Apple and Hollywood Studios Are Talking about Offering Early Access to Movies on iTunes
According to a report from Bloomberg, Apple has been talking with several of the major studios in Hollywood about giving audiences earlier access to films on iTunes. Some of the studios that are thinking about teaming up with Apple for this include 21st Century Fox, Warner Brothers, and Universal Pictures.
According to the report, they are looking to offer "high-priced, home-video rentals of new movies shortly after they open in theaters." Some studio executives are actually "pushing to allow home rentals as early as two weeks after theatrical debuts."
I guess if you are patient enough to wait a couple weeks after a movie opens in theaters you can just wait to watch it at home. This is definitely a service that I would probably use, of course, there are still a lot of films that I still will have to watch on the big screen. Nothing will ever take away the moviegoing experience.
A move like this will definitely make iTunes stand out in the streaming movie market. iTunes played a huge role in leading the charge with streaming music, and now they are looking to make a big splash in the way that people can watch movies.
There's always a chance that the studios will choose to go with a platform other than iTunes, but it seems like Apple is the frontrunner. One thing is for sure, and that is that cinema attendance is "mostly stagnant" and home-video revenue has fallen "flat in recent years." So "film companies are under pressure to find new areas of growth." Last week, Warner Bros. chief Kevin Tsujihara said that "earlier availability of new movies could satisfy a growing consumer appetite and deter piracy."
In case you're wondering what the pricing options would be for a early online movie rental, it could be somewhere from $25 to $50 per film, which I would totally pay because that's about as much it costs for me to go to the movies with my wife.
As some of you may already know, Napster founder Sean Parker has been shopping around a home-video service called Screening Room, which would offer films to watch on the same day they are released in theaters, but that didn't sit well with theater owners. The option of offering films a couple weeks later seems like something they are willing to work with.
What do you all think about this? Would you choose to watch some movies on iTunes at home over going to the theater?