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Disney 'very, very bullish' on early iTunes movie downloads

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It's only been a week since Disney plonked a load of movies on Apple's iTunes store, but already the studio is squeaking about how well it's all going.

"We are very, very bullish on consumption of electronically delivered media," CEO Robert Iger told Wall Street analysts Tuesday.

Disney said it has already flogged around 125,000 downloads of the 75 films currently available at between $9.99 and $14.99, netting it $1m in sales. Revenues of $50m are likely in the first year of the arrangement, he predicted with some fairly basic sums.

More Disney movies are on their way to iTunes, subject to legal clearance.

Iger also bigged-up iTV, Apple's forthcoming Sqeezebox-style wireless streaming device for video, saying "it felt like a game-changer to me in many respects".

Iger said that his dealings with Apple maharishi Steve Jobs had been highly instructive, adding he often turns to him for advice on new media. "For me, he has become just a tremendous sounding board," the Disney boss gushed. We imagine among Jobs' advice so far has been (a) to put Disney movies on iTunes, and (b) that iTV will be super. ®

Bootnote

The Entertainment Retailer's Association yesterday announced an agreement to end the farce of weighting the singles chart in favour of physical sales in the UK. Some 78 per cent of single sales are now digital, but until now the rules have meant the chart ignores all downloads until a week before the physical release and disregard those two weeks after it is deleted.

According to Music Week, current number one "I don't feel like dancin'" by the Scissor Sisters clocked up 45,000 online sales before it was eligible for the chart.

The new regime comes into effect at the start of 2007, so long as it is ratified by record companies and retailers.

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