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Summary:

Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” sold 5 million DVDs on its first day of release (Source: Yahoo! Movies). The title is also available on the iTunes store. This is exactly the kind of news Apple needs to get more movie studios into the […]

iPod w/Johnny Depp

Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” sold 5 million DVDs on its first day of release (Source: Yahoo! Movies). The title is also available on the iTunes store. This is exactly the kind of news Apple needs to get more movie studios into the iTunes store.Earlier in the year, news spread of both Wal-Mart and Target fearing cannibalization of DVD sales because of online downloads of Disney movies. Movie studios are thought to share the same opinion – that downloadable movies means the death of DVDs and their nice profit margins.

However, “Pirates” is available at retailers as a DVD purchase and on the iTunes store. Apple could use this success in negotiations with other movie studios, showing them that downloads and DVDs can coexist without harming the movie studios’ bottom line.

I’d be interested in seeing the download numbers for the “Pirates” in light of the stellar sales of the DVD.

  1. The real question here is how many copies did iTunes sell in the same period of time. Considering that the digital file costs $12.99 with very little overhead (i.e. manufacturing costs, shipping costs, storage costs) and a much better DRM scheme than DVD’s you would think that the studio’s would be all over digital downloads. Just think about how much they could make if they started selling digital versions a few weeks after the movies opened in theaters. That might even help combat camcorder pirating (doubtful but you never know).

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  2. [...] TheAppleBlog just wrote how hopefully the fact that on the first day, Disney sold 5 million DVD’s of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, would give Apple leverage for convincing other studios to let them sell content on iTMS (iTunes Music Store). The AppleBlog author, Iyaz Akhtar’s point being that DVD’s and digital content, such as the movies sold on iTMS can actually coexist. He raises that this has previously been of concern to other studio’s, their fear that their DVD revenues would stagnate. Availability and access being especially attractive for the new Internet generation, has meant films are especially conspicuous on not completely legal torrent and peer-to-peer networks. So as AppleBlog points out this may truly be good news, for those who want the content as quickly, but want to be able to be law abiding citizens. [...]

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  3. Hmm, I bought the new Pirates DVD on an impulse buy at Circuit City on it’s initial release day (Dec 5th) for $13.99, seems like the regular price was $19.99. The Pirates DVD package included a special circuit city DVD (for a total of 3 DVD’s of content). So for an extra Dollar, I get extra footage, higher quality, and more flexible DRM. Hmmm, do the Math people, who got the better deal?

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  4. I still don’t see why ANYone would buy a movie from Apple if it’s only a new dollars cheaper than a DVD. It just amazes me that WalMart feels threatened by this. Does anyone really think the majority of their shoppers are the kind to prefer movies this way?

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  5. Is the version from iTunes HD quality with full digital surround sound? I’m pretty sure it’s not, in which case, true movie junkies would never buy a download over a DVD. Although, it’s quite fascinating to see the amount of downloads!

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  6. It’s clear the other studios are holding out, waiting for Apple to show a weakness. The best thing that can happen is for Disney to reveal that movies like Pirates is also selling like gangbusters on iTunes.

    That’s the only thing that will make the other studios wake up and realize they are leaving the money on the table (and letting Disney take it all).

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  7. [...] Movie studios are thought to share the opinion that downloadable movies means the death of DVDs and their profit margins, However, “Pirates” is available at retailers as a DVD purchase and on the iTunes store. Apple could use this success in negotiations with other movie studios, showing them that downloads and DVDs can coexistread more | digg story [...]

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  8. This isn’t over yet. 5M in “sales” just means that retailers put 5M DVD’s up for sale — not that consumers have bought them.

    This means that retailers believe that the DVD will sell well, but we’re going to have to wait a few months for the actual proof via actual sales.

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  9. [...] For all the talk of digital downloads ridding the planet of physical products — the CD, the DVD the Game Cartridge — here’s a sobering fact: Disney sold 5 million DVD copies of “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” in its first day in release this week. That comes on top of Disney-Pixar’s “Cars” selling 13 million DVDs sold since its Nov. 7 release,    Both movies are on sale for download at iTunes, the mecca of downloads for iPod users, and the AppleBlog wonders if these robust DVD sales — which can account for as much as half of a movie’s total revenues and a nice chunk of their profit — will inspire other studios to open the vaults and offer more films on the service.      Several comments on the blog expressed surprised that downloads draw much attention at all, since DVD packages tend to be higher quality and packed with extra features — for about the same price.      For their part, Disney says downloads don’t threaten its $3 billion DVDs business, noting that it will reap $25 million from downloads in its first year of offering the service. Speaking at a UBS media conference this week, Disney CFO Tom Staggs said, “Every sign we see is it’s market expanding and not cannibalizing (home video sales).”   Perhaps the whole digital download business isn’t all that big for now. Forrester Research analysts Josh Bernoff and Remy Fiorentino, in Bernhoff’s blog, crunched Apple’s user data and reached the conclusion that the median household spent less than $20 every 12 months on iTunes, and the top 34 percent of iTunes users account for 80 percent of the purchases. Forrester added:       Since iPods went on sale, people are consistently buying about 20 iTunes per iPod. There’s been a small uptick to 23 lately, but that’s it. What’s the explanation? It’s either:   – People are buying at a low but steady rate, but replace their iPod every few years — which would imply that iPod user market is growing more slowly than it appears, or – People buy about 20 songs and then get tired and don’t buy any more. Or, both are true. Either way, this accounts for a little tarnish on the incredible iTunes success story…  [...]

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