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macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 6, 2004
I'm asking out of interest really. Since iTunes charges no more for 4k than HD, whereas both Google Play/Amazon Video charge more, you would have thought if anything it would be the other way around (since the studios have an incentive to add the movies in 4k where they can make more money from it). Does Apple reduce their 30% cut if the studios make a 4k version available? Or feature the film more prominently if it's in 4k?

In the UK, out of the top 10 films to buy on iTunes today are:

1) Downton Abbey (4k)
2) Ad Astra (4k)
3) Once Upon A Time In... Hollywood (4k)
4) Rambo: Last Blood (4k)
5) Night Hunter (HD only)
6) It Chapter Two (4k)
7) Angel Has Fallen (4k)
8) Hustlers (HD only)
9) Rocketman (4k)
10) Sleepers (HD only)

On Google Play, only It Chapter Two is available in 4k (rest are HD only).

Amazon Video (i.e. what's available to buy for streaming, I'm not looking at what's available on disc) has Downton Abbey, Once Upon A Time In... Hollywood, Rambo: Last Blood, and Angel Has Fallen in 4k (rest are HD only).

Out of the 10, this means Apple has 7 in 4k, compared to 4 for Amazon and 1 for Google - okay I'm using the iTunes top 10 but still this is a huge difference. It seems particularly odd to me since if the studio has a 4k version they've provided to Apple, why wouldn't they also provide it to Amazon and Google.

This is in the UK where I am, but as far as I understand it's similar in the US too.

Sorry if this is posted elsewhere, I couldn't find any info online at all on why there's such a big difference and am just curious if anyone has any knowledge of why this is the case.


macrumors 68000
Feb 9, 2009
Very very simple answer. iTunes is the industry standard. I've studied this market for a long time and IMO, iTunes is the most 'today and tomorrow future proof' system out there.
It was Steve Jobs that wanted to make iTunes the best store for experience and content. He hated BluRay etc and he knew that he could do better. Steve had a unique ability to see five years into the future when it came to tech and market demand.
iTunes came out top simply because Apple seem to work harder than anyone else in this field. Amazon as a comparison are a stack 'em high and sell them at profit, faceless warehouse organisation in comparison. It's cheap with no ethics - the exact opposite of Apple.
Apple worked hard to negotiate deals, stood by their morals whilst the software team beautiful beautiful UI, reliabie and stable platforms for iTunes enjoyment across all platforms from the best performing Apple TV to Macs to iPad to iPhone whilst ensuring an incredibly reliable Cloud streaming service 24/7. It was the first to introduce 4K Dolby Vision at a time when traditional 4K BluRay did not even contain Dolby Vision on their films or plasticky disc players. The fact that there was ZERO 4K BluRay players at CES this year says it all.
Apple had no restrictions on how many times you could download a 1080p HD film - check out Amazon's purchased films small print and you'll read that...
1. You CANNOT download your purchase to your computer
2. You can only download your purchase only TWICE to your portable device
3. You can only download a SD version to your phone SERIOUSLY WHAT THE HECK???

It's very clear to see that Apple and iTunes are in this 100%. They've spent over a decade growing it. The whole experience is beautiful. The layout, the UI etc. It's easy to find film, TV, music. It's modern and quite honestly, it's a delight to use PLUS it's part of the beautiful Apple Eco-system. It just works. Well! There's a reason why Apple sold 60million pairs of AirPods last year. There's a reason why the 11 Pro is the world's best device. There's a reason why the Apple TV 4K costs more than a Fire thing or Chromething. Thought, design, quality R&D goes into it all and iTunes is no different. Amazon and Google seem half baked in comparison.
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macrumors 603
Aug 5, 2008
San Jose, CA
While iTunes probably has more 4K titles in total, they also lack some that others have in 4K. None of the Disney/Marvel movies are in 4K on iTunes, while Amazon and Vudu have them (not sure about Google). Right now I'm a little annoyed that iTunes doesn't have "Parasite" in 4K, while the other major stores do. In case of Disney we know why that is, but apart from that I have no idea why the studios seem to supply the stores inconsistently.
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