Apple is all set to launch the iPhone 8 at an event on 12 September. Along with the much awaited 10th anniversary iPhone, Apple is also expected to launch a new version of its streaming media player, the Apple TV. One of the features planned on the new Apple TV is support for 4K ultra high definition movies. But according to a report in the Wall Street Journal Hollywood studios and Apple have yet to come on the same page when it comes to pricing of these 4K UHD movies.
According to people familiar with the matter, the Hollywood studios are not happy with the pricing offered by Apple for 4K movies. While Apple wants to have major Hollywood films available in 4K for streaming it is planning to charge $19.99 for these movies. The studios want to charge around $5 to $10 more for 4K UHD movies, according to sources who spoke to WSJ.
Apple is expected to unveil the new version of Apple TV, its streaming media device, alongside the iPhone at the event on 12 September. 4K UHD streaming is touted to be one of the major features on the new Apple TV, which is expected to go on sale in the holiday season. And Apple is struggling to get Hollywood studios to agree to its terms, something that needs to be done before the 12 September event.
Apple has had disagreements with media companies in the past as well. While Apple wants to expand the category and generate more long term revenue stream, the Hollywood studios want to preserve their profit margins. A studio executive has been quoted as saying, "I wouldn't tell Apple how to price its iPads."
When it comes to the market share of media streaming devices, Apple still lags behind Roku and Amazon. Both these rivals already offer 4K support and at a lower upfront cost of the device. According to market research firm Park Associates, Apple TV market share has fallen from 19 percent last year to around 15 percent this year.
The addition of 4K UHD movie titles to its catalogue is important for Apple to also rejuvenate its iTunes store. According to WSJ, Apple's movie rental and sales business has also seen a drop as compared to rivals Comcast and Amazon. It is currently under 35 percent, from a peak of over 50 percent in 2012.
Currently, Netflix offers Ultra HD content for a $12 monthly subscription fee.