Finally! Movies on my PC the same day they're on DVD.
Since we don't watch much TV in my house (no cable in our neck of Virginia), movies are our main source of entertainment. We're always eagerly awaiting the release of a favorite film on DVD so that we can race to the local supermarket or department store to snap up a copy. (For my children, waiting for the latest Harry Potter DVD is like waiting for Christmas.)Skip to next paragraph
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But once a DVD is released, that's when things get tricky. Then you have to play "which store has the best deal?" For instance, I purchased a copy of "The Golden Compass" last week. But I had to look in three different stores before I found one with a decent price tag. The difference between the lowest and highest price was $6. That's a fair bit of pocket change. (Heck, you could buy a gallon and a third of gas for $6.)
That combination of wanting the newest releases and demanding the cheapest price is one reason that Apple just announced that it will no longer wait 30 days after the release of a DVD before selling the same movie on its online iTunes store. After signing a whack of contracts with movie companies (20th Century Fox, Walt Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Lionsgate, Image Entertainment, and First Look Studios), Apple will now make those movies available on iTunes for download the same day they are released in stores AND they'll sell it for a price that will be tough for competitors to match – $14.99.
It's all about convenience, and this is the latest attempt by Apple to corner the way people buy, watch, and listen to their entertainment. Apple had already been selling more than a few movies and TV shows via iTunes, but it obviously wasn't enough for boss man Steve Jobs. In fact, Mr. Jobs appears to be so eager to get people to shop for movies at iTunes that he's basically losing $1 on every movie.
Most experts see two reasons for Apple to sell these movies as a "loss leader." First, it wants movie fans to get hooked on the iTunes site for all their entertainment purchases. So when you drop by iTunes to pick up that copy of "The Golden Compass," you might also snap up a couple of tunes by Nine Inch Nails. And since you missed it, you'll buy last night's episode of "American Idol."