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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Apple Flubs Its First Direct-to-iTunes Release

The Ed Burns movie 'Purple Violets' is the first direct-to-iTunes movie release.

I covered it here on CinemaTech and also in Variety.

But unfortunately, even though Burns was promoting the movie on NPR today, and even though the official release date is November 20th (that's today), the movie still isn't for sale on iTunes at 4 PM Eastern... though you can pre-order it. (Update: I just tried to pre-order it, and got an error message that I couldn't do that, either.)

The movie has gotten some nice placement on the iTunes Store home screen, and on the main Movies page. But why wouldn't iTunes start selling the movie at 12:01 in the morning? Or even noon Pacific time? How many potential purchases are they missing by having national (free) publicity for the release on NPR, but not making the movie available?

This is a promotional blunder that's reminiscent of the way Google Video mishandled the release of their first direct-to-Google feature film last year, 'Waterborne.'

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