iTunes Movies Market Share Losing Out Against Rivals, Say Hollywood Sources

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Apple's market share in movie sales and rentals has been halved by competition from the likes of Amazon and Comcast, according to a report published on Sunday.

An article by the Wall Street Journal said Apple's share for selling and renting video content has dropped to between 20 and 35 percent, down from over 50 percent in 2012, according to sources in Hollywood.


At the same time as the sharp fall in iTunes Movies sales and rentals, Amazon has grown its share to around 20 percent, said studio executives, thanks to both its Amazon Prime subscription service and its standard Amazon Video catalog. Major U.S. cable provider Comcast meanwhile now claims 15 percent share of the market through movie and TV show sales and rentals.

Interestingly, Apple's loss of market share in the digital movie business isn't uniform across genres, according to sources. "Apple has promoted independent films and signed deals for exclusive rights some content produced outside the major studio system, making it a stronger competitor in that space," said WSJ.

Apple responded to requests for comment by explaining that it focuses on providing users with content from subscription services like Netflix and HBO through the App Store. Apple also said its movie rentals and purchases had increased over the last year and had reached their highest level in more than a decade.

WSJ's in-depth report explains that the overall video market is growing, with digital movie rentals and sales said to have risen 12 percent to 15.3 billion last year. However, subscription services like Netflix and Amazon Prime have contributed to a $1.8 billion decline in video-on-demand rental revenue, according to the article. Citing figures from PricewaterhouseCoopers, the report said movie sales had also slowed, reaching 21 percent year-on-year growth last year compared to 29 percent in 2015.

Top Rated Comments

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40 months ago
Hardly anything ever goes on sale on the Apple Video Store, theres no free streaming option or subscription service, and Apple Video only works on Apple devices

Amazon Prime and Netflix are build into every single smart device that hooks up to a TV and even built into a TVs.
Score: 33 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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40 months ago
When you buy a DVD movie you own it and can play it on any device. When you buy a movie on iTunes you don't own it and can only play it on two manufacturer's devices, Apple devices and Windows desktop.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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40 months ago
I would never buy or rent a film on itunes. You can usually get the DVD or blue ray for the same price. Or you could subscribe to Netflix for a month for half the price.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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40 months ago
It cost $5 USD to rent a movie. That's Blockbuster prices. And we all know what happened to them.
Redbox only charges $1. Usd
Maybe that's why.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
40 months ago

I would never buy or rent a film on itunes. You can usually get the DVD or blue ray for the same price. Or you could subscribe to Netflix for a month for half the price.

Most of the time I buy the Blu-ray with the included iTunes digital copy just like you said, for the same price as the digital only on iTunes. Why not get both for the same price and have a physical copy. Besides, in my limited and unscientific tests, I prefer the sound from a physical BD disc over the digital copy on my surround system.

One thing that Apple could do to make me consider paying current prices for movies would be to offer the soundtrack/score bundled with the film.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
40 months ago

Hardly anything ever goes on sale on the Apple Video Store, theres no free streaming option or subscription service, and Apple Video only works on Apple devices

Amazon Prime and Netflix are build into every single smart device that hooks up to a TV and even built into a TVs.

Hardly anything ever goes on sale? They run weekly specials in a couple of categories with movies under $10. Every weekend they put one for sale for $5 -- it was Dawn of the Planet of the Apes this weekend. Very frequently they'll put out "build your video library" with a plethora of movies for less than $10, often as low as $5.

So about the sales thing, you couldn't be more wrong. I've purchased quite a few on sale.

Everything else, I'd say you're right. Apple stuff only works on Apple products as far as I know. The user experience is pretty good in my opinion and keeps getting better, but it still is limited.

Netflix is a different animal. Sure, it's great to have all those movies and shows for $10/month. But how much on there came out in a theater in the past two years? Netflix ironically has become more of a catalog TV show and original series/movies service.

It's quite a shame the industry hasn't quite evolved to a digital form of purchases that's nearly as portable between services as discs. Or at the very least I would love to see Apple build apps to run on Roku, Android, etc. so you could potentially access your content cross-platform. This would include the ability to loan movies to a friend comparable to the rental strategy with maybe a limit of 5 per month. I buy a lot of these movies knowing my parents can watch them on their Apple TVs since we're in a family plan. But it's quite imperfect since their accounts don't realize I own these movies until you drill down into family purchases.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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