New York (NY) – After recent additions to the digital video marketplace from Wal-Mart and Amazon/Tivo, Lionsgate has announced that some of its 10,000 movies will be heading to iTunes, bolstering Apple’s previously limited library of download-to-own movies.
This month, about 150 of Lionsgate’s titles will be added to the video section of the iTunes store, which will bring up the total number of feature films to 400.
The newly launched digital movie store at Walmart.com, which offers downloads for less money than iTunes, has some 3000 titles available. Lionsgate, one of the biggest independent film studios in the country, has said that iTunes will initially be the exclusive digital distributor for its titles.
However, several major studios have stayed away from iTunes, because Apple enforces a fixed price and commission that apparently has resulted in a shift to other vendors such as Wal-Mart, which offers more flexibility in pricing.
Movie downloads have largely remained a niche market, though, as many consumers do not want to watch a two hour epic on their computer screen. Apple will try to curb that scenario with the Apple TV, which streams iTunes content to a connected TV.
A new partnership is also trying to tap the PC-to-TV link, with Amazon and Tivo working together to offer movie downloads that can be watched immediately through a user’s Tivo. The service is currently in a beta phase for select Tivo customers.
The first titles to show up from Lionsgate on iTunes will include Terminator 2, L.A. Story, Basic Instinct, and The Blair Witch Project.