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June 21, 2006

Apple Negotiating for Downloadable Movies

The web has been buzzing about this article from Reuters that says Apple is in negotiations with studios to put movies up on iTunes. According to the article:

Apple's Chief Executive Officer Steve Jobs is said to want one flat price of $9.99 per movie, whereas studio executives want a range of prices that mirrors videos and DVDs at retail stores which, generally speaking, run from discount titles at a few dollars apiece up to $19.99 or more for new releases.

$10 seems pretty steep but $20 seems like highway robbery for something that is likely to be far less quality than a DVD, take a few hours to download, and likely will be stuck with all the DRM hassles of being to view it on the device of my choice.

Personally, I think Apple should be negotiating the opposite deal. I'd try to get studios to put iPod compatible video formatted files directly on the DVD, making it quick and simple to transfer it to an iPod, by just inserting the DVD on your computer and clicking transfer in iTunes. As a portion of the disc, the video files would be relatively small.

It would be a win for Apple by making it more entrenched as a standard, it would be a win for iPod users who don't have to worry about the nuances of fair use and copyright and who won't have to wait hours for it to transfer, and it would be a win for the studios in that they are offering more features to their users and providing an alternative that keeps some sort of DRM in place.

Posted on June 21, 2006

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