Why Won't MGM Play Online? (AAPL)

Yesterday’s iTunes day-and-date announcement was a big deal for Apple (AAPL) and Hollywood. One exception: MGM, the only big name not included in the deal.

MGM, owned by Sony (SNE) and a private equity consortium, is more of a film library than a studio, and doesn’t put out many new movies to begin with. You can buy many of the old flicks via iTunes and other services, but if you want to get the new stuff, you’ll have to scour the second-tier online players, like Amazon’s Unbox (AMZN).

That will change, eventually: The studio recently partnered with Paramount and Lionsgate to launch a premium service with an online component, which is supposed to launch next year. But in the meantime, we can’t see the upside in MGM keeping its new stuff off the world’s most popular online media store. Anyone want to explain the studio’s thinking to us? We’re all ears.

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