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March 15, 2006
Tech History Made Yesterday

Most of the Big Events in technology history appear big only in retrospect. For example, for technology historians the day Google.com first came online (September 15, 1997) is obviously a historic milestone. But at the time the number of people who were even aware of it was insufficient to form a basketball team. The date became important only because of what happened later. So remember the date March 14, 2006.

It was on that day that Apple made its first full-length movie available on iTunes.

The movie isn't important -- the made-for-TV Disney Channel original movie "High School Musical" -- and it didn't prompt a rush of downloads, if though for a few hours it was listed at $1.99 (the price was later raised to $9.99). But at one hour and forty minutes, it’s a movie.

I have predicted for some time now, and I stand by that prediction, that Apple -- not NetFlix, not Blockbuster, not Microsoft -- will become the pre-eminent source for the "video-on-demand" Nirvana that we have been predicting for well over a decade.

Within five years, I believe the model for "renting" and buying movies will be a download model, and that DVDs won't even be involved. Apple will leverage its connections, experience and dominance in music and TV downloads to become the de facto standard for movie downloads. There will be many other sources for downloadable movies, but Apple will dominate.

When that day comes, remember: It all started on March 14, 2006.

Posted by Mike Elgan at 11:06 AM | Permalink

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