Apple is preparing to announce film download and rental services through iTunes in the UK and Canada.

The company is understood to have reached deals with Disney, Paramount, Twentieth Century Fox, Warner Brothers, Lions Gate and MGM under which iTunes in both named countries will begin offering popular films for purchase and rental using Apple’s service. The move is likely to help boost Apple TV sales, and to improve the utility of iPod and iPhones.

Despite the lack of costs of manufacture or distribution of physical product, the studios have insisted they don’t want to undercut DVD prices with the move, suggesting prices for films will be set between £6 and £25, depending on the title, according to a report in The Times. The eternal refuseniks, Sony Pictures and Universal Studios have refused to agree the new deal at this point, the report claims.

Disney CEO Bob Iger last year explained his company has sold four million films and 40-50 million videos through iTunes since making its media available through the service in 2006.

In the US, Apple has reached deals to offer films through iTunes on the same day they ship on DVD.


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