iTunes Movie Releases Trying to Kill the DVD
Today Apple announced a deal with Fox, Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., Paramount, Universal, Sony Pictures, Lionsgate and New Line to release movies into the iTunes store simultaneously with DVD releases. iTunes has already experimented with what is being referred to as "day and date release" titles with such films as Juno. MGM was noticeably absent, but smaller studios like Magnolia and Image Entertainment were included. This announcement follows Apple's recent announcement that it inked deals with all of the major studios to provide 30-day rental access to films for $3 - $4 each and also provide "download/purchases" for around $15.
To see why we put "download/purchase" in quotes, please read our article on DRM.
According to a report at Reuters, Bob Iger estimates the number of movies sold via iTunes to be around 4 million since it debuted with iTunes in 2006. This will be an interesting experiment for Apple as it attempts to draw the public into the world of downloadable movies with a similar fervor and emphasis it has placed on its music sales.
This news comes after a Wednesday statement by Jeffrey Bewkes, CEO of Time Warner, that Warner Bros. would be experimenting with video-on-demand releases day-and-date with DVD.
Perhaps online downloads are closer than we think. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out for upcoming hardware talks occurring with both Netflix and the ailing Blockbuster.
I would like to see the option of multiple cover art entries for tracks, plus the option of displaying lyrics, liner notes, etc. with each track when using Apple TV, however they currently do not have this option. While you can store all of this info using iTunes, I'd like the features passed to their Apple TV along w/the functionality to enable it or not.
This would, at the very least, please some folks (like yourself MarieonCape) that like the additional art and information provided with hard copy purchases. As to a physical case, well... there's always some trade-off, isn't there? -TD
Aside from the whole quality issue being discussed I like to have a physical thing I can see, touch, and hold. How does one look at the inserts and notes that come with DVDs on a digital download? Where is the cover art? Do I have to have a computer screen seperate from a TV monitor (enough glow for one room) to see these at the same time the movie is playing.
My daughter (22 now) has always liked holding on to the movie packaging (whether tape, LD, or DVD) while watching the movie. I think it is a physical connection.
I like having the media where I can grab it and take it with me anywhere, be it plane, train, or cottage in the wilderness with no internet. I like that if my machine blows up I still have the media on the shelf - where I can pop it in another machine.
But that is just me. Old fashioned.
To quote Beth Keane "If it's good, buy all you can, because they're going to stop making it."
As I said before cable companies and other On-Demand providers are not going to take losing On-Demand revenue for very long...
Comcast Considering 250GB Cap, Overage Fees [dslreports.com]
A Comcast insider tells me the company is considering implementing very clear monthly caps, and may begin charging overage fees for customers who cross them. While still in the early stages of development, the plan -- as it stands now -- would work like this: all users get a 250GB per month cap. Users would get one free "slip up" in a twelve month period, after which users would pay a $15 charge for each 10 GB over the cap they travel. According to the source, the plan has "a lot of momentum behind it," and initial testing is slated to begin in a month or two...
Sure 250Gig is quite a few DVD's but when streaming HD gets off the ground it will add up fast.
I also laugh at the notion that people will pay for a show that they could have watched for free. And, they pay for it so they can watch it on a tiny screen (come on, even the biggest computer monitors are somewhat smaller than most HT screens - granted, that's changing, but, are you going to want to invest several thousand dollars in a new screen so you can watch compressed video?).
And, I don't want to have to spend whatever it's going to cost to hook up a new device to my router so I can pipe downloaded content onto my 57-inch screen.
Yeah, I'll stick with physical media until a better reason to switch appears, but I'm guessing I'm not going to have a FIOS cable infrastructure any time soon.
Besides, I don't know about you, but I get a certain thrill when I open my media cabinet and see hundreds of CDs, SACDs, DVD-As, and DVDs waiting for me to go through them. It's the same thrill I get at the library or a good used book store.
I have 2200 mp3's I bought from ALL OF MP3.com before the RIAA finally put them out of business. I bought all my mp3's @ 320 Kbps, and they sound far better than that 128 crap from iTunes.
Same reason I do not listen to radio stations. I guess I have become an audio snobb but I prefer CD's. All the hype over HD radio really was disappointing when I got to finally hear it. The sound is a lot like what TNTHD pumps out. All the frequencies below about 45 Hz are missing and do not even come close to the audio quality of a standard DVD over the rest of the range.