Apple prepping movies for iCloud service

Apple launched its iCloud service on Wednesday alongside its iOS 5 release for the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. The new service lets users stream audio, data and TV shows from a cloud server. Now the Los Angeles Times is reporting that Apple is in talks with Hollywood movie studios to offer feature film downloads via iCloud. The report, which comes from unnamed sources, claims that iCloud users could start streaming movies sometimes later this year or in early 2012.

The theory is that purchasing feature films that are stored on a cloud server could actually help generate more revenues for the movie studios since consumers will have the freedom to play their movies from a variety of devices, including desktops, laptops, smartphones and more. Apple's current iTunes download store accounts for 66 percent of all online movie sales and rentals. In 2010, $231 million was spent on online movie purchases and that number is predicted to stay about the same in 2011.

This news comes the same week that the first movie was launched using a technology called Ultraviolet. This streaming video standard is championed by a number of Hollywood movie studios such as Warner Brothers, which used the tech for Horrible Bosses, which launched on Tuesday, and Green Lantern which will be released on Friday. Ultraviolet is offered at the moment just as an extra on Blu-Rays and DVDs and allows consumers to also own a streaming digital copy of the same movie. Ultraviolet-based movies that don't require a Blu-Ray or DVD purchase will be released in 2012.

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