Although it's no surprise that the online provider would be moving in that directons, iTunes announced earlier this week that they will now be offering full-length feature films for download through iTunes.
The move is a major driving force for allowing the legal download of films online, as well as for the video iPod, opening film content widely into two new platforms. Coupled with the new "Burn to DVD" service from CinemaNow and continued moves for HD DVD content, and films are reaching masses in new and exciting ways, with new platforms and business plans seeming to be available on a weekly basis.
Apple held a big conference for the media on Tuesday, announcing that films will be available for download at $14.99, but viewers will have an extra incentive to download them during their first week of availability, as new films will only cost $12.99 to download.
In addition to these new releases, films will also be available from the archives, including 75 titles from the Walt Disney Company's various studios. Films from the archives are set to cost $9.99 per download. Compared to the cost of films on DVD, the download prices are cheaper to help make up for the lack of authentic art and some other features of DVDs and are designed to seem comparable with the $1.99 per show and $.99 per song that is currently devised by iTunes.
The estimated download time with a high-speed Internet connections for iTunes films is about half an hour.
Of course, Apple is predicitng a rise in online film downloads similar to the success of television downloads over the past year, along with a corresponding promise of substantial new film content as the new services moves along.