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Why Apple Can't Get Movie Content 132

An anonymous reader writes "This article analyzes Apple's negotiations with record companies and movie studios. It explains why Apple's preferences are aligned with those of consumers. Using a software model, it concludes that the iTunes Movie Store currently doesn't have the software/hardware lock-in that forced the music industry to agree to Apple's terms for the Music Store."
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Why Apple Can't Get Movie Content

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  • I'm an iTunes user with a video iPod. I'm comfortable with their pricing ($10 or $15 per movie) and I've had no problem buying, downloading or viewing a couple of movies. The speed is good, and the video quality is fine, and DRM has not (yet) gotten in my way.

    The problem is that I have already run out of movies that I want to buy from iTunes. They need a library of 100X more in order to get a critical mass of users. If that doesn't happen, and soon, I will find another way to get viewable content onto m
    • And Unfortunatly.. If you use the Canadian Itunes store your choices are even fewer.
      No TV shows, No movies, just a selection of music videos...
      • And a 75% tax rate!
      • by Phil246 ( 803464 )
        similarly for the UK store. As far as i know - only the US store has the tv shows or movies. Its a bit silly to block off a substantial part of the market like this but its probably a result of the terms and conditions the media companies defined. Think dvd regions - etc.
    • It's called buy the damn DVD and rip it onto the iPod. It includes the added bonus of being DRM free and viewable anywhere
    • You're lucky. The UK has a far worse choice of even music videos and extra content (Inserts etc), and no TV or movie options. At all.
    • Personally, I think the movie situation with iTunes is significantly lacking compared to its TV offering. Selection is obvious, but that's simply because the film studios don't want to loose out to Apple twice.

      But my problem is more the pricing model, I don't see the value in it considering its inferior resolution, the selection, time to download, and so forth. I am far less likely to spend $10-$15 on a movie I am not sure about vs. the $2 I frequently shell out for a TV show or short I haven't seen bef
    • by laffer1 ( 701823 )
      Yes, and I think apple's sales numbers will improve when people get larger hard drives. At that point, they might see an increase in sales that may allow them to negotiate with other studios. Most desktops have large disks, but laptops from Apple are still rather small. Pirates of the Caribbean is roughly 1.53GB. Consider iBooks used to ship with 30-40GB of space. You can only put 26 movies on the drive and that presumes you don't care about having an OS, music or software on there. I have about 22GB
    • Is it enjoyable to watch movies on the iTune? I don't have one, but I've seen videos on a friends iPod and the screen is alright for a music video, but for a 1.5 - 2 hour movie does it hold up? I think if they went with a bigger screen I would do it. I would probably do it for TV shows as well.
    • For $10 or $7 I can buy a used DVD from a video rental store. By the time Apple posts a movie for $10 to $15 a movie, the DVD has already been rented out enough to be sold used. If Apple sold movies for $5 to $7 a movie I might just buy some if the resolution was decent. Currently the iPod video resolution is too small, and even the PSP plays movies better than the iPod. Some used PSP movies are like $10 each on and Ebay.

      Plus Apple has to compete with NetFlix, Blockbuster, and other companies that
  • by thelost ( 808451 ) on Friday November 03, 2006 @08:42AM (#16701501) Journal
    Apple took a brave stance when they opened the movie store for business, and if good intentions == $$ they would be doin' just fine; However I haven't seen a scrap of news about the movie store since it's been launched. That's either good news or bad news.

    So what would slashdotian's prefer to see? Apple make compromises and let in the companies that are twisting it's arm, or Apple to stand it's ground and watch the movie store sink?
    • Good intentions? You do know the intention is to make money right? They are trying to get in on the video download market before they get boxed out. If they fail, there will be no reason for people to come to them for movies, which removes not only the movie store, but hurts the video ipod significantly.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by falcon5768 ( 629591 )
        No the good intentions here is to force the movie industry to understand that a download IS NOT a DVD, and thus you cant charge 17.99 like the industry wants Apple to. Thats the reason for a lack of movies in the first place, they tried to bring everyone on board, but only Disney (who Mr Jobs owns the biggest share of the company) would go in on the deal.

        I dont think it hurts the video iPod though, They are the number one payed site to download TV shows still. Most of the other groups havent even touched

        • "Never underestimate the power of the mouse."

