Ars Technica and other sites are reporting that things are about to change in the iTunes Movie Store. Studios such as 20th Century Fox have convinced Apple to pay a wholesale price of $15 per movie for their titles. The positive of the deal is supposed to be that this secures more support for things like iTunes optimized versions of feature films appearing on DVDs in retail stores (The recent “Live Free or Die Hard” 2-Disk edition included a Windows-DRMed digital version of the film that will only play on PCs and a few compatible devices).
While some may see this as a way for the iTunes store to bring in a new mix of popular movie titles – for me, it marks the beginning of the end for the iTunes Video store.
Because I don’t know about you, but I’m not paying $19.95 or more do download a “near DVD” quality copy of a feature film. No box art. No physical disk. No special features. No high definition. We’re supposed to pay the same price (or more in a lot of cases) for the privilege of downloading a feature film. We’re not getting the same quality, or the same amount of content, but that’s not supposed to matter.
iTunes already features movies that are WAY over priced in my opinion. For example – go search for any of the Star Trek feature films. They’re all $9.99. Now, go to a Wal-mart, Best Buy, or Circuit City – and the same movie is between $7.50 and $9.99 but comes with a second disk filled with hours of “making of” and bonus material.
I truly think a price increase in the iTunes video store is going to kill it. There’s just no reason to purchase a movie from there instead of online or in a brick and mortar store.
I sincerely hope that the long standing rumor of iTunes movie rentals appears in iTunes soon. In my opinion, its the only thing that’s going to keep the iTunes movie business up and running…