iTunes Can Be a Game-Changer Again

Despite increased competition from Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) , iTunes is doing well. Fiscal second-quarter revenue from iTunes Software and Service rose 12% sequentially and 30% year over year to $4.11 billion while iTunes-only sales rose 28% to $2.4 billion.

TV and movie purchases may be heavily influencing growth.

I say that as a regular customer of Apple's "Season Pass" feature for episodes of my favorite programs, including the AMC Networks (NASDAQ: AMCX  ) hit The Walking Dead and sci-fi adventure series Doctor Who.

SOURCE: Frank Ockenfels/AMC.

And I'm not alone. More than 6,000 have rated Season 3 of The Walking Dead at the iTunes Store. HBO's Game of Thrones is also as much a hit at iTunes as it is in the ratings. Seasons 2 and 1 rank first and second, respectively, in the iTunes Store for Sci-Fi & Fantasy, a small but nice catalyst for HBO parent Time Warner (NYSE: TWX  ) .

In fact, it's enough to make me wonder why Hollywood isn't asking Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) to do more. Why not duplicate the iTunes Music Match service that Amazon and Google have already copied for their own services and introduce "DVD Match"? Customers who own a verifiable, legal copy of a film or TV season on DVD would be eligible to download the latest digital copy of what they own.

Mix in iCloud syncing, and you have the means to give users anytime, anywhere access to their entire digital library. Think of as Netflix, but for the library you already own.

We also know there's demand for a service like this. A quick Web search shows more than 166 million results for the term "dvd to itunes." That's a huge market waiting for Apple to offer the right product.

What do you think of DVD Match? Should Apple pursue it or something like it? Please vote in the poll below, and then leave leave a comment to let us know what you think of Apple and iTunes.

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Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On April 27, 2013, at 10:18 PM, crash3085 wrote:

    I would prefer that they fix the mess they have now first. Just the music side of iTunes is so broken, they may even have to just start over...lol! I quit using it except for the necessary part of syncing to my iPods.

  • Report this Comment On April 27, 2013, at 10:30 PM, twolf2919 wrote:

    I think Apple is making a mistake by charging for MusicMatch. It sees it as a source of revenue when Apple should view it as a means to further lock their customers into their platform. Think about it: users who went through the trouble of uploading their entire library into the iCloud and who are then accessing this library from more and more iDevices are *very* unlikely to switch to another platform - it's just too much hassle! Similarly, Apple is making a mistake by charging for iCloud storage beyond a paltry 5GB. That limit should be more like 1TB - then users will not only store their photos and videos in the iCloud, they'll probably backup (or store!) their other important/private files there as well. Again: what user would go through the hassle of moving all their "stuff" from iCloud to another service?

    The same should go for the DVD Match service you should envision: Apple should provide this service for free.

    Google is smarter than Apple here: their MusicMatch equivalent is free for up to 20,000 songs. As I have "only" around 4,000 songs in my collection (about 12GB), I could easily upload them to Google - and I did. Now I can play my music over the web from anywhere (and if I had an Android phone instead of an iPhone, I could probably just play them through its built-in music player instead of the web).

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 1:03 AM, Oldmonkey wrote:

    Google is an Internet destination who helped designed a mobile OS and Apps to get you to them. Apple is a hardware company that provides a locked enviornemt with its own services, so it's the only place you can go. Google should have already learned from Apple this isn't the best mode, and are again failing with a second generation Chrome Book.

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 9:17 AM, Zonker wrote:

    The service you describe is available today at Vudu.com and allows you to convert your existing DVD or Blu-Ray collection to the equivalent streaming media. In fact it uses the platform neutral UltraViolet license so I can view it on iOS (Flixster or Browser) as well as most other mobile and desktop platforms. What is nice about this approach is that it does not lock you into iTunes alone and allows you to upgrade DVD movies to HD streaming format for just a few extra dollars. I have been using this service since it began last year and it is fantastic.

  • Report this Comment On April 28, 2013, at 10:23 AM, TMFMileHigh wrote:

    @Zonker,

    Thanks for the tip. For those who want a direct link:

    http://www.vudu.com/disc_to_digital.html

    Wal-Mart sponsors this service, so you'd need to bring your DVDs in to a store to make good.

    Foolish best,

    Tim

    --

    TMFMileHigh in CAPS and on the boards

    @milehighfool on Twitter

    http://about.me/timbeyers

    http://timbeyers.me

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