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. mac movies says: “I don’t get it… 53m downloads on DisneyChannel.com… ABC streamed 19m advertiser-supported episodes… and only half a million on iTunes? … iTunes did 1/100th of what DisneyChannel.com did.

    Why is this supposed to be great news for Apple?”

    I’m with you – those sales numbers are ridiculously small. With literally tens of millions of iTunes users, after 2 months that’s almost no market penetration at all.

    The prices are the culprit. I can buy a fully featured DVD for LESS than the cheapest movie offered on iTS, and do more with it once its been ripped. Or I can get a torrent for nothing. This is where these idiot suits need to realize their competition is coming from. iTS is great for music and TV, mostly because reasonable prices for them make piracy seem somewhat pointless in comparison. i.e. the consumer is getting a fair deal.

    But the movies … when it comes to digital downloads, hollywood is making the same mistake with their product as the record companies did with music (before Apple showed up) – strangling them in the crib with uncompetitive pricing.

    At present resolutions & with none of the extras you get with a regular DVD, AND considering there are no manufacturing/shipping/warehousing costs incurred by anybody AT ALL:

    $7.99 for first run releases
    $3.99 for the old stuff

    The minute those price points are hit you will see some real sales numbers – not this weak shit. The margins will be about 50% less, but sales will be about 1000% greater. And, more important, the groundwork will be more rapidly laid for digital downloads becoming the main driver in the industry.

    Message to studio heads: You can’t hide from reality forever. Time to remove cranium from anus.
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  2. Odyssey67 & Jay,
    I really agree with you – downloading movies on iTunes just doesn’t make a lot of sense to me.
    For me, the great thing about iTunes has been filling in the gaps – getting that one song I really want, or a episode of a tv show.

    The cost and lack of extras make buying a movie really not worth it.

    Now, if they would just get Star Trek or the Twilight Zone on iTunes, I’d be REALLY happy!

  3. What I think is cool is that someones income rose almost a billion dollars for the year. Granted it was a corporation that did this, but think of the possibilities. People for one have that much disposable income on hand that they are not worried about it. Of course there is the envious crowd who would belittle this. They are probably windows trolls who are grumpy about being left out on all this free money. They probably say lets complain about the quality or lets use net flix or better yet why not wait and buy it when it comes out on DVD. They’re just gadget envy whannabes in my opinion who don’t understand timetables. The train has left the station and there they are on the platform! Boo! Hoo!

  4. “For me, the great thing about iTunes has been filling in the gaps – getting that one song I really want, or a episode of a tv show.”

    That’s one of the things that bothers me with TV & Movie downloads.

    In the case of TV, it’s rare that I want to rewatch an episode–certainly I don’t really want to “own” it.

    Last season, I missed one episode of “24”. After the season was complete, Apple offered episodes of “24” on iTS and I bought the one that I missed (It was the episode right after the gas bomb went off in CTU and everybody was trapped). I watched it as sort of a “Oh, that’s how so-and-so died.”

    I haven’t watched it since.

    Movie downloads have sort of the same effect. There are a few movies I own, I’ll admit, but I don’t watch them all that often. I bought them basically because I like the movie–having seen it elsewhere–and it was on sale, so what the heck.

    On the other hand, via my cable system, I have pay-per-view if I really want to spend money to watch a movie. I have HBO, Cinemax, ShowTime, The Movie Channel, Starz, Encore, etc. Most of them have on-demand viewing of movies.

    Only if I want to “own” the movie, would I buy from Apple. And, frankly, I’d probably buy the DVD since it’s about the same price.

    I’ll certainly look into getting an iTV when it comes out. But I’m still not all that interested in buying movies from Apple.

  5. Peter,
    I would mostly agree with you about current shows.
    What I’m thinking of are older shows.

    That old episode of some show you caught as a kid with a great guest star, or some big-name star who was just starting out. Or maybe just nostalgia.
    Quite often there are particular episodes of a show that I’d love to see again – but I’ll be damned if I’m going to buy the entire boxed-set, complete season just for the privilege of ONE episode.
    That’s kind of what I meant by filling in the gaps.

    This is where I think iTunes could really make some $$$.

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