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Report: Disney Sells 1.3M Movies on iTunes

1 Feb, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

The Walt Disney Co. has reportedly sold 1.3 million movie downloads on iTunes since making them available on the Apple platform last October, according to its CEO.

Disney doubled its electronic sellthrough of proprietary movies during the holidays (exceeding 1 million downloads) after putting Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest and Cars on iTunes.

In an interview with the Financial Times in London, Disney CEO Robert Iger reiterated the media giant's commitment to digital distribution despite pricing and related concerns from big box retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target.

The two retailers, who reportedly account for more than 50% of all DVD sales, have complained that iTunes and other download services received superior pricing and release schedules. Both indicated they might reduce packaged media shelf space if their concerns weren't addressed.

Last November Iger admitted the existence of issues with Target and Wal-Mart but said they would resolve themselves over time.

“That tension is going to dissipate over time as we learn more about how that business is impacting the consumer,” Iger said. “Have we had discussions with these retailers? Yes, absolutely. In general, our relationship with these retailers is in good shape. We are growing market share rather than moving business from one platform to another.”

Disney has also sold 20 million television program downloads, including episodes of “Desperate Housewives” and “Lost,” since offering them on iTunes in late 2005.

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