          Whether you intended it or not, that is the best play on words I've ever seen. Hat's off to you! (if I could mod you, I would)
    • by y00st ( 946348 )

      So what would slashdotian's prefer to see? Apple make compromises and let in the companies that are twisting it's arm, or Apple to stand it's ground and watch the movie store sink?

      Since the introduction of the 5G iPod there hasn't been any video for sale in the iTunes store for just about anyone outside the US. I'd therefore rather have Apple focus on improving the hardware than making life hard for users that want to put their own content onto an iPod (and this includes content created with different too

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Yeah, I'll remember that next time they increase the video resolution and force me to buy the video again if I want that new resolution. It's what I, as a consumer, must have wanted.
    • by MyNameIsFred ( 543994 ) on Friday November 03, 2006 @09:09AM (#16701653)
      ... I'll remember that next time they increase the video resolution and force me to buy the video again if I want that new resolution...
      I understand what you mean. I remember the joyous free upgrades from 8-tracks to cassettes and finally with CDs when the music industry changed formats. And oh remember all of those free upgrades from Betamax to VHS to DVD. I can't wait for my free Blueray upgrades.

      Oh those bastards at Apple.
      • Distributing physical media is expensive and an exchange program makes it even more expensive.

        Apple knows exactly what you bought and allowing you to download it again would cost them a few cents per download. (which they could easily charge for and make a buck; "upgrade for just $1.99!")

        Not having *anything* in place for upgrades or replacements of lost downloads is a farce in the internet age; you already own a license, why should you pay for that part again?
        • I disagree on the issue of physical media versus a file, and the costs associated with them. I believe many people underestimate the cost of bandwidth, servers, etc. in distributing electronic files. Particularly, in a situation where people are downloading large movie files. Look at the estimates for YouTube bandwidth costs. []. Add to that servers, admins, etc. For a large movie store, the costs rapidly exceed 10s of millions per year. While there are benefits to working in virtual space, distribution
          • by daBass ( 56811 )
            People generally smarter than Forbes when it comes to technology seem to think YouTube pays a lot less in bandwidth []; indeed, just look at how much it costs to store on and stream from Amazon's S3 service []. Surely, the cost for Apple can't be orders of magnitude higher than that? On top of that, "upgrades" and (also paid!) re-downloads should be a fraction of new purchases in volume anyway.

            Besides, I never said the cost was zero; just that you should have to pay for the cost of getting the upgrade and not f

        • I have always heard the record labels make Apple pay "royalties" per download not per song. That is the reason they (Apple) don't allow you to have a "library" on their servers and just download anything you have purchased as many times as you want.

          Blame the labels not Apple if this is true and I would not doubt it for a second.
          • by daBass ( 56811 )
            I think we'll never know. I am pretty sure the labels like it this way, but we'll never know if Apple minds, or even how hard they bargained with the labels to allow re-downloads/upgrades...

            I am not trying to blame anyone in this as I don't have the facts, I am just blaming the system. :P
      • Your talking about physical media versus a file that is downloaded. It costs them nothing but bandwidth for you to download another file. It's not really possible to draw an accurate comparison because of how new the idea of downloading movies (legally) is. If you purchase the rights to download a movie from Apple, it should be known that you are actually paying for a single file. Of course I'm not saying that I agree with this notion, but that is how they see it. Personally I prefer the idea that if I
      • I don't think you were responding to the grandparent post. Grandparent was complaining about business practices, using figuratively the word 'force.' You responded sardonically based on a literal interpretation of 'force' which shifted the argument from one concerned with good business practices to one concerned with rights.

        You are not having an argument here, but rather a misunderstanding.
        • I think it's at least a mild misuse of the word 'force' anyway. I think it's only fair for me to say that in a crowd where some people complain about the misuse of 'piracy'.
      • You're talking about the addition of new media types. GP was talking about replacing existing poor quality files with existing better quality files. The old versions no longer exist in their catalog. The files play on the exact same player and are the exact same media type. They cost the exact same amount.

        To help you understand the problem, Amazon lets you download the same file as many times as you want. If they upgraded (remove old file, replace with better file) their catalog with better versions of the
    • by Quevar ( 882612 )
      "Yeah, I'll remember that next time they [add a new feature] and force me to buy the [software] again if I want that new [feature]."

