Movies Disappear At ITunes And Netflix Thanks To TV

Posted: Dec 11 2008, 10:00am CST | by , Updated: Aug 11 2010, 12:12pm CDT, in News | Home Entertainment

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CNET News reports that some iTunes and Netflix users have begun to notice that films they want to watch are disappearing from the services. Among movies that have disappeared are Charlie Wilson's War, Eastern Promises, and Michael Clayton. The culprit is that rather than being treated as a merchant like a DVD rental store, Internet streaming film services are treated as a broadcaster.

This means that when a TV network pays for exclusive airing rights for a certain movie on broadcast TV, the movie studios force iTunes and Netflix to pull the film from their online catalogs. If the two streaming rental stores were treated as merchants this would not be an issue.

CNET News quotes unnamed movie studio executives that say when a cable network buys rights to a film and says it doesn’t want iTunes or Netflix offering streaming rentals of the films, which is what happens. As long as iTunes and Netflix aren’t making a significant profit for studios, this will be how it is. The real rub is that as long as streaming services don’t have enough films to make them attractive to watchers, they can't get more popular and bring in more revenue. This all looks like a way to limit the growth of streaming rental services to me.

Via CNET News

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