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Apple Sells 1 Million Videos in Under 20 Days 478

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the more-reasons-not-to-leave-the-house dept.
olddotter writes "Apple has sold over 1 million videos through iTunes since the release of the Video iPod service. Personally I am surprised by this success, it raises many questions. Will this encourage more people to put their video content on the iTunes store? Is there a vast market for cheaper stuff at reduced prices? Why am I willing to pay more for music than I would for video?"
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Apple Sells 1 Million Videos in Under 20 Days

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  • Hot Damn (Score:5, Interesting)

    by broody (171983) on Monday October 31, 2005 @04:24PM (#13917646)
    Imagine if they had some content besides a few television shows and videos...
  • Oh the insanity! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LilGuy (150110) on Monday October 31, 2005 @04:25PM (#13917654)
    I would DEFINATELY download TV episodes and movies for $1.99 ANYDAY over music tracks for $.99

    Even when iTunes first came out I thought that was a bit pricey and that the price would eventually drop. Doesn't appear to be the case. But $1.99 for tv shows seems to be a good deal as long as they cut the commercials out, or at least most of them.

    This could usher in a whole new era for TV, and I wouldn't miss cable or satellite one bit.
  • by mccalli (323026) on Monday October 31, 2005 @04:26PM (#13917667) Homepage
    A question for anyone with a new iMac G5 who has also bought a video from the music store. Do these videos integrate with Front Row [apple.com] at all?

    It's my (utterly unsubstantiated) belief that Front Row will appear in iLife 06, and that then a Mac Mini playing these videos on a TV will start to make quite a lot of sense.

    Cheers,
    Ian

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 31, 2005 @04:26PM (#13917677)
    Why would you want to watch a music video or a TV show on a tiny screen? Is it really that enjoyable? I just don't get it.
  • by QuantumPion (805098) on Monday October 31, 2005 @04:28PM (#13917702)
    Well now that a company is offering a completely legal and conveniant service, I am perfectly willing to pay for it. When there is nothing on TV, I would love nothing more then to be able to quickly download an episode for a past show that I havn't seen before without having to go through the various bit torrent sites.
  • Re:Hot Damn (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mysqlrocks (783488) on Monday October 31, 2005 @04:29PM (#13917713) Homepage Journal
    Imagine if they had some content besides a few television shows and videos...

    That's exactly what they're trying to prove to the movie industry. Apple is demonstrating that it's possible to do the same thing it did with Music to Movies. And the movie industry will have the added benefit of being apple to skip right past the bulk of pirating (if they get they're heads out of the sand).
  • by rsborg (111459) on Monday October 31, 2005 @04:30PM (#13917721) Homepage
    1. iTMS store opening sold 1 million songs in a week, not 20 days.
    2. However, video selection is MUCH more limtied than song selection when iTMS opened.
    3. Also, video probably assumes the purchase of a newer (video) iPod, since I doubt many people are downloading these to watch on their computer/tv.

    So what does this mean? Who knows, but it seems as if the videos are really damn popular. I'd kill, however, to see which ones were more popular than others...

    I think what'd be the real killer app for mobile video would be shorts like comedy, commercials, trailers, etc.

    Apple are you listening? Use what you have already, most movies push trailers, and most commercial creators would DIE to get their bits on the iPod, and there're some totally awesome commercials that are pieces of art in their own right! Imagine a vid-cast of bits from The Daily Show, or a 5 minute part of a standup routine, too.. great for showing people at lunch/etc.

  • by JudgeFurious (455868) on Monday October 31, 2005 @04:33PM (#13917748)
    Once the content gets in there I'll be buying video from iTunes. That is assuming of course that the prices stay close to what I'm seeing right now. This fits in good with my desire to buy seasons worth of some shows on DVD but only a handful of episodes where other shows are concerned.

      I look at South Park, Dead Like Me, and my Battlestar Galactica fix and I say "Buy the season on DVD". My wife wants Buffy the Vampire Slayer seasons 1-6 and DVD is the way to go.

      I look at Star Trek Deep Space 9 and I say "Got to get me some DVD's.....HOLY SHIT CAN YOU BELIEVE WHAT PARAMOUNT WANTS FOR THAT? MIGHTY PROUD OF THE STAR TREK AREN'T WE GUYS?"

      Then I think about it and there probably weren't 10 episodes of DS9 I really want anyway. Maybe 10 if I push it. 20 bucks for those 10 episodes and screw the rest of it because it wasn't all that good anyway? I'm in.