      What's with having to buy a new version of software that comes out. I already have a license to the software, so why can't I just upgrade the new version for free.

      Deal with it. Was it worth it when you bought it? You bought it, so it must have been. Just because a new version came out does not mean you should get a free upgrade.
      • Consumers expect software to have new versions. They don't expect iPod videos to have new versions. They certainly don't expect to have to buy the same video for the same price to get the new version.

        All of this is pointless though, as GP's implication that "Apple's preferences are [NOT] aligned with consumers" is correct in this case.
      • "Deal with it."

        The GP is dealing with it. They're dealing with it by bringing it to other people's attention so that they realise exactly what they're buying and what their future options may or may not be. This allows other people (like me) to make a more informed purchase decision and may (or may not) ultimately put pressure on Apple to comply with the GP's wishes. This is one good way to "deal with it" in a free market economy. Efficient free markets require the free flow of information and people who

  • I don't have any data but it seems the TV Shows on iTunes would have been starting from the same situation the movies were, maybe even worse because everybody already has free or unlimited access to the shows. The TV Show selection started out limited but has rapidly grown. There is a ton of stuff now. I don't know how many they are selling but I have to think it is doing well. So I'm not sure their analysis holds up.
    • I'd say that the difference would be that network TV is looking for new ways to distribute their content as they see ad revenues decline.

      But the moive studios are trying to keep as firm a grip as possible on the current distribution model as long as possible.

      • by z80jim ( 923871 )
        Good point. Essentially, prior to iTunes, TV did not have a "buy the show" model. iTunes brought a new sales vehicle. Movies, with DVD purchases, do and iTunes would be a threat to replace that.
        • In "buy the show", do you mean buy an episode, a la carté?

          I really don't think iTunes is really a threat to the DVD buying model. The DVD format is a threat in itself and to itself. I think DVD has been fading since Spring of 2005 when Shrek DVD sales slumped quicker than anyone expected. And that was the best selling DVD ever. It may have meant that analysts and the industry was overeager, thinking DVD would continue to grow, but there's a point where there is market saturation and so many other o
          • by mblase ( 200735 )
            I think the reason I just stated should be considered as a reason why the buy-the-movie services may not work so well.

            It works very well, provided you're the type of movie fan who likes bonus discs full of extra commentaries, behind-the-scenes documentaries, and how-they-made-it effects shows that go with your favorite films.

            When DVDs were first introduced, practically everybody made those bonus discs and content to go with their films (whether it was justified or not). Nowadays it's a rarity, and you're lu
    • TV on iTS isn't really competing with broadcast TV. It's a service for people who miss TV shows or want to watch shows on portable devices.

      It competes against buying the DVD box set of a whole series. Selling a single song isn't practical on CD. Buying single episodes of a TV show isn't practical for DVDs. Apple will always have that disadvantage trying to sell movies online. They can't even include the extras usually included on a DVD. Movies are much more sensitive to quality than TV shows. That's why peo
      • So you're basically saying that iTunes is a legal alternative to torrent sites ? Blah. We watch various TV series here every week, but I'm horrible with TV schedules so I'm usually knee-deep in a WoW instance when Heroes or Lost comes on, so the lady will watch it, then once the show is over I just load up a popular torrent tracker and look for that same episode that just played. It's hardly any different from taping shows on VHS or TiVo. One advantage is that I usually go for the HDTV 5.1 version and w
        • by aonaran ( 15651 )
          One disadvantage is that I have to rely on the dedicated TV cappers.. I don't know why they bother with all the hassle of getting HDTV capture equipment, then skillfully encoding the video and audio and putting it on the net for free, but I'm sure glad they do!

