Evolution In Action: Universal Studios' Allows Movies on iCloud


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Perhaps this finding should be given the red letter day treatment. I mean, it's not often you get to see something evolve right before your eyes. Normally, evolution is a slow process, one that moves even slower when the entertainment industry is involved. Apparently, however, Universal Studios decided to rise out of the technological primordial ooze and make their movies, ones that are bought from iTunes, available on Apple's iCloud service.

Bonus: No extra charge, either. Take that, Walmart. MacRumors.com has the details, which were provided by readers who noticed Universal Studio's pleasant surprise:

Several readers have noticed that Universal Studios' movies are now available for re-download through Apple's iCloud service... When searching for movies in iTunes, Universal movies no longer contain a warning that the movies are not available through iCloud, while Fox's movies retain the warning... Another reader was able to confirm he was able to re-download 40 Year Old Virgin. Previous movie purchases from Universal should now be available for redownload in your previous purchased menu on iTunes.

That does sound a lot like evolving to embrace the incredible distribution power of the Internet, doesn't it? Is this reason to be hopeful the rest of the industry follows suit, especially if the rest of them realize you don't need to charge the consumer for every iteration of the movie--physical or digital--they possess? Considering how much of a role availability plays in regards to piracy, Universal Studio's move, aside from being a step in the right direction, has been a long time coming.

To their credit, Universal Studios has already displayed a willingness to evolve to embrace 21st century technology, something their Tower Heist Video On-Demand attempt indicated quite well. Unfortunately, the attempt to release a bigger named first-run movie to the VOD market as well as the brick-and-mortar theaters was scoffed at. Naturally, it was the theater managers who spearheaded the outcry.

Evolution, especially in a business sense, does not come easily, or without a great deal of kicking and screaming.