There's no telling exactly how close we are to an Apple iTunes movie store service, but it's become pretty clear of late that we are due for one sooner or later. The greatest confirmation yet just came from the loose lips of Lionsgate's CEO, Jon Feltheimer, during a financial earnings conference call. He stated that the independent studio has reached digital delivery deals with CinemaNow, Movielink and iTunes, and Lionsgate president Steve Beeks followed that up by stating that iTunes movie downloads should be launched before the end of the year. Think Secret is also reporting that iTunes downloads will be rental only, but we're not sure where they're getting that info. Of course, Apple isn't the only company these days that can't seem to keep a lid on their movie download plans. Amazon was recently subjected to a drive-by Google-caching (pictured), revealing similar confiscatory rates to what we're used to by now for downloaded video content, and potential TV show downloads. Netflix is also hitting the rumor mill with reports of 1.5TB of server space being staked out at the high-end Isilon hosting service. Good times indeed for the download crowd, we just hope one of these providers can manage to drive the price down a bit.

[Thanks, CoreyTheGent]

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Lionsgate CEO confirms iTunes movie downloads