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99-cent TV show rentals quietly removed from Apple TV, iTunes - Page 2

post #41 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Yeah, given the prices even buying digital content is a dodgy proposition for what you end up getting, but renting is a fools game if you ask me. Say you want to sit down and watch a season of Big Bang Theory (something I did very recently). It would cost you roughly $23.00 and 24 hours later it's gone. Poof.

That would just make me feel like an idiot, which I can actually do for free. I don't need to pay the media companies to feel bad.

IMO it should be more like 99 cents an episode to buy it, not rent it.
(in fact it's $60.00!)

And you re-watch TV shows... how often?
Most TV content is disposable. Building a business model on buying it is silly.
Most quality content (HBO, PBS, etc) is usually available eventually for purchase.
post #42 of 97
Features subject to change without notice. I'm sure it's in the Apple TV terms of service, but how about the advertisements?

“iTunes customers have shown they overwhelmingly prefer buying TV shows." A likely excuse.
post #43 of 97
I can't ever remember renting a TV show, movies yes TV shows no.

The only TV shows that I've purchased, usually by a season, are ones that I take an interest in and likely would view more than once. Otherwise what is the point?

Movies are different as I can have every thing from a DVD, a rental to an iTunes download.
post #44 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

Features subject to change without notice. I'm sure it's in the Apple TV terms of service, but how about the advertisements?

iTunes customers have shown they overwhelmingly prefer buying TV shows." A likely excuse.

Care to offer any reasons Apple would do this just to be dicks?
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post #45 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

And yeah, it is nice how smoothly you can switch between devices. I started watching a documentary on my main machine a few days ago, and then I suddenly felt like taking a bath, so I just switched over to the iPad and finished watching it while relaxing in the tub.

In case you worry about dunking it, the iPad fits perfectly into a gallon size zip-lock bag, and the interface is not impeded by the plastic. Try doing that with a laptop!
post #46 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

I can't ever remember renting a TV show, movies yes TV shows no.

The only TV shows that I've purchased, usually by a season, are ones that I take an interest in and likely would view more than once. Otherwise what is the point?

Movies are different as I can have every thing from a DVD, a rental to an iTunes download.

You indirectly make a very interesting point: people already know they're supposed to rent movies; there is no precedence for renting episodic content.

In other words, renting TV episodes is a new thing, and ATV tested those waters. I'm not surprised here either.
post #47 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gustav View Post

It could be a precursor to a new service coming.

I agree. I'm guessing they want to take Netflix on directly and will offer the same or lower monthly unlimited streaming movie pricing.

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post #48 of 97
So we are supposed to strictly buy and not rent TV episodes. Sounds reasonable given the lack of success of the rental model. But would it be so hard for Apple to make an announcement before abruptly ending the rental feature? They do so many things that are customer-friendly and neglect quite a few actions that could be.

Buying TV episodes is a bit incompatible with ATV, isn't it? With its limited storage, it is intended to be a streaming device. For now, you would have to buy and store it on your computer, and view it on ATV via the home network? Is there an alternative until they make videos available via iCloud (which I believe is not yet a streaming service?)?

All to say, Apple might have a master plan to improve the so-called living room experience but it sure isn't sharing with us yet. Oh well, it's not anyone else has got this quite licked yet.
post #49 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by NormM View Post

In case you worry about dunking it, the iPad fits perfectly into a gallon size zip-lock bag, and the interface is not impeded by the plastic. Try doing that with a laptop!

A capacitance touch screen is not affected by a layer of plastic? Really? I'm surprised.

Have to test this ... let me take a bath and get back to you.
post #50 of 97
So is this thing still worthless in the UK? We don't have iTunes in the Cloud yet, but then we didn't have TV Show rentals either. Just seems like Apple's done the job for the US version and then just chucked it out the door internationally.

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post #51 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

And you re-watch TV shows... how often?
Most TV content is disposable. Building a business model on buying it is silly.
Most quality content (HBO, PBS, etc) is usually available eventually for purchase.

In a family, watching the same show at different times would not be uncommon - i.e. it's not a matter of re-watching. They would do boffo business if they did sell episodes for $.99. Of course, the rights holders have a different perspective.
post #52 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jensonb View Post

So is this thing still worthless in the UK? We don't have iTunes in the Cloud yet, but then we didn't have TV Show rentals either. Just seems like Apple's done the job for the US version and then just chucked it out the door internationally.

Those bastards - they only seem to care about American customers. What are they? An American company or something?
post #53 of 97
Ha take that, Android! We're gonna rule you, yes!

No more TV-Shows for 99c! Beat that! Yes!
post #54 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

And you re-watch TV shows... how often?
Most TV content is disposable. Building a business model on buying it is silly.
Most quality content (HBO, PBS, etc) is usually available eventually for purchase.

