Movie Purchasing And Renting Come To 42 New Regional iTunes Stores As Apple Presses Its Media Advantage

Apple has opened up movie purchase and rental options in a number of stores today, including a large number of countries in the EMEA region, as well as in Asia and Latin America. The new movie availability covers 42 new localized stores in total, smaller than the 56 markets where it officially opened new stores on Dec. 4, but nonetheless an impressive push to bring its media marketplace to new regions, which is a key element of its continued success in mobile.

Often, Apple’s international media ecosystem advantage is cited as a key benefit to the iOS platform over Android and other alternatives. In a detailed piece updated just after Apple announced its iTunes music store expansion earlier this month, MacStories takes a detailed look at the comparative state of media sales availability among the top tech companies, including Apple, Google, Microsoft and Amazon. Apple now reaches 60.96 percent of the world population through its music stores, well ahead of Microsoft’s next closest 16 percent and well beyond Google’s meagre 4.47 percent. For movies, Apple reached 50.67 percent of the world’s populations via 66 countries before today’s expanded rollout, so it’s now even further ahead of Microsoft (14.29 percent) and Google (10.73 percent) and it leaves Amazon in the dust (5.35 percent).

Amazon has a clear and commanding lead in ebooks, and Apple is tied with Microsoft in terms of TV offerings, but it continues to dominate music and movies by a very wide margin. The new rollout today has some limitations depending on which store you’re shopping from, including limited libraries (many only include movies from Disney, Sony and the subsidiaries of both companies) and some stores that don’t allow rentals or HD content. Typically when Apple has introduced limited service to a particular market, it has worked to roll out more complete service via staged introductions down the line, however, so watch for more full-featured stores to hit some of those areas in the future as well.

There are a lot of reasons for consumers to look at Apple’s competitors when considering a new mobile device choice, but Apple is aggressively pushing its advantage in terms of its media ecosystem. The company has a number of advantages in this regard, including being early to the space, but it clearly wants to solidify its place at the head of the class when it comes to music and movie content selection.