The wait is over for users of the Australian iTunes Store who’ve been looking longingly at the movie content available from the American counterpart of the Store. As of this morning, movies from 20th Century Fox, The Walt Disney Studios, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Sony Pictures Television International and Lionsgate are available for sale and rental.
The selection, available in both Australia and New Zealand, encompasses some 700 films at launch — a number expected to grow rapidly. New release titles can be expected to hit the Store at the same time as their DVD launch dates.
iTunes movies in Australia start at recommended retail price $9.99 “catalogue” title purchases (ie older releases), $17.99 for recent releases and $24.99 for new releases. iTunes Movie Rentals are $3.99 for library title rentals and $5.99 for new releases, and high definition (720p) versions are priced at just one dollar more. At launch there are 100 high-definition titles available.
Rental movies are valid for one month, for as many viewings as you want. The only condition is that once you start watching, you have 48 hours before the file is automatically deleted.
As with titles from the US Store, movies are able to be played on a computer, and Apple TV, or a compatible iPod/iPhone. They can, however, only exist on one device at a time. The availability of movie content will certainly make the Apple TV a more attractive purchase than it has been previously — now we just need the price to come down.