Monday, June 19, 2006

iTunes Movie Store coming soon?

MacRumors is reporting some rumblings about an iTunes Movie Store. Here is what they said:

"Variety has posted an update on negotiations between Hollywood execs and Apple on the rumored iTunes Movie Store. According to the report, negotiations are still ongoing with Hollywood execs, who don't know whether to regard Jobs as a friend or foe.

"He came in with a lot of bravado and said, 'We set our mind to what we were going to do in the music business and revolutionized it, and now we want to do the same thing with film," recalls one studio person close to the talks for movie downloads.

Movie execs anxious to beat piracy are debating how much power to give Jobs, who recently was successful in strong-arming music executives into sticking to a flat $.99 (USD) pricing model per song. Movie execs are hoping to have a tiered model, whereas Jobs is insisting that movies be sold at an easy-to-remember $9.99 (USD).

On March 14th, Apple made its first full-lenth TV movie feature available on the iTunes Music Store at $9.99 USD. The movie seemed to indicate that much of the technical groundwork had been laid for iTunes movies, with only content left to be obtained.

Also complicating the deals: The studios are working out terms with a host of other distributors, including Amazon, Movielink and BitTorrent, in part to make sure that one company does not dominate. It seems that none of the studios wants to be first in making a deal with Apple. Disney would be the logical leader, but even they are cautious, fearing it will look like in-house synergy rather than a business decision.

Movie studios have been rolling out their own movie services in past months, including Starz's Vongo (subscription-based) and Universal's own download-to-own store."