Apple adds The Interview to iTunes, after a wait

Streaming debut on Apple’s media store was accompanies by livetweets by stars Seth Rogen and James Franco

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The Independent Tech

Apple has added controversial film The Interview to its iTunes Store, after waiting longer than rivals and reportedly refusing initial offers by Sony for it to host the film.

Other streaming services such as YouTube, Google Play, Xbox Video and Sony's own site uploaded the film on Boxing Day, alongside a release in cinemas.

It appeared on the iTunes store yesterday evening, and the release was livetweeted by stars Seth Rogen and James Franco.

Apple initially showed no interest in Sony’s offer of allowing it to show The Interview on iTunes, according to reports last week.

Reports suggested then that the company didn't want to release the film at Sony's speed. The delay could have been to allow Apple not to break the holiday that iTunes Connect, which allows people to upload content to its stores, takes over the Christmas period.

 

The company released a short statement, announcing the release on iTunes. "We’re pleased to offer The Interview for rental or purchase on the iTunes store,” an Apple spokesperson said.

That was far less emotive than those of other companies that opted to support the release.

“Sony and Google agreed that we could not sit on the sidelines and allow a handful of people to determine the limits of free speech in another country (however silly the content might be),” wrote Google in its blog announcing the release.

Microsoft’s general counsel released a similar statement in its post announcing that it would put the film on Xbox Video. “We are supporting the Constitutional right of free expression, and we hope that by acting together, we will help deter other attacks,” wrote Brad Smith.

North Koreans, who are reportedly clamouring to watch the film, are unable to access any of those streaming services, relying instead on bootleg, imported DVDs.

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