A report suggests Apple is working with Hollywood studios to bring movies to iTunes as soon as two weeks after their theatrical release. If the report proves true, cinema chains will be up in arms over the most serious threat yet to their exclusivity window.
Traditional release windows give cinema chains up to 17 weeks of exclusive showing rights to the latest movies. The length of this window has shortened over the last couple of years, as Hollywood has identified that exclusivity windows often encourage users to seek illegal ways to watch the movie at home.
Apple has also been looking for a way to get movies sooner to iTunes, as the company seeks to increase its already impressive revenue figures for its content distribution business.
A report by Bloomberg
this week suggests that the Cupertino based tech company may have already opened talks with Hollywood studios to bring forward the release window, to as soon as two weeks after the movie's initial theatrical opening.
Bloomberg has confirmed that talks have already been held with 21st Century Fox, Warner Bros. and Universal on this matter.
Among the areas of concern for Hollywood would be the security of such a service, to prevent the unauthorised recording and sharing of early release titles. The other major stumbling block could be the cost to end users, as studios are weary of cannibalizing existing theatrical showing profits. According to Bloomberg, those with knowledge of the matter suggests that time limited rentals of new releases could cost up to an eye watering $50.
Cinema chains are expected to be resistant to any moves to cut short their exclusivity window, with some threatening to boycott the theatrical showing of any movie that has a shortened theatrical window. But the U.S's third largest chain, Cinemark Holdings, has recently expressed interest in coming up with a compromise solution.