Apple to offer movie downloads


Technology firm Apple unveiled a new version of its iTunes website yesterday that will enable users to download films.

The company said iTunes 7 would include new releases as well as a library of popular titles that subscribers could store and view on their iPod or PC.

iTunes is already the market leader in online music provision with customers having downloaded more than one billion songs since its launch.

Steve Jobs, chief executive of Apple, predicted last night that film downloads would be a huge growth market.

"In less than one year we've grown from offering just five TV shows to offering over 220 TV shows, and we hope to do the same with movies," he said. "iTunes is selling over one million videos a week, and we hope to match this with movies in less than a year."

The addition of popular television shows to the iTunes site last year coincided with the launch of the iPod Video, which helped develop the iPod brand and fend off challenges from the likes of Sony's PSP.

Initially, Apple will offer 75 film titles from Walt Disney Pictures, Pixar, Touchstone Pictures and Miramax Films.

New releases will be priced at $12.99 (£6.99) if pre-ordered or purchased during their first week of availability, and at $14.99 thereafter. Library titles will cost $9.99.

Apple has also launched a range of classic video game titles for download, including Pac-man and Tetris. The games are all compatible with fifth generation iPods.

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