      Of course IF Paramount ever lets them sell episodes of Star Trek (and flavor) on iTunes they'll probably demand that they sell for $9.99 each or some insane amount of money that will screw the whole deal up anyway.
  • Re:vintage videos (Score:3, Interesting)

    by tgibbs (83782) on Monday October 31, 2005 @04:38PM (#13917783)
    somebody posted this [mp3newswire.net] last week about making old 50s shows available for cheap. Sounds promising to me as a way of preserving the early days of TV. Heck, I'd pay a buck for old Zachary creature features.

    I think that this is an ideal use of the medium. When you watch Lost or Desperate Housewives on iTunes or iPod, you are giving up the beautiful HD of the broadcast (or the torrent, if you prefer). But these old TV shows will lose little on the tiny screen. For some, it might even bring back fond memories of sitting across the room from a small-screen TV.
  • Re:More? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by piecewise (169377) on Monday October 31, 2005 @04:43PM (#13917826) Journal
    I must tell you, I think iTunes is a great example of how it could change TV. I NEVER watched Lost (yes, I have cable -- digital cable with all the bells and whistles since it came with my apartment). But sure enough, I went on iTunes and for $1.99 I bought the premier... I was quickly sucked in, and my black 30gb iPod now has season one and all of what's available for season two. I'm hooked!

    And frankly, I'm spending about the same as I would have for DVDs in the store. Season one of iTunes is $34.99 -- I saw it in Target for the same. And yes, per download I'm paying more for season two, but I'm also getting it instantly. Spread out over time, it's roughly the same.

    I would have never gotten so into Lost without the iPod, so ABC is definitely right to say they're excited that this is a new way to reach a broader audience.

    I'm just amazed how great that iPod video looks on a television. Granted, TVs are crap resolution, but even on my 32" Sony it looks great.

    So if the iPod created a halo effect for the Mac, this iPod video will surely change the way we watch TV. It's already changed how I do.
  • Re:vintage videos (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AKAImBatman (238306) * <akaimbatman@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Monday October 31, 2005 @04:51PM (#13917901) Homepage Journal
    somebody posted this last week about making old 50s shows available for cheap.

    It will happen eventually. I don't know if you've seen them yet, but many stores are now carrying the $1.00 DVDs of many old shows. Everything from episodes of Laurel and Hardy to Rocky Jones Space Ranger (you've got to see this show, even just for the comedic effect) are now appearing on the shelves.

    However, I have a feeling that it will be a while before they show up on iTunes. Jobs doesn't want to make the same mistake as MovieLink [movielink.com] and find himself in the position of *only* selling old shows. Once iTunes is established a way of distributing new content, only then will Jobs allow for virtual reruns.
  • Re:Well, duh... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Monday October 31, 2005 @04:53PM (#13917919) Homepage
    And you somehow easily forget the fact that producing a singlevideo is easily 20-30 times more expensive and labor intensive than making an entire album of music.

    you make the point that the RIAA is trying to make everyone think, but a feature length movie makes all the music ever made by metallica seem like chump change in comparison.

    you can record and master an entire album with less than 10 people INCLUDING THE BAND. you cant make a movie with less than 30 people. (Grips, techs and film/sound is more than 2/3rds that number already and there are no actors, makeup, extras, special efx,security,etc...)

    and sorry, but a DVD has at least another 50-90% in man hours of content added to it on top of the movie.

    Other than pure unadulterated obscene greed, there is no reason that a CD costs more than a DVD.
  • Re:More? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by robertjw (728654) on Monday October 31, 2005 @05:05PM (#13918032) Homepage
    OK, I have a question. Do you see greater value in purchasing a version that you can watch on your iPod than you do in purchasing the DVD? After reading your post, I personally thought you got screwed. If you could have the DVD for the same price, why buy the iPod version. Now, I realize we all have different priorities, and if you find value in it, that's great. Guess my question is how much of your example is due to the fact that you COULD download from iTunes and it's the new fun thing to do? Do you see this technology as something with staying power, and if so, why?
  • Re:Oh the insanity! (Score:3, Interesting)

    by east coast (590680) on Monday October 31, 2005 @05:16PM (#13918134)
    Which is exactly why it's only a matter of time before there's a huge backlash from these content distributors, much like the music industry is already against iTunes.

