updated 12:25 pm EDT, Fri April 30, 2010
Storefronts distinguished by local studios
Apple has expanded the French and Irish iTunes storefronts, adding movie sales to them for the first time. Visitors to either can buy and rent movies from major American studios, including Fox, MGM, Paramount, Sony, Universal, Disney and Warner Brothers. Of special interest though may be the regional studios, as Irish shoppers will have access to movies from E1, Optimum and Lionsgate UK, while French shoppers will have access to Pathé, SND and StudioCanal.
Because both countries rely on the Euro, pricing is identical. Rentals are €3 for older titles or €4 for new releases, with a €1 premium on HD quality. Actually buying a movie starts at a minimum of €8 for old films, €10 for recent ones or €14 for new releases. When renting viewers have a 30-day window to start a movie, and 48 hours to finish. The latter contrasts with the US, which is alone in forcing people to finish within 24 hours.
France and Ireland bring the number of storefronts with movies up to eight. This leaves most iTunes Stores without the feature, most likely because of the difficulty of negotiating international distribution.