i.TV today announced the integration of Netflix, into its TV and movie guide for the iPhone and iPod touch.
“We are very pleased to offer i.TV users a new way to discover and rent their favorite DVDs from Netflix using an iPhone or iPod touch,” said Brad Pelo, i.TV founder and chief executive officer. “Many i.TV users are already Netflix customers and those who are not yet with Netflix will want to sign up after they see how easy it is use Netflix on our iPhone application. This integration is the first of several major third party integrations that will be announced through the end of this year and into 2009.”
Netflix on i.TV allows people to discover media from a catalogue of over 100,000 DVDs, complete with detailed information and recommendations concerning the titles. Users can sign up for a Netflix account or link an existing Netflix account using an iPhone or iPod touch.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment has signed-up to offer an iTunes Digital Copy of the film on the DVD or Blu-ray versions of the movie sold in the US from January 6.
UK and US customers who purchase a DVD also get an additional Digital Copy of the movie which can be popped inside iTunes, and then played back on the computer or Apple’s range of digital devices.
This means iTunes, iPod, iPhone and Apple TV owners will be able to extract a legitimate copy of the film for playback on their computers and digital devices when they buy the disc. Sony will also offer versions for playback on Windows PCs and the PlayStation Portable.
The price of Blu-ray players and discs seems set to fall this season, as those involved seek to take the format into the mass market – meanwhile that market’s changing, with consumers flocking to sign-up to location-based social networking services for their mobile phones, a pair of ABI Research reports claim.
“Blu-ray vendors and dealers are starting to realize that for Blu-ray to become the next DVD, they need to lower player prices in order to generate interest and build volumes,” said ABI Research principal analyst Steve Wilson.
In the 12 months to the end of 2008 Verdict predicts that the buoyant video games market will have grown by a massive £1.37bn – at a time when the combined music & video sectors have stagnated, with growth of just £0.03bn between them.
The researchers note that while the music and video sector has enjoyed a boost from the rapidly growing digital download market, general trading conditions remain challenging.
The crunch is beginning to impact the DVD movie market, as consumers turn to online services, spurn luxury items as recession bites and thoughts turn to Christmas, with some optimistic the fall in demand for pre-recorded DVD titles (films) suggests a move to Blu-ray (it won’t).
Taiwan’s pre-recorded DVD manufacturers have revealed orders for DVD films have fallen, “short of their expectations by 30-40%”, a report explains.
Apple executives seem pretty dismissive on Blu-ray, with company boss Steve Jobs last night slamming the standard as a “bag of hurt”.
Speaking this week, he said Apple has no immediate plans to introduce Blu-ray drives inside its computers in the current environment, warning, “You know, Blu-ray is a bag of hurt. I don’t mean from a consumer point of view – it’s great to watch movies – but the licensing is so complex.
“We’re waiting until things settle down and Blu-ray takes off in the marketplace before we burden our customers with the cost of the licensing and the cost of the drives.”
Apple is a member of the Blu-ray Disc Association. However, Blu-ray use would require an additional $30 per Mac sold integrating the technology. There’s also a host of deadly dull issues around DRM.
One-in-three people in the US and UK habitually make copies of pre-recorded DVDs, the latest Consumer Home Piracy survey from Futuresource Consulting claims.
While the report attempts to paint a bleak picture – and it’s worth noting the survey was sponsored by copy protection maker, Macrovision – it does concede that “the majority of people are copying from their own purchased DVD in both the UK and US,” adding that “a significant proportion of people are copying from rented and borrowed titles,” while declining to enumerate the number of people it sees as “significant”.
Conducted among a survey group of 3,613 in the US and 1,718 in the UK, the annual survey claims the following trends:
– around one third of all respondents in both countries admitted to making copies of pre-recorded DVDs in the last six months, including many recent blockbuster titles on DVD;
– 18-24 year old males are most likely to copy DVDs
– UK respondents showed a significant increase in copying TV shows on DVD
– If respondents had been unable to make copies of DVDs, 63 per cent in the UK and 77 per cent in the USA said they would have purchased all, some or at least a few of the titles.
– In both territories, the most common way of copying is either from a DVD player to a DVD recorder, or using a single PC software application for burning DVD copies.
Futuresource Consulting is a new force in research and knowledge-based consulting, formed in June 2008 through a merger between Understanding & Solutions and Decision Tree Consulting (DTC).
If nothing else, to this jaded commentator, that home users are ripping their own purchased DVDs for using with non-DVD devices (iPods, for example) and their own personal use represents a strong argument for some concessions to legitimise and control format shifting.