    I wonder how much of a cut a producer would get for a download of CSI or Lost and how much they get per viewer on cable/satelite? Let's face facts, if the producers of these shows get 50 cents to the download versus 10 cents per viewer for the TV time slot it makes business sense not to care as much. Sure, they'd lose advertising dollars but if it's bringing in more subscribers it would be more profitable in the long run.
  • by Frogbeater (216054) on Monday October 31, 2005 @05:16PM (#13918146) Homepage
    I noticed that too. Particularly because I worked on that video.
    I was the dolly grip, which means every shot in that video in which the camera was moving (except the one where he gets on the escalator) is me moving the camera (dare I say, dancing with Mr. Walken?)

    No royalties for me.

    But the iTunes store has validated that video as one of the greatest of all time.

    Here [frogbeater.com] are some behind the scenes shots if anyone is interested.
    That would be me, standing behind the camera.
  • Re:More? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Jherek Carnelian (831679) on Monday October 31, 2005 @05:27PM (#13918241)
    Do you see greater value in purchasing a version that you can watch on your iPod than you do in purchasing the DVD? After reading your post, I personally thought you got screwed. If you could have the DVD for the same price, why buy the iPod version. Now, I realize we all have different priorities, and if you find value in it, that's great. Guess my question is how much of your example is due to the fact that you COULD download from iTunes and it's the new fun thing to do?

    If he does, and enough people do likewise, that means that blu-ray and hd-dvd will be still-born, just like the mobility of mp3s have killed DVD-Audio and Super-Audio CD.
  • Point 3 is wrong (Score:3, Interesting)

    by SuperKendall (25149) * on Monday October 31, 2005 @05:30PM (#13918267)
    I bought the first episodes of Lost to determine if I really wanted the DVD set (never having seen Lost apart from an episode somewhere in the middle that didn't really grab me). I do have an iPod but it's the first 5gb model with no video support at all (not that I care, having no desire to watch video on an iPod).

    There's a lot of people around willing to buy video without an iPod. I doubt video purchases for iPods are even the majority of cases.
  • Re:More? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 31, 2005 @05:31PM (#13918270)
    And frankly, I'm spending about the same as I would have for DVDs in the store. Season one of iTunes is $34.99 -- I saw it in Target for the same.

    $34.99 in iTunes gets you Season 1 of Lost at 320x200 resolution. Isn't that really expensive?
  • Re:Well, duh... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by RCanine (847446) on Monday October 31, 2005 @05:35PM (#13918301) Homepage

    That's because you've gotten it backwards.

    Man: I don't know about this whole car thing, I'm not going to use it very often.
    Car salesman: This car is $15,000.
    Man: Now that paved roads are everywhere and my job is five miles away, I need a car and I'll use it every day.
    Car salesman: Ok, well now cars cost $20,000.

    The price of goods increases as their value to customers increases...it's supply and demand.

  • tech demo (Score:3, Interesting)

    by honold (152273) on Monday October 31, 2005 @05:39PM (#13918326)
    i think it's pretty obvious that most people who bought a video ipod are going to buy 1 video just to check it out. i know a guy that has bought every generation of ipod as soon as they were released (normal, mini, nano, video). he's never bought a song on itunes, but he did buy some pixar video just to see how the process worked.

    if you threw out one video purchase for every one video ipod customer, i think the numbers might be a lot different. weren't a million nanos sold in a few weeks?
  • by mblase (200735) on Monday October 31, 2005 @05:43PM (#13918351)
    Also, video probably assumes the purchase of a newer (video) iPod, since I doubt many people are downloading these to watch on their computer/tv.

    Where'd you get that idea? The video is perfectly viewable on a computer monitor; I bought an episode of "Lost" and got perfectly good video on my 17" CRT. It wasn't anywhere near DVD quality, more like a good-quality VCR recording from analog TV -- but the detail was fine and I could enjoy it from the couch halfway across the room.

    I buy music from iTMS all the time, even though I don't own an iPod; I'm positive I'm not the only one. iTMS plays well with iPods, but there's no requirement there. The video and audio are both just as enjoyable on the desktop as they are in your pocket.
  • by doormat (63648) on Monday October 31, 2005 @05:47PM (#13918386) Homepage Journal
    I look at Star Trek Deep Space 9 and I say "Got to get me some DVD's.....HOLY SHIT CAN YOU BELIEVE WHAT PARAMOUNT WANTS FOR THAT? MIGHTY PROUD OF THE STAR TREK AREN'T WE GUYS?"

    I thought about this the other day.

