A few months back, Apple annnounced that iTunes-purchased movies would be made re-downloadable through iCloud — that is, as long as the titles in question weren’t owned by Universal or Fox. At the time, the two studios were locked into an agreement with HBO that gave the pay cable network exclusive release rights for a window of time before the films could be made available to the public.
Fortunately for Apple fans, HBO promised to figure out a way to loosen those restrictions and allow Universal and Fox to participate. Universal got sorted out first, going live on iCloud in April. Now Fox, for months the lone holdout, has quietly come to the service as well. Read more after the jump.
For those not entirely familiar with iCloud, the service lets uers re-download previously purchased iTunes content onto other devices, like iPad or Apple TV. Previously, Fox films in iTunes had come with the warning that “When purchased, this movie will not be available through iTunes in the iCloud.” But recently, iCloud users began reporting that Fox titles had started showing up under the “Purchased” tab of their iTunes program.
The reveal doesn’t come as a surprise. HBO has been saying for a while now that they expected to reach a resolution with Fox and Universal to let the studios take part in iCloud. So while Fox’s appearance comes a little later than we might have hoped, it was always more a matter of “when” than “if.” Lionsgate, Sony, Disney, Paramount, and Warner Bros. have participated in the program since the beginning, and continue to do so.
iCloud is part of the industrywide trend toward making media available on different platforms, the better to encourage viewers to keep buying movies in some form or other. Aside from iCloud, there’s Ultraviolet’s “digital locker” system, which gives customers access to a digital copy of a DVD or Blu-ray they’ve already purchased, and Walmart’s “disc-to-digital” service, which converts physical media to digital formats for a fee.