MyGaming just found this morning that Apple has silently switched on iTunes Movies for South Africa. This means that you can now buy and rent movies from the iTunes and watch it right on your Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone etc.
We looked at the catalogue, and once again Musica should be very worried. Movie costs vary based on how new they are, as well as their image quality. We cannot seem to find the reason why certain older movies have various prices – for example, even an older movie like Toy Story comes in at R120. Certain movies are also only available for rent – like Dumbo. We were also very surprised to find that there are some South African movies are on there as well. At the current pricing it currently seems to compete with Blu Ray and DVD pricing in SA – so people who wish to hold on to physical copies of their media might not switch.
While iTunes Music was a big deal, movies is also quite a big disruptor to existing South African businesses. Musica and its ilk will need to very quickly decrease their prices to remain competitive, and even the seemingly cheap DStv BoxOffice will need to reconsider their pricing model. Even if the DStv BoxOffice movies come in at R25 per rental, that rental price comes on top of a very pricey DStv Premium subscription.
However, a few things need to be in place before you can use this service – first off, you need a nice fat uncapped broadband pipe if you want to watch HD movies. SD movies come in at around a GB, and HD movies are all typically more than 2GB. Also – Apple will need to bring Apple TV to South Africa if they ever want to expect a decent take-up of this service.
If Apple can somehow launch TV Series here as well, I suspect many South Africans can move entirely away from normal television channels (legally).