That combination of wanting the newest releases and demanding the cheapest price is one reason that Apple just announced that it will no longer wait 30 days after the release of a DVD before selling the same movie on its online iTunes store. After signing a whack of contracts with movie companies (20th Century Fox, Walt Disney, Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, Universal Studios Home Entertainment, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Lionsgate, Image Entertainment, and First Look Studios), Apple will now make those movies available on iTunes for download the same day they are released in stores AND they'll sell it for a price that will be tough for competitors to match – $14.99.
It's all about convenience, and this is the latest attempt by Apple to corner the way people buy, watch, and listen to their entertainment. Apple had already been selling more than a few movies and TV shows via iTunes, but it obviously wasn't enough for boss man Steve Jobs. In fact, Mr. Jobs appears to be so eager to get people to shop for movies at iTunes that he's basically losing $1 on every movie.
Most experts see two reasons for Apple to sell these movies as a "loss leader." First, it wants movie fans to get hooked on the iTunes site for all their entertainment purchases. So when you drop by iTunes to pick up that copy of "The Golden Compass," you might also snap up a couple of tunes by Nine Inch Nails. And since you missed it, you'll buy last night's episode of "American Idol."