Woah, that was sudden. For years, my US iTunes account has been the only way for me to get video content from iTunes here in Norway aside from free content like podcasts and iTunes U. As of today however, the Norwegian iTunes store has a new tab called “films”. Films in this case means movies only, no TV shows or music videos – but it’s still a start. The prices could be better though, going as high as 169 NOK to buy and own newly release movie in HD. Even if everything in this country is more expensive than anyone would find reasonable, you’re unlikely to have to pay as much as 169 NOK for most Blu Ray releases. Pre-ordering Transformers 3 for the December release for instance will cost you 160 NOK for the Blu Ray. Renting is cheaper, but still barely competitive with video rental shops, and certainly not competitive with our version of Netflix, Lovefilm.
It’s not just Norway that has gotten or will get an iTunes store upgrade though. Reports are popping in from all over the place regarding coming updates, which means that Apple is really pushing to get this done before iOS 5 hits. As we already know, iOS 5 will essentially turn your iTunes purchase history into an online library of content, meaning that if you do shell out 169 NOK for that HD movie you can access it whenever you want without being responsible for your own megabytes, as the case has been up until now. That feature in itself might make people choose the more expensive iTunes version of a movie, as fewer and fewer people like collecting plastic covers with discs that contain more ads and FBI warnings than actual movie content at this point.
Bottom line, if you’re in a European country that has previously had a limited version of iTunes, it might be a good idea to pop by and see if any fancy new tabs have magically appeared out of nowhere.