Speculations over a cloud based iTunes platform has been doing the rounds for quite some time now. We had written about this for the first time after Apple announced the acquisition of struggling online music service, Lala. It now appears that Apple's plans go much beyond just music. There are now indications that Apple wants to also stream movies and TV shows from the cloud as well.
According to reports on CNET, Apple has been talking to major movie studios in Hollywood over letting users store their movies and TV shows on Apple's servers thereby letting them access the stored content from a plethora of devices including the iPhone and iPad. The idea, it is said, is to make the devices' hard drive disk space irrelevant by moving all the content the user owns out into the cloud. According to observers, this will help to increase content-purchase among users who may otherwise slow their purchase down for the fear of maxing out their hard drive.
However, Apple's plans may have run into trouble already. Sources have revealed that the movie studios may not concede to Apple's demands that the content purchased via iTunes be made accessible only via Apple-approved devices. James McQuivey, a media analyst at Forrester Research notes:
"The studios are very concerned that they're going to get roped into somebody's proprietary platform. They want a world where consumers have a relationship with the content, and not with the device or the service. They are in a position to force Apple to go along and make sure that content bought [via] iTunes will play on a Nokia phone. That is very un-Apple-like."
McQuivey also notes that Apple might not wield enough influence in the movie space as they do on the music front. This is because of the presence of a Digital Entertainment Content Ecosystem (DECE) consortium that seeks to address the interest of all its media stakeholders and hence may not agree to Apple's walled garden policies. Having said that, the equations could change if the iPad becomes a success in which case the movie studios might be interested to ink independent deals with Apple.
This is something we will have to wait and watch, though. What are your thoughts? Will Apple succeed in bringing movies to the cloud? Let us know your views.
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