Apple will roll out movie sales on the Australian version of the iTunes store within the next month, with ISP iiNet hoping unmetered downloads will provide a download bonanza.
iiNet is currently the only local ISP which offers unmetered access to iTunes downloads, a feature it introduced in April last year. Speaking with APC today, iiNet chief operating officer Mark White confirmed that movie downloads would soon be available via the service, and would remain unmetered despite the much larger file sizes involved.
"All the TV shows are unmetered and when the movies come on next month they'll be unmetered as well," White said. "We'll get the content straight onto our network."
Having a cap-free download policy made much more sense with video content than with audio, White said. "The music was cool but didn't add too much value".
"We're good mates with Apple and it's good business for them as well. They understand that one of the biggest barriers is you don't want to be paying $2.99 [for a TV show] and then be upgrading your plan to cover the downloads."
iiNet also plans to source other content, placing it in head-on competition with Telstra's Bigpond service, which also doesn't include downloads from its own movie service and entertainment sites in download caps.
"We're talking to a couple of the TV stations that are about to release catch-up TV," White said, though he declined to discuss further details. "Our goal is to get as much content as possible onto our network.
The availability of movies via iTunes in Australia has been widely anticipated ever since the launch of movie downloads on the US store in September 2006, though American availability has never been a reliable index of Apple's intention, as the two-year delay in making music available in Australia via iTunes demonstrates.
Speculation became stronger after Apple made a range of TV shows available for sale via the local iTunes Store last month . Sony Pictures president Jack Ford also said at a conference in Sydney last week that movies would be available locally "very soon".