Major movie studio Sony Entertainment Pictures has started experimenting with new features on iTunes that allow users to search for specific words within a film's script, and select their favorite clips to share with their friends online. The features are being quietly tested in at least three movies, according to PaidContent.
These include The Other Guys, which provides users with the ability to search for words in the film's script, as well as both Salt and Resident Evil: Afterlife, which allow users to select their favorite scenes and then share them with their friends through social networking sites. Users also have access to a playlist of songs from the movie and an opportunity to purchase them from iTunes. The new features are only accessible to users who purchase movies from iTunes; renters cannot use them.
These new iTunes-only features give movie fans an incentive to purchase the latest films from Apple, rather than on DVD or Blu-ray. Given that Sony created the latter, it's quite interesting the company is willing to offer differentiating value on a competing platform, and a digital one at that.
The new additions fall under iTunes Extras, introduced in late 2009 with iTunes 9, a way for movie studios to release additional functionalities with their video content, offering an alternative to bonus features found on DVDs. iTunes Extras has not yet been widely adopted, and Apple itself is at least partially at fault. Support for the additional content is currently limited to iTunes on Mac or Windows and the first-generation Apple TV. The new Apple TV has yet to gain support, and Apple's iOS-based devices are also incompatible.