The Surprising Market Where Apple, Inc. Is Missing a Big Opportunity

DVD and Blu-ray sales rarely top $100 million anymore.That's a problem for Hollywood that Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) and other set-top box makers are poised to help solve, Fool contributor Tim Beyers says in the following video.

According to The-Numbers.com, eight movies earned more than $100 million in combined home video sales in 2009. Only one has eclipsed that total so far this year: Walt Disney's (NYSE: DIS  ) Frozen, which has accumulated $225.4 million in DVD and Blu-ray revenue as of this writing.

Nothing else comes close, though The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is closing in on the $100 million marker. The message? Studios need to earn more at the box office in order to make back what they spend on movies. Foreign territories such as China tend to make up the difference.

Apple may have an answer. A recent upgrade to Apple TV allows for playing "iTunes Extras" on your Apple TV. Think of them as the sort of add-ons you'd get with a Blu-ray release: deleted scenes, director commentary, behind-the-scenes images, cast interviews, and so on.

Count the independent movie Snowpiercer among the first to bring iTunes Extras to Apple TV. Getting all the goodies will cost you $14.99. That's a comparatively good deal for Snowpiercer's backers when you consider that Frozen sold more than 12.8 million DVDs and Blu-rays at about $17.60 apiece, The-Numbers.com reports.

We're still too early in the process to know if digital extras will catch on as DVD and Blu-ray did, but it's still a potential win for both major and independent studios. That Apple is out front of the trend with the world's largest installed base of set-top boxes speaks well for its fast-growing iTunes business, and the stock.

How to profit when your cable company finally shuts its doors
You know cable's going away. But do you know how to profit? There's $2.2 trillion out there to be had. Currently, cable grabs a big piece of it. That won't last. And when cable falters, three companies are poised to benefit. Click here for their names. Hint: They're not Netflix, Google, and Apple.


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