Warner Brothers has begun offering “app editions” of movies for iOS. Here’s the idea: Instead of paying for a movie from iTunes, you can get the app edition from… iTunes, but along with the movie you get extras including scene selection, photos, videos, trivia, and sound clips/ there’s also a “share” area where you can see Twitter updates from WB, if that’s your sort of thing.
To start, WB is offering two titles: The Dark Knight and Inception. Both apps are available as free downloads, but you’ll only be able to stream a 5 minute preview of the movie and access selected extras with the free app. You can buy full versions through in-app purchases, with The Dark Knight running $9.99 and Inception going for $11.99.
Once you’ve purchased a film you can download the entire title or stream it over the internet.
Overall, App Edition movies feel a lot like the iPhone/iPad answer to DVDs. Remember when director commentary and deleted scenes felt special? But I have to wonder how many people are going to want to pay for a movie that can only be watched on a mobile device. If you buy the same title through the iTunes media store, you can watch on a PC, Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, or other device.
Warner Brothers is the first to launch app edition titles for iOS, but Paramount is offering something similar with its “enhanced movie apps” for Windows Phone 7.