My kids rewatch episodes of all 4 seasons of big bang theory, all 6 seasons of how I met your mother and cougar town amongst others. It depends on the programme but comedy shows are easily rewatched.

I used to use the PS3 for streaming content from my iMac. I bought an Apple TV to use with my iPad 2 and after using it for streaming I converted all of my TV shows and movies and added them to iTunes. That's over 1400 shows and movies. I bought a program called ivI pro from south pole software which converts the video, grabs the meta data and album art then slaps it in iTunes. Saved me loads of time.
post #55 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Care to offer any reasons Apple would do this just to be dicks?

Maybe not just to be dicks. Maybe despite it making them dicks?
post #56 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post

Maybe not just to be dicks. Maybe despite it making them dicks?

Maybe ... likely. Arrogance has always been part of their swagger.

On the other hand, are formal announcements for this sort of change a thing of the past?
post #57 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Apple ][ View Post

Does Netflix for Apple TV have a more limited selection than regular Netflix?

I have Netflix and I think that it's pretty good, especially for $8 a month.

It's the same as the version via Safari on the Mac. I agree it is really good for the price. I am enjoying both the movies and all the TV series we never saw. Never watch regular TV any more and I use CNN on iPad for news when needed.
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post #58 of 97
I don't believe that they discontinued it because it's unused. That's not a good enough reason to discontinue it (if it's there, not being used, it's not hurting anyone, and it's obviously not unused). More to the point, it's not unused! I like renting TV shows! Who wants to buy stuff you're never going to watch again when you can rent it cheaper? What a shame (unless it's a precursor to streaming).
post #59 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by josephwinters View Post

Having 3 Apple TV's in my house... I used the tv show rentals all the time... :-/.. maybe I was the only one doing so? Crud, this sucks.

I have 3 in my house and an extra one "ready to go" with a spare airport express for travel.

While I do rent movies, I have never rented a TV show. I consider it worth the extra buck to buy it.

Thompson
post #60 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by esummers View Post

It would be too bad if it were for lack of sales. These things need to be in place so that eventually there will be a point of critical mass and we can drop cable TV. I look forward to the day that television is just another internet service. If cable companies would at least allow us to watch TV and on-demand on our iPads and computers it would be a good start though.

I had actually rented TV shows on occasion even though I get them for "free" on U-Verse so I could watch on my iPad or MacBook AIr. Spending a dollar once in a while feels like nothing when you spend $150 a month on cable. Kinda wish I got more for that $150 though.

It only costs two bucks to buy the same shows, and there was a much larger catalogue for purchase.

So, meh, I won't miss the 99 cent price point for rental.

Thompson
post #61 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by KindredMac View Post

I became quickly aware of this about 3 weeks ago when I was looking to rent the first episode of Thundercats and noticed that I couldn't find a single 99¢ TV show rental.

I'm pretty pissed about this because it was a selling feature that I used to validate it as a purchase in our household and now it is gone. We got rid of our cable because we bought an Apple TV 2 and figured we would rent the shows we wanted to see.

Please don't flame me on this but isn't this sort of bait and switch sort of illegal? They have taken a key feature away from a product.

Only 2 networks were doing the 99 cent rental thing. How big of a blow to your common practices could it be? You can still buy the same shows - and more - for 2 bucks. Are you really that pissed over this? How many shows were you renting - and only from those networks too?

Thompson
post #62 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Care to offer any reasons Apple would do this just to be dicks?

Perhaps Apple chose not to include in the ATV terms of service that, by the way, if you all don't rent enough TV episodes during a given year--if certain performance and profitability benchmarks are not achieved--the capability will have to be yanked due to the deals we've made with content owners.

So, it's not about being dicks. It's about the ephemeral nature of services, as opposed to physical ownership.
post #63 of 97
You guys honestly think Apple (aka the company that held firm for the longest time on 99 cent downloads) honestly wanted to get rid of rentals. The reality is the studios are afraid of Apple and Apple is having a hard time getting licensing from the companies. The same thing is happening to Netflix. Netflix is being squeezed for more then twice what it used to be charged for having the same content.

Apple couldn't get licensing from enough companies to make a worth while entry into the market. Studios are trying to protect the revenue they make from companies like Blockbuster DVD rentals, purchases, and cable providers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post

Maybe not just to be dicks. Maybe despite it making them dicks?
post #64 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by GQB View Post

Looking forward to reading of your inside knowledge of the reasons behind this 'smelly' action (maybe such as demands from studios?) You clearly know something we don't. Please share.

I worked for a video on demand company recently, as a contractor, and rentals were 10-1 to purchases in terms of units downloaded. Purchases were about 50% of revenue, however.

