy a movie.

    I’m don’t buy these movies for their quality, I do it to support the cause. Besides they don’t look all that bad on a 15 inch screen.

  3. I don’t get it.

    “53m downloads on DisneyChannel.com.”
    “ABC streamed 19m advertiser-supported episodes”

    and only half a million on iTunes?

    And that’s supposed to be great? Sounds anemic compared to those Disney web numbers.

    iTunes did 1/100th of what DisneyChannel.com did.

    Why is this supposed to be great news for Apple?

  4. 50,000 a week! That’s a billion dollars of additional revenue a year if they get to keep 4 bucks a movie. That’s with just one studio and half of the iPod users that they’ll have a year from now. Why isn’t this great news?

  5. Bought two movies for kids (animation) and they look great on TV. Why limiting to the iPod. And it saves on going to the movie theater and the movie is ours to keep. What’s the mystery about it on why people would buy a movie. Moreover, they are available on demand, outside rained cats and dogs and no need to venture out to go to Blockbusters.

    I am amazed people could ever thing it was going to be a flop. It is all about convenience and 500,000 movies will be dwarfed in a year time.

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