          Because they know that if the online "tape trading" community was all leeches like you they wouldn't be able to get the shows that they missed. There has to be some give as well as take.
    • Yeah, I don't get the analysis either. TV Shows are more competitive than movies as you mention. If people missed a show, that's what TiVo or reruns are for. Some new episodes are rerun the same week and on other networks.
    • everybody already has free or unlimited access to the shows

      Or not. By choice I have neither cable nor television and yet there are some shows I would like to see. Previously I just did without. iTunes gives me a good legal option to see tv shows without having to go out and buy the DVD's. As far as I can tell the price is about the same as DVD sets and I'd have to agree that the quality isn't quite as good, but it saves space on my DVD shelf and gives me a convenient way to keep up with ongoing shows.
  • It's all just been called the "iTunes Store" since this last September." []
  • If "Apple's preferences" were really "aligned with those of consumers", there'd be be no DRM hassle, and buyers of the content could easily burn it to DVD/etc to watch on their TVs. Do YOU like DRM? What consumer does????
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Their preferences are aligned... but due to limitations of negotiations with the studios & labels, the implementation isn't as closely aligned & there is some hassle with DRM. Although, the music rights are better than most of the other legitimate online stores out there, the video rights are more limited as far as burning. However, I think part of the reasoning for that is video content is consumed very differently than audio content. As such, the flexibility to format transcode audio is more im
    • Is itunes really only for all those rich people that are too scared to go to
      the scary hood and rent $2 dvds in crime prone districts?

      Or for anti social people , or people who work too much to find the time to go
      to a store to rent a dvd for $2.

      In all respects, itunes is inferior to all other offerings, what do you live
      50miles from a rental shop? wow huge customer base there.

      DRM rentals, $1-$2 each is the MAGIC spot and will be norm in 2010.
      • $2, I wish!

        Even when it only takes 10 minutes to go to the video store there's still the problem that you might not like anything (or the video you wanted isn't available). Then you either rent something else or get the next best thing. That's not so much fun. Neither is spending 30 minutes in the video store trying to pick something.

        Videos are supposed to be relaxing. People have a low threshold for hassle on something that's supposed to be hassle free.

        Picking up the videos is not and never has been the wo
        • $2, I wish!

          That's cause you are not going far enough into a ghetto. (Obviously you didn't read GPP careful enough!) You need to find a place where there are a lot of drive by shootings. That way you can save $$$ on videos. Plus, you pick up some crack while you are there and maybe even a ho (or is that "hoe"?)
        • American movie companies are selling the same movies we pay $15 and up for in China for $1.99 because piracy is so extensive. So what does that tell us? That companies don't look at the cost of goods when setting a price, they look at what the market is willing to pay. Not that it isn't smart of the movie industry, but there is certainly a semi-collusion going on to set the price fairly evenly across the board. You don't have one company selling DVDs for $4.99 while everyone else is charging over $15.
      • Is itunes really only for all those rich people that are too scared to go to the scary hood and rent $2 dvds in crime prone districts?

        Or for anti social people , or people who work too much to find the time to go to a store to rent a dvd for $2.

        Netflix - the answer for social recluses! If you can get past that whole fear-of-the-mailman part, that is.
      • For music itunes is for mostly people who only want to buy one or two songs and not the album. As others have pointed out, this model translates reasonably well for TV shows where itunes allows you to buy one episode and not the entire season. For movies, however, itunes offers no such advantage, since the competing product (a DVD) is already cut to as small a product as someone would buy. So, I agree with you. Why would someone buy such an inferior product just for a small amount of convenience? The o
    • by Rytr23 ( 704409 )
      Sure.. and they could only sell their own original programming you dolt. Its not apple pushing DRM, it's the content creators.
      • I suspect Apple favors DRM. It doesn't help them to distribute DRM-free media that everyone will redistribute to their friends. The lose money that way. Apple stands better with DRM content that makes it necessary for each person to purchase their own copy, though I grant there are simple enough ways around the DRM with their music. The first thing I always do with iTunes music is burn it to DVD then rip it back to my computer in WMA format since I don't particularly care for iTunes as a media player but I
    • In light of the continued success of iTunes and the iPod, I would say that most consumers don't have a problem with the DRM that Apple uses.
    • ...there would be no iTunes Store at all.

      As it stands, Apple's DRM itself and the actual functional DRM restrictions are (by far) the least obtrusive to customers among all online stores legally selling mainstream copyrighted content in the US marketplace (and others).

      Also, you can watch the video content on your TV, via:

      - Hooking any video iPod directly up to a TV with the A/V cable (composite video + analog audio)
      - Hooking any video iPod directly up to a TV via the iPod dock (S-video or composite video +
      • Interesting points until you got to the end: "1] Hint: is not in this category, because they're basically stealing all of the content"

        In reality. Allofmp3 has stolen nothing. There are copyright problems as you mentioned, but it is extremely misleading to link them with theft.
        • Actually, that's up for debate. I'm very familiar with the "it's not stealing because there is no deprivation" and "it's not 'stealing'; at most it's 'copyright infringement'" argument that people use to justify taking content for themselves that they feel they're entitled to without paying for it, because they think that the content owners charge too much, copyright is broken, the RIAA is evil, etc.

