Posted by Zack | Posted in Consumer Electronics | Posted on 04-01-2011
In a somewhat quiet move, movie studios have expanded the feature set of content that is available on the iTunes Store, allowing users to search for specific words from a film’s script or even select a specific clip and share it with others via a social networking site like Facebook or Myspace.
This effort began with Sony Pictures Entertainment who has been testing features embedded in iTunes versions of recent film releases. What this means is that only the iTunes versions of movies allow users to access a search button which gives them the ability to input a word and find out where it was said in the script. Users can also pull up a link to the exact moment in the film that the line was delivered.
These features can be found in a few different Sony movies including “The Other Guys”, “Salt” and “Resident Evil: Afterlife”. The “clip & share function” allows users to select certain scenes to post on their favorite social networking sites while a playlist of songs from the film offers you the ability to buy those songs through iTunes.
According to a report from PaidContent.org, “Mind-blowing add-ons? No, but they do represent the intent of studios like Sony, which declined comment, to offer differentiating value on digital platforms from that on DVD, where extras are often nothing more than a collection of additional short videos.”
This new content seems to be in response to the unique additional bonus features that are offered from Blu-ray movies to devices connected to the internet. Some Blu-rays feature BD-Live content. BD-Live content gives viewers the ability to access internet-based content that you cannot find on the disc like director chats, games, downloadable featurettes and quizzes.
The new iTunes bonus content is not, however, a simple repackaging of content already available through BD-Live. According to PaidContent.org, these new capabilities found in the movies from Sony are exclusively found on iTunes. This is noteworthy due to the fact that Sony had a hand in spearheading the Blu-ray format and crushing the competition (HD-DVD) with Sony’s integration of the technology into the PlayStation 3.
These new features are also only available to people who purchase the movies via iTunes. This new content helps to differentiate legitimate purchases from rentals, in hopes of giving users more value for the higher price that is associated with purchasing the movie as opposed to renting it.
This move to promote purchases over rentals indicates that Apple’s iTunes has seen a drastic increase in digital rentals. Brian Marshal, an analyst with Gleacher & Company, stated last week that he believes 75% of movie viewings through iTunes are rentals with an average movie selling price of $2.99. This just shows that a mere 25% of users actually decide to purchase films through iTunes.
Apple has also used its new streaming-centric Apple TV, priced at just $99, to push renting of movies and TV shows. The Apple TV went on to sell more than 1 million units in the first three months of availability.
This new feature could do great things for the iTunes Store and Apple’s digital movie outlet. With the ability to get a lot of unique features, this may be just the thing to take some of that 75% of renters over to the 25% of buyers.
Source: Apple Insider