Hollywood stupidly removing hit movies from Apple’s iTunes Store, Netflix

“Some days you just wonder if entertainment execs wake up in the morning planning to shoot themselves in their collective foot. The latest display of entertainment exec short-sightedness is that the Hollywood Studios have apparently forced both the Apple iTunes store and Netflix’s download store to remove certain movies just as they’re getting close to being available for TV,” Mike Masnick writes for TechDirt.

“As you probably already know, Hollywood makes a lot of money through a ‘windowing’ system, where they release movies in different formats at different times: theaters, special locations (airplanes, hotels), DVD, cable and finally network TV. Of course, they’re working on adding some more tiers to this as well, but apparently they convinced these online download stores that they need to kill certain movies as the timing reaches where the movies can appear on TV,” Masnick writes.

“The studios’ myopic reasoning is that TV broadcasters pay a lot of money for those rights, and they don’t want to piss them off… This makes no sense. The movies are already released on DVD and the studios don’t prevent Blockbuster or Netflix from offering the physical DVD for rent, so why do that with the download version? If people really want to download these movies, they’re more likely to just go get them from an unauthorized site, rather than bother to watch the network broadcast version,” Masnick writes.

Full article here.

Masnick gives Hollywood way too much credit. It’s quite likely they haven’t even thought about the issue at all.


  1. Personally I think Hollywood should put commercials in the middle of their DVDs. That way consumers can pay to watch advertisements which is good for everybody, especially consumers.

  2. with itunes I buy a movie download it and thats it…..convenient and works perfectly and I cant give a copy to anyone else or even burn it for playback on a dvd player (that I know of)

    If I buy a dvd I immediately rip it for my apple tv and give copies of it to my friends…. I guess hollywood likes people sharing…..

  3. HMCIV suggests putting commercials in the middle of their DVDS. To that, I say “Nuts!”. Commercials just interrupt the flow of the story, making for a lesser experience. And there’s no evidence it would result in lower cost DVDs. So how does that benefit consumers?

  4. Almost no one with the financial capacity or technical knowledge to run a computer would choose to watch any movie on broadcast TV or basic cable. More likely, they would rent it on DVD if they wanted to watch a specific movie at a specific time. The much less likely (but increasing) secondary choice would by using a download service.

    There is no conflict here. These “Hollywood” decision makers are only denying themselves more profits. How stupid. It does not significantly help the broadcasters get more viewers. It does not significantly hurt Apple; Apple makes most of its profits from selling hardware, not from selling digital content. Apple is not going to sell fewer iPods and Macs, just because a few movies are no longer available from the iTunes Store.

  5. Have 3 things for the Movie/Music/Entertainment Cartels:




    To the rest of you, if you don’t know what/how/etc about those 3:



    arrrrr, matey ….. now – but with apologies to Jimmy

    Get out on that Sea of Adventure

    Watch the films, read the books

    About heroes and crooks

    And learn much from both of their styles

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  6. Who cares if they pull the *&#@(@! movie at TV time?!

    You don’t need to see it if you haven’t seen it by then.

    But I say, if the Studios want to drag it back to iTS once it’s finished the television run, it had better be ninety-nine cents or less!

  7. In fairness to “Hollywood” (yeah, I know…) they were contractually obligated to remove the movies due to exclusive deals with cable networks. Namely Starz and Encore. Since those networks had the rights to show the movies for a period of time (over and over and over again…) they didn’t want you to be able to purchase them for download. Once those contractual rights expire the movies should return to iTunes and Netflix.

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