    7 Seasons of TNG at $100/season = $700
    7 Seasons of DS9 at $100/season = $700
    7 Seasons of VOY at $100/season = $700
    4 Seasons of ENT at $100/season = $400

    $2500 and that doesnt even include TOS or your local sales tax!! Paramount bite my shiny metal ass if they want me to pay $2500+tax for star trek (for about 500 episodes). If the price went below $1,000, I'd be much more inclined to consider it. And think of who your audience is? A bunch of geeks and nerds, you dont think they know how to get a copy of DVD decryptor, a netflix subscription and a 500GB HD? Hell, I saw Sex in the City for $165 for the entire 5 season series (20 discs) in the Best Buy ad this weekend.

    $2500 vs $800 in hard drives (2x500 - one for backup) + $200 for a netflix sub to get all the DVDs + free time
  • Re:More? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by shmlco (594907) on Monday October 31, 2005 @05:53PM (#13918458) Homepage
    I think it's going to snowball. Other networks will offer content (Galactica). Apple will do the Cringely video mini, video AirPort, and allow you to "rip" to your pod. Independents will produce movies and documentaries. The next Parks Wallace & Gromit short will appear on iTMS. Movies will begin to appear.

    In fact, Tivo has already announced software you can use to move Tivo2Go content to your pod.

    All of this is just the smallest toe dipped into the water...

  • Re:Well, duh... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by slavemowgli (585321) on Monday October 31, 2005 @06:08PM (#13918607) Homepage
    Of course you can make a movie with less than 30 people. Seen Klayworld [knoxskorner.com], for example? More than 90 minutes, done by one person. Or how about Kaze, Ghost Warrior [kazeghostwarrior.com]? OK, that's only 22 minutes, but it was also done by one single person, and the fact that it's entirely done in CG and has a quality that rivals Pixar's movies is highly impressive, I think.

    You probably need more than one person if you want to make a life-action movie, but even then, I'm pretty sure that 30 aren't strictly needed - you'd also be able to do a movie with 29, or even 20, or 10, if you just tried.
  • Re:You're surprised? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by hackstraw (262471) * on Monday October 31, 2005 @06:28PM (#13918769)
    How can you be surprised by the success of the video iPod when there are enough people out there willing to pay money to change how their telephone sounds when it rings that it has become a $300 million-a-year business?

    In the world of wasting yer money on stupid, ephemeral stuff for digital gizmos...


    In 2000, Americans spent $60 billion on carbonated soft drinks. linky [saveharry.com]. That is flavored sugar water with the addition of carbon dioxide that costs something like pennies a gallon to make. They have no nutritional value, are not very effective in quenching thirst, and are bad for your teeth and stomach.

    People should spend more money on rigntones in my opinion.
  • by SPYvSPY (166790) on Monday October 31, 2005 @07:35PM (#13919328) Homepage
    My friend and I were denied just today when we applied for distribution through iTMS. No, we're not a major indie like Matador, but we're also not a bunch of yahoos making records in the garage. I'm not complaining, but self-publishing through iTMS is still not easy enough. Having said that, people in my situation can probably use CDBaby to get onto iTMS, which is exactly what Apple's rejection note said.
  • by Frogbeater (216054) on Monday October 31, 2005 @10:28PM (#13920402) Homepage
    My friends and I boo and hiss when we see those ads.

    Last time someone in the audience said "You hate set painters?" referring to the "worker that is being harmed by piracy" in the ad.

    Workers don't lose out from piracy, producers and content owners do. They are the ones that can afford the politicians to create laws on their behalf and lawyers if the laws aren't created on their behalf. If I could afford lawyers and politicians then then I would get royalties too.

    Those people in the ads are laborors and don't miss out on royalties.
  • by Vilse (646714) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @03:16AM (#13921679)
    How can the ringtone sellers afford this you say? And how come MTV is up for sending them over and over again? Pretty simple - the ringtone sellers does not have to pay *anything* to have the advert played on MTV - however, MTV gets a percentage of the sales done within a specific timespan after the advert is sent. So, the more people buy ringtones, the more MTV makes together with the ringtone seller... The ringtone adverts are basically fillers - have a 30 second slot to fill between shows? Shove in the adverts twice to fill the time! If they sent the advert twice in a row, they essentially increases the timepan in which they earn money from the ringtone sellers. Pretty funky, eh?
  • Re:2.5"? eew. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by peterb (13831) on Tuesday November 01, 2005 @09:19AM (#13922653) Homepage Journal
    Right, your insightful analysis correctly assumes that my time, just like yours, isn't worth anything.

    Oh, wait.

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