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Thursday, March 01, 2007, 11:00 am PT (02:00 pm ET)

Apple's iTunes may soon become favorite among indie studios

Hordes of independent film producers lacking larger-scale distribution deals may soon find themselves flocking to Apple's iTunes Store, where batches of indie action sports videos have begun to crop up.

A report published at Variety notes that on Tuesday iTunes began selling "That," a snowboarding action flick made for DVD by independent film producer Forum Snowboards.

The move represents the first time the Cupertino-based iPod maker has sold video content on its iTunes service that didn't come from an established network, studio or distributor.

Variety adds that iTunes has also started to sell content from Wasserman Media Group's Studio411, a financier and distributor of skateboarding, motocross, ski and snowboard vids. According to the report, the action sports films are being sold in iTunes TV section at $1.99, instead of in the feature film section, where most videos are priced $9.99.

For Forum Snowboards, arrival of its content on iTunes reportedly followed a near 10-month negotiation process in which the studio eventually agreed to sell its content at the lower price point. The 30-minute "That" movie was released on DVD in September and initially sold in specialty sports shops for as much as $29.99.

"Forum first asked its DVD distributor to get "That" onto iTunes," said the report. "When it didn't succeed, the company started talking to Apple directly."