Apple wants exclusive early access to movies on iTunes from Hollywood studios

Apple wants exclusive early access to movies on iTunes from Hollywood studios

It appears that Apple is in talks with several major Hollywood studios in a bid to expand its iTunes business by offering earlier access to new movies. Such a move is perfectly synchronized with the desire of several big names in the business such as Warner Bros., Universal Pictures and 21st Century Fox to offer premium, high-priced video rentals of new motion pictures as early as two weeks after their theatrical debuts.

It is only natural for film producers to look for new ways to make their products widely available, as profits from home-video and cinema attendance are not exactly “booming” nowadays. New growth could be achieved if a deal of this magnitude is materialized and if Apple lands the contract, iTunes can quickly become a valid alternative or even surpass video streaming services such as Netflix or Amazon Video.

All of this might sound like a fresh approach that could offer convenience to a lot of people, but it's important to repeat that we're talking about a premium service that could cost from $25 to $50 per rental. While this price could be regarded as high if a single individual rents a movie, a group or family of 2+ could easily save money considering expenses for tickets and consumables like popcorn, drinks and sweets.

Naturally, theater chains are not going to be exactly thrilled with the news and could potentially attempt to either slow down or stop any developments into that direction. The common practice is that movie studios provide cinemas with exclusive rights to their creations for at least 90 days before issuing them on Blu-ray/DVD or online. This is something that the motion picture industry has been struggling with for quite some time, but a solution that benefits each party has to be found in order for profits to rise.

Piracy is the other main concern that could influence such proceedings. Apple does encrypt its video files on iTunes, but something as simple as pointing a camera at the screen and recording what's on it can severely compromise returns for both cinema owners and the studios.

In order to ensure a safe experience for everyone, Apple would have to ramp up security measures. Furthermore, the California-based tech giant is not the only one courting producers for such exclusive rights – Sean Parker, the founder of Napster has been involved with a similar project called Screening Room. Screening Room uses a watermark technology when streaming, and it is claimed that piracy can be prevented this way by enabling the source of a potential leak to be quickly discovered.

A lot of money is involved in this issue, making it very sensitive. Depending on the taken approach, things can either go really well or extremely bad as far as revenue is concerned. One thing is clear though – the world has moved on and new ways must be found in order to entice the customer of today. 

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15 Comments

1. nctx77

Posts: 2540; Member since: Sep 03, 2013

The problems with iTunes is that it need to be offered on Android and smart tv's. That's the only way it can compete.

2. Finalflash

Posts: 4062; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

It can't compete because apple have their head too far up their ass. They lost their car dream because they wanted a one sided deal and this is probably the same. Unless they ar willing to actually show some humility and compete while offering something to their partners other than bankruptcy, they won't get anywhere.

14. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

What stopping would be pirate from dubbing inside the comfort of their home using an action cam. That's would destroy the movie value before it even reach the theater.

3. ebilcake

Posts: 1215; Member since: Jul 16, 2016

Never used iTunes, never will.

4. Martin_Cooper

Posts: 1774; Member since: Jul 30, 2013

NEVER going to happen, at least for the two weeks time frame. If they manage to achieve 5-6 weeks time frame then that would be a huge surprise. Plus movie theaters in USA controll the industry. If they say NO to this then its a no. Similar thing was going to happen when several hollywood directors tried to do it and the theaters come out and told them, try to do it and you will not see any of yours movie in a cinema ever again. Since movies make a huge chunk from cinema it only means they need somehow to make them agree, which is impossible as it would mean for them loss of money.

7. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1297; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

Theaters have a huge say in this. They account for 70%+ of a movies revenue. I can realistically see them getting it before it launches in DVD/Blu-ray but not until after theaters are done with a movie.

11. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

Even then they would risk loosing dvd sales as well.

5. joebklyn

Posts: 16; Member since: May 02, 2011

You have to be an IDIOT!!!! to pay $25 to $50 for a rental. Are you kidding me.!!!!!! This is why Blockbuster went under,because of their high rental fees. Apple you are stretching BIG TIME !!!!

9. NarutoKage14

Posts: 1297; Member since: Aug 31, 2016

Ah! Remember all the idiots that paid $300 for Apple's picture book of discontinued products?

6. joebklyn

Posts: 16; Member since: May 02, 2011

You have to be an IDIOT!!!! to pay $25 to $50 for a rental. Are you kidding me.!!!!!! This is why Blockbuster went under,because of their high rental fees. Apple you are stretching BIG TIME !!!!

8. lyndon420

Posts: 6452; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

It should be left the way it is. Apple shouldn't be allowed to kill off the theater side of the movie business...they've already killed off the music industry that I grew up with, and besides how many people would be willing to pay $50 for a rental?!?

10. marorun

Posts: 5029; Member since: Mar 30, 2015

one word : No!

12. sun0066

Posts: 257; Member since: Feb 12, 2011

Greeding !!

13. sissy246

Posts: 6959; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

We already only go to the movies maybe once a year. Why pay $20(for 2) to go to a move when we can watch it in the comfort of are home on are 70in tv in 4 to 6 months from Redbox. No way would we pay that.

15. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

I go to the theater for imax 3D, my upcoming imax movie Star War Rogue One tickets were bought sometime back.

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