×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Apple Unveils Enhanced iTunes ‘Extras’ for Apple TV, as Studios Push Digital Movie Sales

Bonus content is aimed at promoting digital ownership of titles

Apple launched a new version of the iTunes Extras feature that will let Apple TV users access bonus content for movies they buy through the service on their HDTVs — and also let studios dynamically update related material for their titles.

The goal for Hollywood is to give consumers new reasons to buy digital movies, instead of renting or watching them on a subscription VOD service, as DVD sales continue to shrink.

“It brings the consumer a whole new level to their homevideo experience,” said Mary Daily, president and CMO for 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment. “Apple is helping to take that digital experience to the next level. You now have a substantial amount of people who have access to additional content on the big screen in the living room.”

The tech giant offers iTunes Extras for several hundred titles, now available with a newly designed interactive interface for Apple TV set-tops. The updated version of Extras also is available for Macs and PCs, and Apple expects to make the updated version of Extras available on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch when it releases iOS 8 this fall.

The Extras content is available with various new releases as well as library titles from several studios, including Disney and Pixar, Fox, Paramount, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Universal, Warner Bros., Lionsgate, Starz Digital Media and A24.

Examples of the bonus content in iTunes Extras include “Scenes,” which compile highlights of compelling moments in an iTunes movie, such as the musical numbers of Disney’s “Frozen,” the epic battles in Warner’s “300: Rise of an Empire” or the songs featured in Sony’s “American Hustle.”

Other bonus content includes cast and crew info with actors’ perspectives on their roles in a film; art and still photography galleries in HD, such as the aesthetic of “The Grand Budapest Hotel” and the conceptual drawings that inspired “Monsters University”; and behind-the-scenes performances of the voice actors in “The Lego Movie.” In addition, Fox’s “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” includes the featurette “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Building the Legacy.”

“We are all working together as an industry to make a good consumer proposition, and I think that’s a purchase proposition,” said Mara Winokur, SVP of digital at Starz Digital Media.

Studios are especially bullish on the ability with the new version of Extras to add more bonus material over time — with that extra content automatically appearing in iTunes users’ existing HD movie libraries. That will promote the value of owning a iTunes movie collections, with the promise of digital goodies in the future, execs said.

“The fact that this is cloud-based… allows us to update and enhance the experience at a later time,” said Jason Spivak, exec VP worldwide digital distribution for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

That makes iTunes Extras “a living, breathing experience,” said Rebecca Sosa, head of digital distribution for indie studio A24. “This can broaden the palette of what we do with our filmmakers.” For “Under the Skin,” A24 is providing 10 featurettes through iTunes Extras, which also are available on the Blu-ray release (out July 15).

Overall, the iTunes catalog offers more than 85,000 movies worldwide. Apple TV generated more than $1 billion in revenue last year, including sales of devices and content on iTunes, according to CEO Tim Cook. The company said it has sold 20 million Apple TVs through the second quarter of 2014.

In the U.S., iTunes had 64% share of the electronic sell-through market in the second half of 2013, according to research firm IHS. Other players in the EST and digital video rental market include Amazon.com, Google Play, Walmart’s Vudu, M-Go and Target’s Ticket.

Popular on Variety

More Digital

  • Podium Publishing Taps Scott P. Dickey

    Podium Publishing Taps Scott P. Dickey as Chief Executive Officer

    Independent audiobook publisher Podium Publishing has selected veteran media executive Scott P. Dickey as chief executive officer. Greg Lawrence, former CEO and co-founder,  remains as Podium’s publisher and a member of the board of directors. As CEO, Dickey will set and implement the day-to-day and long-term marketing, production and business strategy for the company as [...]

  • "The Stockholm Syndrome" - Pictured: Rajesh

    Inside the Blockbuster $600 Million 'Big Bang Theory' Streaming Deal With HBO Max

    As one of TV’s most popular shows of the past 20 years, “The Big Bang Theory” was sure to command a huge price when the streaming rights were finally shopped in a red-hot market for iconic comedies with large libraries. But “Big Bang Theory” wasn’t shopped widely on the open market before the streaming pact [...]

  • Mark Zuckerberg Facebook

    Mark Zuckerberg Can Be Overruled by Facebook's New Oversight Board on Content Decisions

    Mark Zuckerberg, chairman and CEO of Facebook, can’t be ousted by investors — he owns a controlling interest in the company’s voting shares. But according to the social giant, the new Oversight Board — colloquially called Facebook’s “Supreme Court” — that it is setting up to adjudicate appeals about whether to leave up or take [...]

  • YouTube - Google UK Offices

    Google Launches Ability to Find Key Moments in YouTube Videos via Search

    Google has introduced a new way to find exact moments in YouTube videos through its search engine, with initial partners including CBS Sports. According to Google, search results now will provide links to key moments within the video — if, that is, YouTube content creators have provided the necessary timestamp information to Google. “You’ll be [...]

  • Spotify logo is presented on a

    Spotify VP Paul Vogel Talks Subscription Prices, Label Licenses, Podcasts

    The annual Goldman Sachs Communacopia Conference gives representatives from major companies the opportunity to present to the investment community, and Paul Vogel, Spotify’s VP and head of financial planning & analysis, treasury and investor relations, spoke on the streaming giant’s behalf on Tuesday morning. While many of his comments were statements frequently heard in the [...]

  • Directv Now

    AT&T Sued for Allegedly Creating Bogus DirecTV Now Accounts

    A group of investors sued AT&T, alleging the telco artificially inflated subscriber counts for its DirecTV Now streaming service — including by creating fake accounts. In the federal class-action lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege that AT&T wanted to make DirecTV Now seem more successful than it actually was as another way to rationalize its $85 billion [...]

  • Streaming Battle: Disney, Apple and More

    The Battle for Eyeballs Makes for an Action-Packed Streaming Arena (Column)

    It came as no surprise last week that Disney CEO Bob Iger had resigned from the Apple board since the two companies are poised to launch competing subscription streaming services in less than two months. But Iger’s departure (announced the same day that Apple revealed its Nov. 1 launch date and $5-a-month price point) underscores [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content