Apple Links iTunes Movie Downloads to DVD Releases

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Apple Inc. said Thursday that new movies from a slate of major studios will now be available for purchase over iTunes the same day they're released on DVD.

The change will beef up the number of new titles available in the iTunes online store and help the service compete better against DVD retailers.

Until this week, many of the movies available for purchase over iTunes were older releases.

Newer releases have been available for rental through iTunes, but users typically have to wait 30 days after the DVD release to get their hands on those films, and the titles disappear from their libraries once they're finished watching.

Apple's announcement Thursday did not include any change to the rental policies.

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The push by the Cupertino-based company to get people to order movies over iTunes reflects its success with the store and its desire to control more of the user's digital entertainment experience.

Key to that campaign are the Apple TV set-top boxes, which Apple hopes will cement the company more in consumers' living rooms by streaming videos and other content from users' computers to their television sets.

Apple said the new releases available this week for purchase over iTunes to coincide with their DVD release include "American Gangster" and "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly."

Other new titles Apple has added to the store include "Juno," "Cloverfield," "I Am Legend," and "There Will Be Blood."

The participating major studios are 20th Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Walt Disney Studios, Warner Bros. and Universal Studios Home Entertainment.

New releases cost $14.99 to buy. Older titles cost $9.99.