The dam begins to break: MGM films now on iTunes Store; Apple announces over 2 million movies sold

Apple StoreMetro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc. (MGM) and Apple today announced that MGM is now offering titles from its prestigious catalog of feature films for purchase and download on the iTunes Store. Beginning today, iTunes customers will be able to purchase legendary films such as “Dances With Wolves,” “Mad Max,” “The Great Train Robbery” and “Rocky,” with other titles to be added in the coming weeks. MGM has the largest modern film library in the world and has received 208 Academy Awards in its history, making it one of the biggest award winning collections of films in the world.

“It’s exciting to be bringing so many amazing films from our catalog to iTunes,” said Douglas A. Lee, MGM’s executive vice president of Worldwide Digital Media, in the press release. “We have an unrivaled movie library and are looking forward to adding even more films in the future so users can take their favorite movies with them wherever they go.”

“More than two million movies have now been downloaded from the iTunes Store making it the world’s most popular online movie store,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of iTunes. “We’re absolutely thrilled so many legendary MGM films are joining an iTunes film catalog that now has over 500 movies.”

Titles from MGM’s collection of blockbusters and classics that will be available on iTunes will include “The Thomas Crown Affair,” “Ronin,” and the acclaimed musical “Lilies of the Field.” Movies downloaded from the iTunes Store are downloaded in near-DVD quality at a resolution of 640×480 (up to 480, depending on the aspect ratio) and can be viewed on a computer, fifth generation iPod or widescreen TV with Apple TV.

The iTunes Store features the world’s largest catalog with over five million songs, 350 television shows and, with the addition of the MGM catalog, over 500 movies. The iTunes Store has sold over 2.5 billion songs, 50 million TV shows and over two million movies, making it the world’s most popular online music, TV and movie store.

MacDailyNews Take: Slowly, slowly, but definitely moving in a positive direction.

MacDailyNews Note: MGM ownership is as follows: Providence Equity Partners (29%), TPG (21%), Sony Corporation of America (20%), Comcast (20%), DLJ Merchant Banking Partners (7%) and Quadrangle Group (3%).

Related articles:
Apple hits major milestones: 100 Million iPods sold, 2.5 billion iTunes Store songs sold – April 09, 2007
Lionsgate Movies now on Apple’s iTunes Store, more than 150 titles coming this month – February 12, 2007
Disney film sales via Apple’s iTunes Store rise sharply; over 1.3 million sold in first three months – February 02, 2007
Apple adds Paramount films to iTunes Store – January 09, 2007
Apple debuts iTunes 7 – September 12, 2006 (features 75 movies from Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar, Touchstone Pictures and Miramax Films)

43 Comments

  1. This is great news, arguments about quality aside, I think everyone can agree that in some form, the internet is the future of media content and how we obtain it. The thing with the internet, more than any physical media is that there will be a longer transition period and the format and methodology of how content is delivered will evolve with time. Sure we can do 720 or 1080 HD now but its impractical – it will get there though. With the flexibility of Quicktime things like commentaries won’t be far behind.

  2. I agrree that this is in its infancy.. the quality is not yet where we’d like it to be.. the main issue is likely the backbone of the internet is not yet ready for it. The technology will evolve and the pipeline will improve and I believe this is the future of media content delivery, but as you say M.X.N.. the extras like audio commentary and subtitles need to be there as well to replace the features that are already available on DVD.

  3. I’m itching to get an AppleTV but I’m holding out like a lot of other people until a time when it could actually replace my cable. Once there’s movie rentals and a way to pay per month to stream tv shows I will definitely be picking one up.

  4. Great news!

    BUT – Apple please start a movie subscription service so we can stream them on iTunes and launch the bloody movie store in Europe!

    Pull your fingures out guys – there aint a harddrive big enough for all the movies I wanna buy – PLEASE LAUNCH A SUBSCRIPTION STREAMING SERVICE!

  5. I’ve been ripping my DVDs to my “Home Theater” G5 for a few weeks and have bought a few movies through iTunes. The quality from iTunes is just fine for my standard def TV. Actually DVDs are 720×480 so the vertical resolution offered through iTunes is identical to DVD. At 1500kbps h.264 (which iTunes uses), it is almost indistinguishable from DVD (at least on a standard def TV). So I am happy to download what they have available.

  6. I dare anyone to watch ‘O Brother Where Art Thou?’ on an Apple store demo model and defend the current iTunes resolutions for movies.

    The guy who said vertical resolution is same as DVD has no idea what he’s talking about. Any widescreen movie on iTunes now will have usually 50 percent less vertical resolution as DVD (16:9 movies are 360 pixels tall). Add in the fact that the 720 horizontal resolution on DVDs is most often anamorphic, and you’re comparing 640 to 804 pixels…. DVDs also then offer over 25 percent greater horizontal resolution. Face it, iTunes movies right now are total garbage and only suitable for iPods.

    720p iTunes movies now!

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