Disney and Target appear to have made nice before anyone even knew they were fighting. The Associated Press reported Target reconsidered plans to remove all in-store advertising, an move it originally announced as a response to Disney selling movies on iTunes for less than the price of a DVD. Target has agreed to promote these movies after Disney threatened to not ship DVDs of “Cars” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,” two major holiday titles.
The stand-off, however short lived, was inevitable. Target and other retailers have been pushing movie companies to price online movie downloads at the same price as DVDs or not at all. The result means you pay the same price online for lower quality with no extras. Thus retailers keep your business.
I have brought up before, retailers are the only ones with something to lose. Movie companies have thus far let themselves be bullied into mediocre online services. Disney, of course, is the only movie company on iTunes because of their new friend and largest stockholder, Steve Jobs.
Thankfully, Disney stood up to Target, proving, at least for now, who has the power in this relationship. Yes Target gets to sell an exclusive collection of Winnie the Pooh items, but that can hardly be see as a loss for Disney. Disney’s muscle through its movie blockbusters showed movie companies can decide where to release movies and retailers should be happy with their piece of the pie as long as it lasts.
Now let’s hope movie companies decide to take advantage of this power and start charging reasonable amounts for online downloads. It’s unlikely, but one can dream.