          That I can almost stomach. Almost. But then selling it for a profit with none of the correct amount of compen
          • Just pick either step 3. ;-)
          • Theft (stealing) and copyright infringement are two different situations (or crimes). Pointing this out is not an "argument that people use to justify taking content for themselves". It is merely pointing out that the definitions are different. If someone points out that a rape is not murder, then (using your logic) they are trying to justify the rape. Besides, no content is taken (your word) in copyright infringement.

            "But then selling it for a profit with none of the correct amount of compensation going
          • Also, "stealing", by definition, contrary to popular opinion, does not require deprivation. At all. Look at the definition of "stealing". Further, stealing is a generic word, which has many meanings and for which we have many different legal descriptions that don't include the word "stealing". For example:
            Embezzlement - stealing funds from a company or corporation
            Burglary - stealing by illegally breaking and entering

            Embezzlement involves depriving a company of their money. If it did not, it would be m

          • Appealing to common use of "stealing" is irrelevant -- you could just as well argue that child abuse is stealing, because you're "stealing innocence". (In fact, you might do a better job there, since innocence is actually deprived.)

            So, we should restrict ourselves to a more formal definition. All of the relevant definitions for stealing I've found essentially defer to the definition of theft. ...except for cases where theft is defined an act of stealing. In either case, they express the same concept (from W
      • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )

        CSS would have to be applied to the DVD. This would make it the essential equivalent of a commercially purchased DVD. But content owners may be concerned that consumers would quickly find they could burn multiple DVDs. Even though CSS-protected commercial DVDs can be copied as-is now (without decrypting), most consumers don't know this can be done, and right or wrong, content owners don't really want people to know they can just copy DVDs and give them to their friends for free. (And no, it wouldn't be as e

      • I've been poking around with ripping the content from my DVD's this week. It's time consuming, but really empowering.

        1. I don't have to watch the %%&^#$@!#$$^ FBI warning. For heaven's sake - the people who BOUGHT the DVD don't need the warning. It's the pirates who don't read or care about it. It's like carping to the people who show up on time to meetings about the onse who arrive late!

        2. I don't have to watch whatever commercials the content producer shoves down my throat.

        3. I don't have to fiddl
    • If "Apple's preferences" were really "aligned with those of consumers", there'd be be no DRM hassle, and buyers of the content could easily burn it to DVD/etc to watch on their TVs.

      I was part of an opinion poll that was fairly obviously from Apple. I told them that.

      I basically said that if it has DRM, it's a rental, because you can take it away from me at any time. Therefore it has to be priced like a rental. The iTMS is competing with Netflix and Blockbuster, not purchased DVDs from a store.

      If they had DVD

    • Do YOU like DRM?

      Yes, I do. For a very simple and sensible reason. If there were no DRM there would be no legal content of this sort. I have no interest in illegally downloading media, and I know the studios would never offer their content DRM free. So DRM gives me a legal method to obtain the content I want. And in reality I have had very few problems due to DRM. It allows me to do what I want to do so I can't ask for more.
    • It's not up to Apple to decide whether there is or isn't DRM in the iTunes Store files. Had Apple taken a zero tolerance stance to begin with concerning DRM, there would be no iTunes Store. It's really that simple. And the only way to legally download music would be files that'd be more seriously DRM-crippled WMA's.

      So Apple's preferences are really aligned with those of the customers. They'd be more than happy to sell you DRM-free music, but they possibly just can't, because of the opposition of Big Musi
  • What would happen if the big tech compamies started funding the production of copyleft music and movies and the like?

    It might make for some interesting times.

    all the best,

    drew []
    Sayings - Deterred Bahamian Novel.
    In progress, watch it being written daily in ##zotz on
    • How does the producer of a copyleft movie make money? You'll have to answer that question before big tech companies will consider it.
      • by zotz ( 3951 )
        And why exactly would I have to answer your question first? Perhaps, if you tried to answer mine, some answers to yours might suggest themselves?

