Online purchasing of digital media content has always had many advantages over buying via traditional brick-and-mortar stores. However, one of the drawbacks was that new titles emerged online later than on a physical media. But Apple and nine Hollywood film studios changed that and on Thursday the owner of iTunes announced availability of movies on iTunes the same day as on DVD.
“We’re thrilled to bring iTunes Store customers new films for purchase day-and-date with the DVD release. We think movie fans will love being able to buy their favorites from major and independent studios,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s vice president of iTunes.
New releases and catalog titles will be available in DVD-like resolution from 20th Century Fox, The Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Lionsgate, Image Entertainment and First Look Studios. Unfortunately, it is impossible to purchase high-definition (1280x720, progressive scan) version of a movie via Apple iTunes at this point.
iTunes Movies are available in the U.S. only and are $9.99 for library title purchases and $14.99 for new release purchases; $2.99 for library title rentals and $3.99 for new release rentals. High-definition rental versions are priced $1 more with library title rentals at $3.99 and new release rentals at $4.99. Short films are available to rent for $0.99.
New releases available for purchase on the iTunes Store this week, concurrent with their DVD release, include “American Gangster” and “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly.” Other popular titles now available for purchase include “Juno,” “Cloverfield,” “I Am Legend,” “There Will Be Blood,” “Alvin and the Chipmunks” and “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story.”
Movies can be previewed, purchased and watched on iPod classic, iPod nano with video, iPod touch, iPhone and on a widescreen TV with Apple TV.