Apple Eyes Early Access to New Movies

Some major studios like 21st Century Fox, Time Warner, Warner Bros and Universal Pictures had expressed their desire to offer high-priced home-video rentals of new movies just last week. People familiar with the matter have said that the studios are considering a deal with iTunes as a possible option, although Apple is not necessarily the only company that the studios have been in talks with.

On December 7, news broke that Apple is pressing Hollywood studios for earlier access to their movies.

Currently, studios give exclusive rights to theaters for about 90 days before the film hits the digital and DVD markets. In recent years, there's been pressure by the studios to narrow this window down because movie theater attendance and home-movie rental revenue have remained stagnant.

Bank of Canada signals divergence with US Federal Reserve
The Bank of Canada has made a decision to keep its benchmark interest rate where it is, citing a possible slowdown of the economy. Total CPI inflation has picked up in recent months, but is slightly below expectations largely because of food prices.

Apple's iTunes may become the premier destination and store for newly released movies, according to a report from Bloomberg.

I think the big question is if consumers are willing to spend $50 to rent a theatrical movie in the comfort of their home. That's still less than the average price of $9-or much, much more-for a movie ticket in the USA, with the added convenience of being able to watch from one's couch. Would you be willing to pay $50 to watch the latest Pixar movie on the third weekend of release on your Apple TV? "Justice League" at home while it's still running in the theaters. On the other hand, the studios face a battle with theater chains that, of course, would prefer to retain exclusivity on new releases. The company has been struggling when it comes to movie streaming and video content, especially when faced with strong competition from Netflix and Amazon, so this may be a chance for iTunes to stand out of the crowd. While Apple does encrypt the movie files so they can't be redistributed, there's nothing preventing viewers from recording the movie with a camera and uploading it online. According to the Bloomberg report, Screening Room uses a watermarking technology that can track sources of pirated films. So far, the Apple TV and Apple's upcoming TV app, announced at an event a few months ago and coming in iOS 10.2, haven't done much to cement the company's reputation as an entertainment powerhouse.

  • Stacy Houston