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. I think you guys are all missing the point. People poo-poo the iTunes store for poor video sales, and yet they are outselling both Blu-ray and HD DVD – formats that have had billions of dollars invested in order to make them the next “big thing”. Maybe, just maybe, the iTunes video store is going to be the next “big thing”.

    Oh, and stop whinning about HD. The money is made at the consumer level, not the videophile level. Regular DVD is fine for 90% of the market and will be until Blu-ray is as cheap.

  2. @G Spank

    Hmmm maybe the use Handbrake! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    Actually I would love how Apple does their encoding. Even the TV shows looks amazing. The Terminator series free premier movie looks awesome.

  3. Saying this article is like comparing Apples to Oranges and hence pointless is missing the point! DVD sales of course are going to be still going strong for a few more years. What they’re comparing here is the NEXT GEN formats. I think this is a significant report because it shows that many are waiting on a next gen format. I think Apple brought HD rentals out at the right time (actually a few months earlier would have been ideal but still nonetheless great timing). HDTV’s have been selling for years and you can’t buy a new TV that’s SD anymore. So going forward DVDs will decline naturally and a new format will take it’s place. The biggest reason HD has not taken off, is who wants to pay $500+ for a player that may become the next BetaMax! Many have an HDTV, want HD, but want just one player, not 2, and also not have one being obsolete in a year from now. With hard drives so cheap, media centers, laptops, and set top boxes like Apple TV available, and high speed internet in almost every home why not just wait for a download service! If iTunes is outselling the next gen movie formats that shows that it’ll soon be outselling HD downloads. Why? Because once you’ve established the loyal customer base, there’s only one way to go, and that’s up! Now what I’d be interested to see is how iTunes matches against NetFlix in online downloads. Personally, I think the time is coming when downloads will overtake physical media and obviously the stats are proving that true. Few more years and only Grandma and Grandpa will be buying Blu-Ray! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  4. Look one use for Blue Ray is this. Reduce the amount of plastic in the environment. Instead of releasing a box set on 6 discs, they could be released on one disc. And shorten the box back down to music CD box size. The quality would have to be the same as standard DVDs are now to fit but hey, that’s good enough isn’t it.

    But movies, I think 700meg avi’s are good enough (considering most movies are crap or you’ll only watch it once anyway) Think of the gaming possibilities. 300 levels of Halo or whatever on the one disc.

  5. 3 Things

    Time Capsule

    They all look the same and Should be the same!!!!!!!! Offer it in one device. Wireless internet, Computerless or Computer Entertainment and all backed including your computers.

    1 Item Not 3.

    I’m saving my $100.00 iphone refund for that item.

  6. It’s waay to early to start with these HD Downloads. Who is going to wait about 15 hours to download one movie?? I sure wouldnt. Besides, if the new non-physical media would easily takeover then that means that Cd’s, DVD’s and other recordable media would have vanished by now. HD Downloads will succed maybe in 20 years from now.

  7. I think that it would behoove Apple to start throwing out a few ATV commercials to get the general public notified. Most people just dont know what it is. I think that marketing this thing is key to its success.

  8. @johnny:
    I agree that this is pushing the envelope right at the moment, but 20 years is far too long for your vision to come true. Consider this for a moment: in 1998, there were lots and lots of physical CD stores all over the place. Where are they now? Only big-box stores like Walmart and such can manage to remain open selling them since they don’t need to make any money off CDs.

    College students, with access to high speed internet, download tons of movies already (I know because I ask my students this question from time to time). It’ll take a few more years (and bigger bandwidth pipes for the average household), but physical media for movies will go the way of the current CD in time.

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