Earlier this month Apple announced the 4K HDR-capable Apple TV, and along with that, the company revealed that it had worked with studios to match 4K pricing with that of HD. Now, it appears that those lower prices are starting to spread to other digital movie outlets, specifically Google Play Movies.
This shift is only just beginning, as only certain movies apply so far. The first notable example is Spider-Man: Homecoming. The film is distributed by Sony Pictures — which is one of Apple’s partners with its new lower prices. As noted on both Google Play Movies and VUDU, the film’s UHD pricing is identical to that of standard HD.
Looking further into Sony’s catalog of movies, Passengers and Baby Driver (technically distributed by TriStar Pictures in the US and Sony internationally) are also listed at $19.99 for the UHD versions.
However, these are really the only examples available at the moment. Other films, from Sony or any of Apple’s other partners (including 20th Century Fox, Lionsgate, Paramount, and Universal), are still listed at up to $29.99 for a UHD copy of the movie. Wonder Woman, for example, is produced by Warner Brothers who is partnered with Apple, but the film still asks $29.99.
So what exactly is happening here? It’s a bit unclear, but it could be that Sony and Google are simply testing the waters with Google Play and VUDU for this new pricing to see public reactions and sales numbers. Or it could be that studios are beginning the process of adjusting their prices across the board. We’re not sure.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on pricing, specifically on Google Play, in the coming weeks to see how this continues to adjust as the Apple TV 4K hits the market. In the meantime, I’m going to go watch Spider-Man in 4K.