Apple and the film studios have finally come around to launching a movie-download service on iTunes' Irish store.
Here's how rentals and purchases will be priced (as per Apple press release):
iTunes movies start at €7.99 for catalogue title purchases, €9.99 for recent releases and €13.99 for new releases. iTunes Movie Rentals are €2.99 for library title rentals and €3.99 for new releases, and high definition versions are priced at just one euro more.
Overall, this is good news. It is worth making a few points, though.
1. The latest releases will be a few weeks behind Xtravision. For example, Avatar is available in-store now. It's not available on iTunes until June 7th. This may not concern too many people. But it's worth noting.
2. You'll need something else to watch your downloaded movies on a proper screen (a 17 inch or 21 inch computer monitor won't do it for most people). That'll cost anything from €100 up.
3. iTunes hasn't taken a huge slice of the movie rental or movie purchasing market in the US, where this service has been available for over two years. Hollywood has carefully noted how iTunes has helped demolish the record business. Rightly or wrongly, they're pretty determined not to let the same thing happen to them.
The movies will come from the following studios:
20th Century Fox, MGM, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, Universal Studios, The Walt Disney Company and Warner Bros. Entertainment, as well as European studios including E1 Entertainment, Lionsgate UK and Optimum Releasing.