Apple Battles Hollywood to Keep 4K Movies $20 on iTunes

Apple Battles Hollywood to Keep 4K Movies $20 on iTunes Credit: Martin Hajek

Apple is currently battling with movie and TV studios over the exact price of 4K media content on iTunes, according to a new report.

As the expected announcement of a 4K-capable Apple TV looms, Apple is reportedly “scrambling” to strike deals with studio executives in Hollywood, according to the Wall Street Journal. While Apple wants to price 4K movies at about $20 in iTunes, Hollywood is pushing back and apparently seeking to attach a higher premium on its content.

A $20 price point is much lower than what competitors like Google currently charge. And it’s around the same price that Apple already charges for certain newly released HD movies on its multimedia platform. Movie and TV studios, on the other hand, want to charge about $25 to $30 for a 4K movie — at the very least, according to sources familiar with the discussions. While content platforms like Apple’s iTunes typically seek lower prices to entice customers and generate profits in the long-term, content creators and studios generally prefer charging a premium to protect profits.

Apple is largely expected to unveil a new Apple TV with 4K and HDR streaming capabilities as soon as next month, possibly on Tuesday, September 12. The Cupertino tech giant is also rushing to wrap up its discussions with Hollywood studios well before that date.

Even without the Hollywood deals, however, the next-generation Apple TV is well-positioned to take advantage of existing 4K streaming options. Amazon, which provides 4K streaming, is slated to offer Apple TV support sometime this year. And Netflix already offers certain 4K content on other streaming platforms and devices.

A 4K Apple TV could help the company revitalize its set-top box and content services businesses. The Apple TV has been lagging behind other competitors as far as offering 4K and HDR options. Similarly, iTunes has been steadily losing marketshare to companies like Amazon and Comcast — even as the overall video market is steadily growing.

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