Archive for October, 2011

It’s in the Cloud! Your movie library goes digital

Monday, October 17th, 2011

cloud.jpgApple Inc. is preparing to put movies in the cloud, entering a market in which it may be both competitor and ally to a similar offering backed by most Hollywood studios.

Representatives of the iPhone and iPad maker have been meeting with studios to finalize deals that would allow consumers to buy movies through iTunes and access them on any Apple device, according to knowledgeable people who requested anonymity because the discussions are private. The service is expected to launch in late 2011 or early 2012.

The talks come as the first movies from the multi-studio venture known as Ultraviolet are launching this week: Warner Bros.’ “Horrible Bosses” and “Green Lantern.”

People who buy DVDs or Blu-ray discs for those and other upcoming titles, including Sony Pictures’ “The Smurfs” and Universal Pictures’ “Cowboys and Aliens,” will have access to digital cloud copies they can instantly watch on their Internet-connected TVs, smartphones and tablet computers. Ultraviolet purchases via the Web, without discs, are expected to come in 2012.

Every major studio except Disney is working on Ultraviolet with a large group of retailers and electronics companies that notably does not include Apple.
The studios are eager to boost purchases of movies, which have flat-lined in the face of competition from less expensive video on demand and Netflix and Redbox rentals. Sales of DVDs and digital downloads are still crucial to the studios’ bottom line, as they are much more profitable than rentals.
However, despite the increasing popularity of digital distribution, online movie purchases are on track to bring in only $231 million this year, about the same as in 2010, according to IHS Screen Digest.

Storing digital films in the cloud, instead of making buyers manage the digital copy themselves on a computer or other device, could help spur online purchases by making it easier for people to access the movies on any device.

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Saturday, October 1st, 2011

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