WSJ: Apple does not want to raise price of 4K movies, Hollywood disagrees

Just how much should Apple’s iTunes Store charge for 4K movie downloads?

According to The Wall Street Journal on Monday, Apple has proposed pricing new 4K movie releases at $19.99, which is precisely what the company currently charges purchases of major digital movie releases in full HD (1080p) resolution on iTunes Store.

Greedy Hollywood majors, apparently, want more.

“I wouldn’t tell Apple how to price their iPads,” said an executive at one studio in talks with Apple, according to the newspaper. Reporters Ben Fritz and Tripp Mickle have it on good authority that several Hollywood studios want to charge $5 to $10 more for 4K movies.

An excerpt from the article:

4K movies have been available online for less than two years, and an executive at one studio said pricing is still in the testing phase. An executive at another studio said $19.99, Apple’s preferred price point, would likely prove more popular with consumers given the vast amount of content available for $12 or less a month from Netflix, which offers a limited number of 4K movies and television shows.

The Cupertino giant “is scrambling” to strike deals with Hollywood studios to offer 4K movies on its upcoming 4K-enabled Apple TV set-top box. Those discussions have been hampered by disagreements over pricing, according to people with knowledge of the talks.

In a nutshell, what the studios want is in line with the current pricing scheme for iTunes movie downloads in standard or high definition, with the latter commanding a $1-$2 premium.

Apple wants to close deals with studios before its media event next month. Upgrading iTunes Movies and its set-top box to 4K could help the Cupertino technology giant regain some of the market share that it recently lost to rival devices from Amazon and Roku.

According to Parks Associates, the Apple TV market share fell to 15 percent in the first quarter of this year from 19 percent a year earlier. The market share for iTunes movie rentals and purchases fell below 35 percent from about 50 percent in 2012.

Apple is expected to unveil a 4K Apple TV model alongside iPhone 8 and Apple Watch Series 3 with LTE at a media event reportedly scheduled for Tuesday, September 12.

What do you think should be the fair price of 4K movie purchases and rentals on iTunes Store? Chime in with your thoughts in the comments!