When it comes to entertainment in Canada, we’re so behind the times. We’re on par with the US when it comes to movie releases and TV scheduling, but any means to obtain said entertainment aside from the traditional hard copies is severely lacking. Typically, a service that is released in the US will make it to Canada no sooner than a year post launch, if at all. And even then, the amount of quality content is diminished and the price is normally jacked up. This past month has brought some goodness north of the border, but as usual, it’s not up to par with our neighbors from the south.
A few months back, iTunes Canada received TV shows. Which to date, is a laughing stock. It’s chalk full of purely can-con and I can honestly say I’ve heard of about 10% of the shows available… and I live in Canada! None of the shows I watch are available, so I’ve pretty much written off iTunes TV entirely.
When iTunes Movies in Canada was announced earlier this month, I was skeptical to say the least. Surprisingly, there’s a decent amount of content available from the get-go. But more importantly, there’s actually movies I would watch. There looks to be a couple dozen less than the US store to rent. And just over half of the total amount of movies available. The overall selection looks comparable to what you would see on the “previously viewed” wall at the local rental shop, with the odd “just released” title, but it’s an admirable start.
What got me really excited, is the pricing. New releases are $4.99/$5.99 for standard definition and HD, respectively. While “library” titles are $3.99/$4.99. Compare that to Canada’s only other form of multi-platform digital distribution ((Bell recently launched a digital distribution service for movies, but it uses Windows DRM, so is not compatible with Mac, iPods, etc.)) – Xbox Live Marketplace, which charges a ridiculous 440/580 MS points ($7.04/$9.27 CDN) for new releases, and 300/440 ($4.80/$7.04 CDN) for library titles and you’ll see why this is exciting.
I wasn’t sure if the iPhone was ever going to make it to Canada. It just didn’t seem like Comwave was going to budge on the trademark dispute. Personally, I believe anyone who snatches “iAnything” should have their business licensed revoked, as it’s clearly an Apple thing. Regardless, they seem to have made an agreement and the hotness that is the iPhone is finally going to be available here in Canada on July 11.
The odd part of this whole deal, is how Rogers is handling it. Apple has made it quite clear that Rogers and Fido are carrying the iPhone in Canada, yet Rogers is playing coy. Someone thought it would be a great idea to go with a teaser campaign leading up to release of price plans. Despite Apple and all news outlets already having let the cat out of the bag. What makes them look even more lame though, is the fact that the silhouette they’re using on the teaser campaign is clearly not an iPhone.
I’m definitely not getting my hopes up at this point for a couple reasons. I’m currently half way through a 3 year contract with Telus, and I’m waiting to see how Rogers is going to price the data plans. I have full faith in Rogers to completely blow the pricing as they have with this marketing opportunity, so until I’m proven wrong, I likely won’t be owning an iPhone any time soon.