This just posted in the Seattle PI
Seattle Post Intelligencer said:SEATTLE -- Amazon.com launched a digital video downloading service Thursday, ending months of speculation that the Internet retailer would be getting into the online TV and movie business.
The service, dubbed Amazon Unbox, will offer television shows, movies and other videos from more than 30 studios and networks, the company said.
TV shows will cost $1.99 per episode, and most movies will go for $7.99 to $14.99; movies can also be rented for $3.99.
When customers download a show or movie, Unbox will automatically give them a second file that can be viewed on portable digital players that use Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Media Player.
Hollywood studios already sell films through other online services, such as Movielink, CinemaNow and Guba, but they haven't yet attracted a huge following.
Studios started renting films online several years ago in hopes of combating illegal downloads. Video downloads have grown more popular since Apple Computer Inc.'s iTunes started selling episodes of TV shows last October.
Rumors that Apple is poised to launch a movie download service gained traction earlier this week, when the company sent invitations to the media saying "It's Showtime," for a Sept. 12 event in San Francisco.
Sources at several Hollywood studios confirmed Tuesday they were in talks to sell their films through Apple's iTunes online store. The executives asked to remain anonymous because talks were still ongoing.