TV Can Kill Movies at iTunes, Netflix

The other day, we reported on how popular movies are beginning to disappear from the iTunes Store without explanation, which affects what iPod, iPhone, and Apple TV owners can purchase. But as CNET News writes, this is unfortunately a fact of life due to Hollywood’s outdated broadcasting agreements.

“The culprit here is a system that for decades has pumped billions of dollars into the coffers of Hollywood studios and the television industry,” the report said. “What has happened is Apple and Netflix have crashed into [release windows, which are] periods of time a certain type of media is allowed to show a movie. Typically, a feature film is first released in theaters, then on DVD, followed by pay-per-view channels and finally on broadcast TV.”

The report said that normally, a studio doesn’t head over to Best Buy and yank movies off the shelves, but they’re treating Internet services differently. It’s related to why Netflix Watch Now and iTunes rentals have such a limited selection compared to, say, the regular Netflix service. Unfortunately, this isn’t going to change until consumers demonstrate to Hollywood that it’s profitable to do so.