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Study points to iTunes feature films

updated 10:40 am EST, Thu March 2, 2006

iTunes feature films?

Apple could be in the intermediate stages of developing an iTunes movie download service to offer full length feature films to iTunes customers with broadband internet connections. A survey distributed this week through Coyote Insight--a California-based market research firm--asked participants to answer a series of questions related to a potential "iTunes movie service" which would provide on-demand access to movies that could be downloaded to a computer, or an iPod. "This iTunes service would provide access to 1,000 movies on demand which can be downloaded to your computer and, in turn, to your video iPod if you have one, or even your television if it is connected to your computer," a description in the survey read. The service would operate similarly to Apple's current iTunes download services for songs and videos, with one or two differences: "The first difference is you would need to have a high speed (broadband) internet connection such as DSL or cable modem to use the service. The second difference is access to the movies is offered on a monthly subscription basis."

Users could quickly download any of the available movies through iTunes, which could begin playing as the download progressed, according to AppleInsider. "You would have access to 1,000 movies including new releases like 'The Incredibles', 'The Pacifier', and 'Fightplan' as well as your favorites from the past," the description read. "Watch as many movies as you want, as often as you want--all commercial free with no charge per view." Every month, the potential service would add new movies to its offering.

The survey requested participants to rate the described service on a scale of 1 to 10. Then, based on the same scale, it also asked participants to indicate how likely they would be to subscribe to the new iTunes service for a monthly fee of $9.99.

Apple appears to be looking for feedback on alternative pricing models--presumably if it is granted permission from its content partners which include major motion picture studios such as Miramax Films, Universal Pictures, Buena Vista Pictures, New Line Cinema, and Sony Pictures, according to the report.

"Instead of subscribing for $9.99 a month to download the offered movies, another option is to buy the movies individually," read the survey. "You would be able to select any movie available on this service, download it to your PC where you can keep it as long as you like. You would be able to view it on your computer as well as play it on your video capable iPod."

The survey also noted that the afore-mentioned option would not allow users to burn a copy of the movie to a DVD for playback on a DVD player. "The cost of purchasing movies individually would be approximately $12.95 per movie or roughly the equivalent of buying a DVD at a store," the survey added. Once again, survey participants were asked to rate their interest in the buy-to-own service on a scale of 1 to 10, as well as the pricing structure--indicating which of the two described iTunes services they would favor most. Offering another option, a followup question requested that participants again rate their interest in the same $12.95-per-month subscription model if it allowed DVD burning.

The survey, which was distributed on Tuesday, also specifically asked participants whether they own Apple-branded iPod digital music players and computers, or "other brand" products. Representatives for Coyote Insight refused to state whether the survey was ordered by Apple or one of its competitors, pointing to confidentiality agreements with its clients.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. ibugv4

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    what?

    For $13 I'd better be able to burn 3 copies of the movie.

  1. cejones

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    monthly subscription?

    If the past is prologue, I'd expect Steve Jobs to not start a subscription based Movie download service.

    If people buy TV shows for $2 and they range in length from 22 minutes to 45 minutes, how much would you pay for a 120 minute movie? It better be cheaper than actually driving to and renting from Blockbuster.

    In fact, how do you make it better than a Netflix account? No waiting for the mail. Instant gratification. You choose a movie and start watching it as it streams to you. I'd pay a little extra for that... My guess is movies that are currently at rental stores will cost $4-$6

    I doubt movies still in theaters will be available. But movies that are on cable not yet in rental stores probably will be available at a higher cost premium.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: monthly subscription

    In fact, how do you make it better than a Netflix account? No waiting for the mail. Instant gratification. You choose a movie and start watching it as it streams to you. I'd pay a little extra for that... My guess is movies that are currently at rental stores will cost $4-$6

    Still too high. People always said music subscriptions don't work because music is listened over and over. However, they work great for movies, for most people don't watch a movie that often. At $5 a movie, if you do one movie a week, that's Netflix prices without having to wait. Anything more than that, then you're basically overpaying and wishing you had a subscription service.

    I doubt movies still in theaters will be available. But movies that are on cable not yet in rental stores probably will be available at a higher cost premium.

    I think the order is backwards. Don't movies hit the rental stores before they hit cable? (I don't know, I'm not stupid enough to get any of those pay movie channels, as they tend to have more c*** then anything else on them). I thought it was theaters->PPV->DVD->cable. Then again, it sometimes is Theaters->DVD->Cable, or DVD->Cable, or, if pauly shore's in it, ->Cable.

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    quality...

    It would depend on the quality. If it was DVD quality, yes. When I think about it, having near instant access to new releases would be nice. Netflix? short wait, long wait, mailing time. iTunes movie store wouldnt have an out of stock like Netflix and blockbusters would.

    The price is still a little high since i cant burn it. Maybe $9.99. Assuming I owned a MacMini and had it hooked to the TV.

  1. Gorloth

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    I want

    I want Hi-Def video based H.264 and the ability to burn to optical media. NTSC DVD resolution sucks. I wouldn't pay for that.

  1. idanno

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Watch more than once

    A good movie I will watch more than once, and I know lots of people that collect movie's. I could see a duel sales model. Pay your subscription and watch the movie, if you like it you can buy it with a dollar discount.( If you have not watched though the subscription model, then no discount.) You then have the best of both worlds. Apple can have revenue from subscribers and revenue from sales. I would view a subscription as a way of previewing the entire film then decide if I want to buy it. As of now I buy the film, If i don't like it, I sell it on ebay. HiDef would be nice, but not necessary. Although I think that Apple would use there H.264 codex. Maybe Two downloads for each film. One for a NEW iPod Video and a second for HiDef TV. If they only would start selling this stuff in Germany, with a choice of languages. PLEASE !!!

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