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Apple's iTunes Expected to Offer Electronic Sellthrough of Movies From Virtually All Major Studios

30 Apr, 2008 By: Stephanie Prange

Apple Inc. is expected to announce tomorrow that iTunes will offer electronic sellthrough of movies from most of the major studios on the same day the titles are released on DVD, sources tell Home Media Magazine.

Universal, Fox, Paramount, Magnolia, Warner, Sony, Lionsgate and Image are expected to join Disney in offering electronic purchases on iTunes.

New releases will cost $14.99 with catalog titles $9.99.

“Partnering with one of the most influential leaders in the digital space on this exciting movie download service is a definite game changer as we successfully usher in a new era in digital home entertainment," said Universal Studios Home Entertainment president Craig Kornblau. "This service not only presents a vital opportunity to make our digital content widely available to consumers in a highly appealing and accessible way, but it paves the way for electronic-sell-through to gain significant traction in the marketplace, as we work to develop it into our next marquee business.”

The deal comes on the heels of Apple's announcement in January that it had signed all of the studios to movie rentals, with each title costing $3 to $4 for consumers to access for a 30-day period.

Last month, Walt Disney Co. CEO Bob Iger estimated that the conglomerate had sold 4 million movies via iTunes since it became the first studio to try day-and-date electronic sellthrough.

Tomorrow Apple is expected to announce revenue to date for movies on iTunes.

Today Time Warner CEO Jeff Bewkes said Warner Bros. would roll out cable VOD releases day and date with DVD on all titles. Warner had been testing the strategy for some time.

Apple's move would put pressure on iTunes competitors ranging from Amazon's Unbox to Microsoft XBox Live Marketplace.

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