We reported earlier on Fox and Disney (NYSE: DIS) agreeing to come on board for Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) iTunes movie rental service, and the official announcement is expected at Macworld on Jan 15th. Now BW is reporting that most of the other holdouts are also about to come on board, though the agreements may not be ready in time for Steve Jobs keynote. It is close to deals with Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures, and Lionsgate to allow movie sales, rentals, or both through iTunes. Even Sony (NYSE: SNE) is mulling a deal, and Universal is the only holdout.
The story says Jobs has agreed to pay closer to the $17 wholesale price Hollywood gets from DVD sales by Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) and other retailers, though with the expected rental pricing being around $3.99 for 24-hour window, not sure how it will make up on the difference (is that the sale plus rental wholesale price?). Also, some of the studios are opening up on the windowing side: after their earlier refusal to allow online downloads of new movies until a month or so after DVDs are launched, they may relent on it. (via SAI)