The Apple of Disney’s Eye
Less than one week after Amazon launched its UnBox movie download service to underwhelming reviews, Apple Computer announced it would begin selling 75 full-length Walt Disney films online.
New releases from Disney will be offered for download from Apple at $14.99 each while older titles will be sold for $9.99.
Industry analysts, such as Michael Gartenberg of Jupiter Research, see Apple beginning its service with a clear advantage. “It comes down to the consumption of the content on devices and the popularity of those devices,” he said. “Apple has the most popular mobile device on the market.”
Mr. Gartenberg said the iPod is the key to Apple’s success. “People forget at the end of the day the iPod drove people to iTunes, not the other way around,’ he said.
Disney CEO Robert Iger said of the new service, “We are here today to take the next step. We believe it’s a natural progression and what we believe will take traditional media to new platforms.”
Apple’s entry puts obvious pressure on Amazon and adds urgency for others, such as Netflix and Wal-Mart, to launch long-rumored download services of their own.
A report in the Financial Times said Wal-Mart has begun advertising for a business manager of digital video, suggesting it has worked out the technical and legal issues of the business.
The same report said Wal-Mart has exerted pressure on movie studios to not sell digital movies to Apple that may undercut the prices it charges for physical DVDs.
New releases at Wal-Mart are normally priced at $15.87, compared to Apple’s digital download price of $12.99.
Discussion Questions: What type of market do you see for digital movie downloads? What will be the key factors in the success and/or failure of services
such as those offered by Apple Computer and Amazon?
- Apple Will Sell Disney Movies on ITunes, New Ipods – Bloomberg
- Wal-Mart sets stage for digital
action – Financial Times