Disney Isn’t Supporting 4K Movies at $20 From iTunes

BY Evan Selleck

Published 13 Sep 2017

Yesterday, one of the many announcements Apple made was that it would (finally) have 4K UHD films available to buy from iTunes, which would go right along with the Apple TV 4K the company announced, too.

But that wasn’t all the company announced in this regard. Apple also confirmed a rumor that had cropped up recently, suggesting that 4K UHD films sold through iTunes would go for the same cost as a traditional HD movie — $19.99. When that rumor first popped up it was a hard sell, considering many 4K UHD movies still go for around $29.99 and it didn’t sound like Hollywood production companies were too keen on lowering the cost.

Turns out most were, with one major exception, as pointed out by The Wall Street Journal recently: Disney. As it stands right now, Disney is the only major holdout in terms of support for $20 4K UHD films on iTunes. Here’s the list of those who do support it:

  • 20th Century Fox
  • Lionsgate
  • Sony Pictures
  • Universal
  • WB
  • Paramount

Which marks Disney as the only company not on that list, which is certainly notable in its own regard. But one other reason why this would be making the news round is because Disney and Apple have had a longstanding relationship, with the two companies having close-knit bond between executives. Disney characters show up on Apple Watch faces, and Disney’s Chief Executive, Robert Iger, sits on Apple’s board:

“Disney’s absence is particularly notable given a longstanding close relationship between the two companies. Disney Chief Executive Robert Iger is on Apple’s board of directors and Disney was the first studio to sell television shows and movies on iTunes.”

Disney may be one of the holdouts on this, as noted by that aforementioned rumor, because it is aiming to have its 4K UHD films priced between $25 and $30 — what it’s already priced at — on iTunes.

Whether or not Disney comes around on this remains to be seen. It’s also worth noting that while Disney does offer its 4K UHD films on other platforms, their selection is just getting off the ground. Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 was the first 4K UHD film from Disney, which only recently launched.

Do you think Disney will change its mind on this?

[via The Wall Street Journal]