Apple Negotiating With Hollywood To Get Movies Earlier On iTunes

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.

A deal like this could also boost Apple TV pickup, finally giving consumers a really good reason to choose it over Google's Chromecast.

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Theaters have been given a 90-day window of exclusivity from studios before they sell their movies online or issue them on DVDs.

Studios are under tremendous pressure to raise revenues from other streams as cinema attendance has been stagnant for a while not delivering the numbers it use to. It's unclear how much a studio would charge for a rental; Bloomberg's sources claim studios are considering anywhere from $25 to $50.

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Who doesn't want to enjoy a good (and brand new) movie from the comfort of their homes? A number of high-profile companies, including 21 Century Fox, Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures are looking at developing such as system. The move would seriously disrupt the already tense relationship studios have with theater chains, but it's clear at this point that this is the direction the industry will go in years ahead.

If everything goes according to plan for Apple, this would be a major plus for iTunes which is now facing a fierce competitive onslaught. Content is encrypted, but it's hard to stop users from video recording their computer screens to release digital copies of new movies on the black market. It can be satisfied with earlier availability of new movies, which will help deter piracy as well. That's a big jump from the usual $19.99 cost to purchase premium iTunes movies and less than $5 to rent.

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Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president for software and services, has taken small steps toward developing video content with a series of app- and music-based shows, while efforts to obtain streaming rights to films and TV shows have thus far been unfruitful. But with executives publicly teasing the idea and reports emerging of ongoing negotiations, it seems like the time may have come for a true home theater experience, movies and all.

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