        I am assuming that you get "copyleft" mind you.

        I know, I know, but I am sometimes willing to run that risk.

        all the best,

        drew []
        Tings -Anuddah BahamiaN Novel
        • You have to answer my question because the tech companies will not produce their own films unless they can make money from them. You propose that they allow copyleft distribution (yes, I get it) and I'm just curious as to how the tech company movie producers will recover their production costs in that method of distribution.
          • by zotz ( 3951 )
            First, you might want to note that I never proposed that they produce their own films, but that they fund the creation of copyleft films and music.

            Second, why not take a little chance and try and answer my original question? As I say, you may find some thoughts/answers to your question in the answers to mine.

            Hint, it is not so much about recovering production costs as it is a possible increase in their bottom line. Right? It will not hurt if things are very indirect, will it?

            all the best,

            http://www.ourm []
    • They'd all go bankrupt after producing a bunch of crap no one actually wanted to watch or listen to. Any other questions?
  • Is this real data?
    Or did he just make some up?
    The music graph and the video graph have identical data points.

    What are the X and Y axes?
    The red dot looks like it is at (369, 99).
    $.99 is the iTunes retail price.
    What is 369?

    • Looks like some wall street type suit's despo attempt to stand out from the crowd.

      Most wall-street mumbo-jumbo graphs have large arrows on axes, like "Better" pointing to north and "Worse" pointing south. And stuff like "Cheaper" towards west and "Costly" to East. And amorphous amoeba like blobs with different colours strewn there with labels like "Buyers' Marker" "Seller's Market" etc.

      So this suit decides to put some real numbers on the axes like the real scientists and engineers do. And actually plot

  • I was examining the author's so-called BATNA content. The chart's pretty impressive but what are the numbers supposed to mean? Without the grounding that shows me the math and the meat behind those numbers, it's just a bunch of dots strung together to make a point. If you're going to use the scientific appearance, make sure you use scientific methods as well.

    The author's explanation: "A short explanation: the graph shows all efficient contracts (those where no contract exists that is better for both pa
    • Hi! I'll write more posts on the algorithms in the future, but if you want to learn how the software works, take a look at the site [] or the Tutorial [].
      • Okay the example that was given on the site is fairly straight forward. I'd like to see a similar breakdown on how it was applied to this analysis.
  • Save yourself some reading, here's what the article says:

    Apple had an 80% market share of MP3 player hardware, and only offered their own proprietary format AAC for DRM (since MP3 has none). So studios had to concede to Apple's demands if they wanted any DRM control over their media on Apple hardware. Thus Apple was able to provide a better deal for consumers in that arena. Apple has no such leverage with the movie studios.

    I left out a confusing explanation of BATNA, lots of banter like "I could buy movi
    • So, his theory doesn't entirely make sense (how do you calculate BATNA again?). His article is riddled with grammatical errors (I caught three). And the article is the only one posted on the blog. Wherein lies this gentleman's credibility and why are we all discussing his article? Perhaps it's in the money he must have paid CowboyNeal to post the article to Slashdot.
    • Yeah, BANTA allegedly shows the "efficiency" of a set of potential deals/agreements. How he could possibly know what those private deals/agreements were is a good question one should ask before bothering to take the charts seriously.
  • by acomj ( 20611 ) on Friday November 03, 2006 @10:09AM (#16702145) Homepage
    Why digital distubution for Movies will win in time

    I've bought a few albums off itunes recently. I don't like the DRM hassles, and I like CDs. Here is why.

    Selection. The last 3 CDs I bought I checked 3 record stores and 1 big box chain. They had none. Itunes had them. Itunes had them, and I got them for cheaper and in less time than if they were at the store. The tradeoff is a slight quality degradation and that DRM. I burn them to audio CDs anyway as one backup so I don't care. I miss the packaging but some CDs you buy online come with PDFs of the liner notes.

    Itunes has lots of music and never runs out (I don't think it can.... Maybe bandwidth could kill the site). Any online sales of music have these advantages.

    This is why ultimately I choose to buy online.

    Movies will eventually come around for the same reason. Selection. Now only if we could get bigger pipes (and not clogged pipes) to get these movies faster..

