Last week, Apple debuted its latest endeavor, iCloud, which allows movies purchased in the Apple store to be viewed on a number of devices such as the iPad and iPhone. Lionsgate, Sony Pictures, Walt Disney Pictures, Paramount Pictures, and Warner Bros. have already reached deals with Apple, but two major studios, Universal Pictures and 20th Century Fox, were not a part of the initial deal, due to restrictions from the pay cable channel HBO. However, now it seems Apple, Fox, Universal, and HBO are working together to stream their movies on iCloud.
It is said that Universal and Fox both have deals with HBO that prohibited them from signing on for iCloud, due to the exclusive window HBO is given for both studios' films. Movies typically debut on HBO six months after a film is released on Blu-ray and DVD, and HBO retains that exclusive window for a year. During that exclusive window, movies aren't available for purchase on iTunes or other online merchants. While HBO isn't giving up their exclusive windows, it is believed that the network is loosening its restrictions on the deals, allowing iCloud users to send movies they already own to other devices. It is believed that both studios could reach deals with iCloud within a matter of weeks.
Apple also has to contend with UltraViolet, a streaming service that lets Blu-ray and DVD owners watch the films they have purchased through laptops, mobile phones, and other devices.