Analysis - Movie rentals and purchases in iTunes Store are catching up with DVDs big time with today's announcement that Apple's online media store will offer new and library titles the same day as DVD releases.
This article is misleading. First, I don't know anyone right now using iTunes to download anything except music. Also, the only folks I know who would even consider this option are laptop users or computer geeks (not meant in a bad way) who have HTPCs hooked up to their big screen TVs. I know I'm not interested. My computer is in a separate room from my TV and I'm not going to upgrade my TV simply to be able to hook it up to my home theater system and have cables all over the place. As far as DVD sales...well in case people haven't noticed with the declining economy...everything is going to be lower than last year. How do they know it is due to digital downloads? Finally, if digital downloads pick up like this article is claiming, so will your Internet prices which will negate any savings you think you're getting. Just my $.02
I have to agree with mikey, There's no way I'm going to watch a "near quality" DVD on my 60" HDTV, the movie will look terrible.. I'll stick with normal up-scaled DVD's and Blu-ray's... Not to mention I can take my DVD and play it on any device, I'm sure apple will have lots of DRM restrictions...
MikeyNavy: First, Everyone I know uses iTunes not only for music, but also for (at least) TV shows. Not all subscribe to season passes, but even with a DVR, sometimes I miss an episode, or my wife deletes it before I see it, and I spend $1.99 to get a copy.
Next, you do not have to connect your PC to your HDTV to watch iTunes content. You can get 1) an Apple TV, which hooks up little differently than a DVD player and uses wireless or a wired connection back to your PC, 2) an iPod video, iPhone, or iPod Touch with a video dock connector can be plugged directly into your TV, and 3, some people who don't have HDTV, yet have HDTV or better computer screens feel completely confortable watching at their desks. (for a long time I have better picture quality and surround sound at my desk than I did in the living room). Your TV does not require an upgrade to watch iTunes content, in fact, it's not really in HD yet anyway (480i).
I can't really say the internet costs negate my downloading savings... I'm going to pay for internet anyway. You don't need a super fast connection (though I don't recomend the "lite" versions of DSL or Cable to dowload full movies).
DVD sales are partially dropping due to digital downloads, they're also dropping due to netflix and other unlimited movie rental options. Further they're declining because many people have been waiting for the Blu-Ray/HDDVD war to be over (and many got out of the habit of buying diring that time and have not started buying again, or they're further waiting for Blu-Ray to match DVD price per disk - I am)
The ONLY thing stopping me from downloading DVD through iTunes is DRM. If I can't make a copy onto a DVD disk, can't make it portable, loanable to family members, playable in multiple players in my house, and use the DVD as a backup to a computer crash, then for me, it's not worth the savings. If I can't have a physical copy, it's no use to me. TV shows and rentals I can handle. Watched once for $2-3, that's all I care about. For $15, I want a hard copy. It's why I still buy books at the store... With music, Apple has generous DRM rights, and lets me make several copies. Why not with TV and Movies??? Ask the studios!
Dan, please don't confuse "Apple's" DRM policies with those that the movie and TV studios are enforcing. Appple's DRM is the single most generous in the industry, allowing not just one, but multiple copies to be made, and for the originals to be used on up to 5 computers simultaneously. Unfortunately, with movie and video, Apple has been forced to lock down the content. All you can do is make backup copies of the files. You can not export iTunes video to DVD (except as a file backup). We expect this to be changing sometime in the future, but no word yet from apple or the rumor mills. A change would require contract adjustments. Once the first one breaks, the rest will all cave under pressure, but we have yet to crack the first one.
Perhaps the same day offering is less a reflection of retailers loosing power, and more that 250 million in yearly sales is less than 2% of the 23 billion yearly brought in by dvds.
Coca-cola isn't muscling out little kid's lemonade stands because they own minute maid- not too water down the comparison too much.
Wonder if the studios make as much profit on downloads as they do on DVD sales? Obviously it is cheaper for them to license downloads. Personally I'd rather wait & see the DVD-quality on a Netflix rental - if the movie becomes one of my favorites, I may buy it or even shell out the bucks for a BD version.
To Sandbags - about the only TV series I watch consistently is Lost. And if I miss an episode, I just point my laptop at abc.com and watch it in "near DVD" mode for free. Of course, abc extracts their price in the form of commercials, but those are fewer in number and shorter in length than the ones in the broadcast.
Regardless if its Apple's DRM restrictions or the movie industries, bottom line is movies d/led from these sites have unreasonable DRM restrictions.
I also wonder if this takes off, how long will it take ISP's to introduce tier pricing because of the bandwidth being used by people d/ling so many HD movies... Not sure it would be worth it if my Internet connection starts costing around $100 a month in order to get the bandwidth necessary to d/led them.