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Posts Tagged ‘iTunes Store’

images1.jpegEarlier this week, I posted a brief history of Apple TV from concept (iTV), to initial release (1.0) to the update announced last week at Macworld (2.0). Today, I’ll look at what Apple got right, got wrong and what lies ahead for Apple TV.

The full post is after the jump.

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images1.jpegRoughlyDrafted had a great post yesterday that predicts Apple TV will knock out Netflix and brick-and-mortar rental stores with one deadly blow.

Apple also couldn’t force all of the labels to sell their movies in iTunes as digital downloads. It could, however, get them all to sign up for movie rentals if it matched the rules the studios have laid out for Pay Per View TV and every other digital rental service. So Apple did. And after things begin to sell, Apple’s movie rentals will obsolesce the NetFlix mail model and the mainstream rental store. This is as obvious as the big Apple logo on top of the box.

I agree that Apple TV will have a major impact — due to Apple’s great brand equity, Apple TV’s intuitive interface, and participation by all the major studio players — but I don’t think Apple will be able to clear the field the way the iPod has done in the MP3 market.

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Wow, the gang’s (almost) all here. Bloomberg says today that Warner Bros. will join several other studios in making movies available on iTunes Store for sale and rental. The announcement will come in Steve Jobs’ keynote address Monday morning at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco.

Bloomburg says Warner Bros., 20th Century Fox, Paramount, Disney and Lionsgate will participate in the iTS rental service, which will charge $3.99 for a 24-hour rental. Earlier this week, BusinessWeek said Sony could also be on board. That would leave idiot studio NBC Universal as the only holdout among the major studios.

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hd_dvd.pngWow, less than a week after Warner Brothers said it chose Blu-ray over HD DVD and would no longer sell high-definition discs in both formats, Paramount is also apparently dumping HD DVD, according to a report today by Financial Times.

NBC Universal is now the only major studio in the HD DVD camp and — if the rumors are true — will be the only major studio that’s not on board with iTunes Store by this time next week. Instead of ranting about NBC Universal again today, I’ll just quote my rant from yesterday:

NBC Universal is going to have to make a strategic change soon. It would be the only studio with no movies on iTS, no TV shows on iTS, one of only two with no HD films in the prevailing format, was in the worst shape of the four networks prior to the Writers’ Guild strike, and has no big, go-to spring show like ABC (”Dancing With the Stars,” “Lost”) or Fox (”American Idol”). Jeff Zucker: roll over.

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Microsoft chief dork Bill Gates kicked off the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last night by announcing a slew of movie and TV content for its 10-million-member Xbox Live community, much of it in high definition, including:

  •  500 hours of ABC (“Lost,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Desperate Housewives,” “Ugly Betty”), ABC Family (“Kyle XY,” “Greek”), ABC News and Disney programming.  New episodes of some shows will be available the day after they air on network, and some content will be available in HD.
  • the MGM/UA film libraries, including “Silence of the Lambs” and “The Usual Suspects.”

Most of the content is already available on iTS (though not in HD).  Apple TV has been an HD box since the beginning, so hopefully Apple will finally step up with a slew of HD content next Monday at Macworld.

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There are so many rumors and news items blowing around, I’m going to need oxygen to keep from hyperventilating between now and Macworld. Let’s go:

  • Macworld. Steve Jobs’ keynote address is Monday, Jan. 14, 2008 — one week from today — starting at 12 p.m. EDT.
  • Movie rentals. BusinessWeek says today that Apple is close to agreements with Warner Brothers, Paramount and Liongate to provide titles for movie downloads in iTunes Store, and is also talking to Sony and Disney about rentals. Fox has previously been reported as on board for movie rentals. Rumored rental terms: $3.99 for 24 hours, which is competitive with rental and on-demand pricing. No mention of HD content.

More notes after the jump… (more…)

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Half full: Movie rental downloads in iTS. Half empty: Only two of five major studios are on board — not enough to justify buying an Apple TV and dropping Netflix or Comcast.

Variety says Steve Jobs will announce Jan. 14 in his Macworld keynote that 20th Century Fox and Disney movie titles as pay-per-view downloads in iTS. Terms: $2-$5 for 24-hour viewing. Variety says Sony, Universal and Warner Brothers are not involved in the announcement.

PPV downloads have been a long time coming for Apple so this is definitely good news, but I’m only shrugs about the whole movies-over-the-Internet deal until there’s a critical mass of content available for my HDTV. I’ll grant that Apple TV is a great delivery system for such content, but I’m not ready to pay $299 for a set-top box that is less capable than Comcast On Demand and still needs an Internet connection.

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