Apple’s iTunes Store movies outsell HD DVD, Blu-ray titles

“Blu-ray titles outsold HD DVD in the United States every single week of 2007, and the Blu-ray editions of titles released on both formats consistently outsold their HD DVD counterparts, often by ‘significant'” margins. Total domestic sales of Blu-ray movie titles topped six million in December 2007… By contrast, according to Home Media Research’s numbers, HD DVD didn’t reach the 2.5 million mark until mid-November,” Melissa Perenson reported for PC World on January 07, 2008.

Full article here.

The first HD DVD titles were released in April 2006. Blu-ray Disc titles began to be released in June 2006.

On September 12, 2006, Apple’s iTunes Store began selling movies online by offering over 75 movies from Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar, Touchstone Pictures and Miramax Films.

On Tuesday, January 15, Apple CEO Steve Jobs announced that Apple had sold 7 million movies to date online via iTunes Store.

Therefore, we know:
• HD DVD has sold 2.5 million movies since April 2006 (20 months)
• Blu-ray has sold 6 million movies since June 2006, (18 months)
• Apple has sold 7 million movies since September 2006 (15 months)

Apple’s iTunes Store has sold nearly three times more movies — in “near-DVD quality” 640×480 resolution and U.S.-only, no less — than HD DVD titles in 5 fewer months and more movies than Blu-ray titles in 2 fewer months – all without the support of many major Hollywood studios (all of whom are, of course, now onboard with Apple’s new iTunes Movies Rentals which will soon begin offering titles in High Definition (720p) with 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound – only via Apple TV, for now).

MacDailyNews Take: More than a few people are going to keel over dead when they find out the results of Apple’s movie rentals and Apple TV unit sales. If on Tuesday, Steve Jobs had unveiled Apple TV for the first time, starting at $229, along with iTunes Movie Rentals, people today would be shouting from the rooftops about how Jobs has just revolutionized yet another industry. As it is, they seem to have completely missed what’s about to happen simply because they’ve known about Apple TV for a year. In this case, familiarity breeds stupidity. Stay tuned for many shocked expressions from the currently oblivious.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “hh” for the heads up.]


  1. Umm. How many DVDs sold during the same timeframe?

    People buy Blu-Ray and HD-DVD for the HD content which Apple doesn’t offer so the comparison has no value.

    Now if DVDs didn’t exist and Apple still outsold both Blu-Ray and HD-DVD then we would have some news.

  2. That does not mean anything. You are just talking about the High Def titles playing on new technology vs the ipod/itunes store that more people have access to. You will see HD players sales increase with the format war near its end prices will decrease. I am buying blu-rays now for about an average 19 bucks online now. When I first starting buying them i was paying sometimes 40. Compared to a much cheaper itunes movie and a larger user base. i would hope itunes sold more movies, too bad it does not include DVD figures into it. I am sure that would be higher than itunes store but I am more interested in by how far. If it is pretty close, then maybe digital is the future. I for one dont want to buy a 50 gig movie to play on my computer. I would rather have a physical disk to play on my HDTV.

  3. If you look at this as a “what will replace regular DVDs?” comparison, then comparing the sales of HD-DVD discs, Blu-Ray discs, and Apple downloads to each other is valid.

    That said, by Jan 15, Blu-Ray and HD-DVD will have also sold more discs. In the case of Blu-Ray, since the exact date for it topping 6 million is not given, it is then possible that Blu-Ray Christmas sales could’ve led to more than Apple’s 7 million.

  4. TGABTG makes a wonderful point … about the wrong thing. Apple’s target is the DVD market. If you thinks Jobs can get excited about 10 million units at $25 retail dollars each over a year and a half, you may need to check your notes from Tuesday morning (see the part where he smiles as he repeats selling 20 million songs in a day).

  5. @TGABTG
    I started laying out the comparison… but as you nice and quickly stated… these numbers really mean nothing. You cannot really compare these numbers and get anything meaningful out of it.

    Apple is trying to limit any comparisons really. They do not SELL HD movies online… so you until they sell HD movies, you cannot compare Blu-Ray and HD-DVD sales to them. You can compare BB and Netflix RENTALS in 3 months… 6 months… or a year to Apple… but at this time… there is no news here… move along people. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

    The Dude abides.

  6. bad article. 640×480 is nowhere near-HD quality. That’s Standard Definition, the same as any standard DVD… Blu-Ray and HD-DVD offer 1080p resolution, much better quality than anything else out there to date. They require special players and 1080p TVs to enjoy, and thus are mostly in the hands of early adopters and techies who don’t want to wait out the format war.

    That iTunes users are buying movies online is good news, however, and hopefully the studios will realize that distribution methods and rules need to change, and change quick, or the same fate that befell the music industry will ensnare them. Perhaps it already has…

  7. If you have an HDTV, the only way to see true 1080p resolution movies is on Blu-ray or HD DVD.

    HD on air? Nope. 720i.
    HD on cable? Nope. That’s 1080i.
    HD on iTunes? Nope. It’s 720p at best.
    HD on Sattellite? Nope. Again, 1080i.

    And now that HD DVD has lost, Blu-ray is the only game in town. Apple TV is nice, but its no use to me until it gets a Blu-ray drive.

  8. Just rented & watched 300 – I don’t know how Apple is doing it, but the picture quality is awesome, and the wait time to watch is almost nothing. Great experience to get vastly better when my AppleTV gets updated!!!

    This is HUGE

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