Sales of films from Disney on Apple’s iTunes Music Store jumped to more than 1.3 million just three months after debuting on the digital storefront.
Big-name studios have proven reluctant to join iTunes for fear of
angering brick-and-mortar retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target, both
of which derive a sizable portion of their profits from DVD sales.
Wal-Mart in September was reported to have threatened Hollywood studios
with retribution if they joined Apple’s movement. Disney CEO Bob Iger
said digital distribution is "creating more consumption of media,"
adding that "The message that we deliver to our traditional [retail]
partners is that the pie is getting bigger," according to FT.com. (via MacNN)
I’ve argued before that digital distribution would expand the pie, not cannibalize any sales. Judging by iTunes music sales evolution, movie sales are running slower than music, but music sales just reached the 2 billion mark, after hitting the million mark in October 2005. With the coming launch of Apple TV, movie sales through iTunes should really take off. This should put further pressure on other studios to make their content available online.