iTunes Movies Ready for Download Soon

Dennis Faas's picture

Not long ago, America Online (AOL) announced that it will offer a slew of movies for download. At the time, the system wasn't much to look at, the movies were very hit and miss, and AOL had no system in place to offer users the ability to make copies of the flicks they acquired.

Well, now Apple is trying to up the ante by offering movies on its popular iTunes website, and the potential of the company's crusade is raising eyebrows at Wal-Mart HQ (amongst others).

According to sources, Apple intends to start offering movies for download from iTunes within days. Although Apple CEO Steve Jobs had originally hoped to make all films available for under ten bucks ($9.99 USD), new releases have crept up to $14.99. The movies will be protected by Apple's digital rights management (DRM) program "Fairplay" (which recently came under attack from music hackers).

So, what's Wal-Mart's beef?

As you might expect, it's the fact that Hollywood is now endorsing a system that completely avoids the in-store retail middleman. Wal-Mart has been hot-under-the-collar before with Hollywood, especially when Disney released its "High School Musical" as an early iTunes exclusive. At that time the American department store giant threatened to not even market Disney's flick. (Source:

Are movie downloads the future of media? Wal-Mart isn't the only company hoping Apple misfires. Netflix, which offers customers films for rent by mail, has recently announced that it will be producing its own movies. Netflix mails some seven million DVDs to subscribers every week and clearly depends on the physical satisfaction of simply holding a disc before sliding it into a player. (Source:

Until Apple (or even AOL) can trump that feeling, expect Wal-Mart entertainment and Netflix to be just fine.

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