    • If they have the content to sell, the bandwidth wont be a big problem. Apple already has Apple Stores in most malls. They can set up Download Kiosks at gyms, grocery stores and other places with fiber optic connections and humongous bandwidth. Drop in, plug the vPod in, lock, take the key and go do your grocery shopping or workout. Take the vPod back on the way out. They can stream in DVD quality videos in 10 minutes in setups like this.

      Also do you really care if they take all night to download a movie wh

      • The bandwidth is NOT the issue, the selection is an issue.

        I'm going to disagree with you here, at least if you consider your competition rentals and not purchases. When people want to watch a movie, they want to watch it now, or at least that evening. Downloading kiosks are an interesting idea, but I'm not sure they have enough of an advantage over the current rental system to make it worthwhile. What people really want is to push a button in their living and instantly start watching. A minute delay whi
    • Digital movie distribution will obviously "win in time". It's growing as we speak, and has been doing so for a number of years. I think started in 1999, and it's been getting larger every year. It's selection and service blows iTunes Store away. And the studios themselves formed, which also blows Apple's store away. There are other smaller digital movie sites as well (and I won't even get into the growing porn VOD sites). Oh, and there's also Amazon's new site, but everyone
  • Intro to Business (Score:3, Informative)

    by necro81 ( 917438 ) on Friday November 03, 2006 @10:13AM (#16702199) Journal
    I think the article is an interesting (and accurate) bit of analysis contrasting the Music and Movie stores and how Apple gets content for them. However, tossing out the BANTA graphs, and the accompanying banter [pun intended] gives the article a feel not unlike a couple of MBA students presenting a case study to their professor. They (BANTA graphs) are useful tools for comparative analysis, but I've hardly ever seen them outside of a business school classroom.
  • Personally, I'm not buying any movies from iTunes. I rarely buy movies as it is, and when I do, I usually just watch them once or twice, then to the shelf to collect dust they go. Anyway, when Apple announced movie downloads they also announced iTV. The fact is that I'm not buying movies from iTunes because I'm waiting for iTV. I have no desire to squint at a 2.5" screen to watch a movie.

    It's strange they chose this tactic, since it drove Osbourne into the ground. When you promise something great, pe
    • I am the same as you, in that you say you rarely watch a movie more than once or twice before it becomes clutter. However, this is why i like the online movie thing. For $10 i can see a movie in the comfort of my own home, (which, these days is often much better than spending $10 to see it in the theatres) and if i really like it i can keep it, and if i i only kinda like it, then i just delete it with no detrimental effects on the extra mess in my place.

      you also mention:
      "I have no desire to squint at a 2.
    • I buy movies/TV shows from iTunes quite often and have yet to watch them on my iPod. You can purchase ($19.95) the RCA audio/video cable from Apple and watch all of those show on your own 52" TV if you like. I never understood why people still do not realize this...
  • Who is Matthias Winkelmann and why should I care about his hackneyed (read: unsubstantiated) analysis?

    From what source data does he derive these so-called BATNA charts? I'm a financial analyst responsible for revenue analysis and forecasting of over $250 million and what I see here is no clothes, no emperor... just a straw man argument.

    His definition of BATNA is extremely arbitrary in the sense that one has to accept what HE defines as Best Alternative to even believe the graph's imaginary plots and quadra
  • by Tom ( 822 )
    How strongly is Apple really aligned with the customers?

    My MacBook Pro has a region-locked DVD drive - the first such that I've encountered in years. No workaround on the 'net as well, because it's in the firmware.

    Doesn't sound like consumer alignement to me, sorry.
  • Has everyone forgotten this []?

    I don't think you'll hear much about Apple's Movie Store plans until the iTV is released next year. That's where their strategy is headed. I'd bet dollars to donuts they'll have tons of movies and TV content available when this sucker comes out. If not, they will within a year after all the movie studios start drooling over its success with TV show downloads.

    Alternatively, I could just look back on this comment in a year's time and be laughing at myself for being so wrong...
  • I've heard previously that the Movie Industry types are scared to death Apple won't get the DRM right (uncrackable) and then "Something Bad" will happen. The MPAA types apparently see this as higher stakes than the RIAA folks did. No sensible reason that I can see, but there you go.

    Apple also has a pricing conundrum on their hands. 99 cents is a great price for a song for everybody. I'm going to download it quickly, listen to it over and over and over, hundreds of times in the next decade or so, qualit

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