Friday, July 20, 2012, 01:30 pm PT (04:30 pm ET)
Today's big iTunes Match, Cloud expansion also adds support for Twentieth Century Fox filmsTwentieth Century Fox has finally joined the rest of the "Big 6" movie studios in allowing iTunes users to download previous movie purchases from the cloud, a major expansion of Apple's "iTunes in the Cloud" strategy on a day that also added support for dozens of new markets globally.
Apple launched iTunes in the cloud with support for four of the top six studios, but both Fox and Comcast's Universal remained notably absent from the program.
Films from those studios in iTunes remained badged with the warning "This movie is not available for iCloud downloading" as each worked to resolve existing contractual obligations with HBO. Universal's portfolio of movies became available for re-download back in April.
In addition to Fox movies now joining iTunes in the Cloud, Apple also greatly expanded the number of global markets eligible to access iTunes movies from the cloud, with Australia, Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Laos, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, the U.K., Venezuela, and Vietnam all reportedly gaining new support for movies.
Additionally, Apple has also expanded iTunes Match to working Poland and Hungary.
Notable markets that are reportedly not yet supported include France, Germany, Japan and Spain. Apple has not yet updated its listing of countries supporting each of the various media stores within iTunes, which includes music, movies, books and apps.
Content controlled by Apple (particularly the App Store and iBooks) is already widely available, but complex licensing issues with each country have stymied Apple's rollout of music, music videos, TV shows and movie sales globally.
Apple has by far the widest distribution of any online media retailer however, as both Amazon and Google are largely limited to selling only in the US market. The company will likely provide more details about its iTunes expansion figures when it presents its fiscal Q3 performance in a conference call scheduled for next Tuesday.
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