If the reason is the studios, then apple should say the reason is the studios.
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post #65 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleLover2 View Post

Maybe not just to be dicks. Maybe despite it making them dicks?

Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

Maybe ... likely. Arrogance has always been part of their swagger.

On the other hand, are formal announcements for this sort of change a thing of the past?

Yeah, Apple does what they do, but they have reasons even if you don't agree with them. Somebody's going to have to give me something a little more concrete than "because they could" for me to believe that Apple just arbitrarily pulled the plug on TV rentals for the hell of it.

Really, what's the upside for Apple? Anyone?
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post #66 of 97
What a pack of lies. If you believe that "people would rather buy tv shows" I've got some ocean front property in Colorado I'm looking to sell. The fact is that people weren't willing to pay Apple's outrageous pricing for HD. I refuse to support iTunes due to the expense of so many of their offerings. At some point people have to use common sense when it comes to wasting their expendable cash. I'd rather just spend 5 mins. on line & reserve a redbox movie, drive to the nearest box, rent a movie for $1 & copy it if I decide it's worth it. The most current tv shows I just watch on one of the numerous websites that stream for "free" & I have more than I can ever watch.
post #67 of 97
Apple must be close to announcing their acquisition of Hulu Plus.

I'd actually use my AppleTV for more than Netflix then.
post #68 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

Yeah, Apple does what they do, but they have reasons even if you don't agree with them. Somebody's going to have to give me something a little more concrete than "because they could" for me to believe that Apple just arbitrarily pulled the plug on TV rentals for the hell of it.

Really, what's the upside for Apple? Anyone?

Not sure if anyone is really suggesting Apple did this whimsically. The point is that they should have announced this change. The new AppleTV was sold (even designed) primarily for rented and streamed content. With rental of TV shows removed, where does AppleTV stand? What about those poor sots who purchased multiple units? The answer, interestingly, was hinted at in Fox's statement on this issue: "To further enhance the value of ownership, we are working with Apple to make content available within their new cloud-based service" (http://allthingsd.com/20110826/apple...on-tv-rentals/). The same article, by the way, includes a statement from Apple as well. A bit late, but at least there is a statement. Since Apple worked hard to convince some studios to lower the rental price to $0.99 per episode, the failure of this feature does show once again that not everything Apple touches is gold.
post #69 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by radiospace View Post

I'd pay .99 to rent if: I wanted to check out a new series (that I forgot to DVR) out of curiosity, but certainly not enough to buy the season, or even an episode for $3; I wanted to rewatch the last episode from last season before the new season airs tomorrow night.

Personally I am far more inclined to rent an episode for .99 than to buy a season from the iTunes Store, or, especially, to buy a single episode. (Why would you ever buy a single episode of a show, other than as an expensive 'rental'?).

I'd pay 3 to buy a single episode of a series if:

* I was taping a series on my DVR and missed a single episode;

and

it's a show that multiple people in the household watch.

Due to different timetables, renting it wouldn't work well.
post #70 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

Could be. But it could also be simply the fallout from a failed program. Apple is not afraid to pull the plug on something. But sometimes they do it without warning. Ping may disappear too soon, with nary a word.

Ping was a stupid idea. So are 99 cent TV show rentals when you can buy the episode and watch it forever for $1.99.

It would be much smarter for Apple TV to have Hulu or something similar. I can live with a few ads, but I'm just not paying for TV. Especially broadcast TV that I can get for free with bunny ears.
post #71 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

Those bastards - they only seem to care about American customers. What are they? An American company or something?

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post #72 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jensonb View Post

So is this thing still worthless in the UK? We don't have iTunes in the Cloud yet, but then we didn't have TV Show rentals either. Just seems like Apple's done the job for the US version and then just chucked it out the door internationally.

Nah, we don't need renting TV shows when there're plenty of channels they will likely end up on like Dave, or Five USA+1 or whatever. Plus, main TV channels already have web or app equivalents. Them US is the genuine guinea pig.
post #73 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jensonb View Post

So is this thing still worthless in the UK? We don't have iTunes in the Cloud yet, but then we didn't have TV Show rentals either. Just seems like Apple's done the job for the US version and then just chucked it out the door internationally.

It was never worthless. Even though I have a workaround and have access to US iTunes content (not Netflix, sadly), literally 95% or more of what I use my Apple TV for here in Hong Kong is streaming music from iTunes to my living room. It's well worth the price of admission for this one feature alone.
post #74 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by stelligent View Post

This is the smelly side of how Apple operates. They receive just credits for not being afraid to make drastic changes in their product strategies. But raspberries to them for not always being upfront about it. They may announce a new or replacement program in the future. But pulling the rug from under customers just stinks of arrogance.

"Arrogance"?
Are you sure that is the right word?

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post #75 of 97
Users prefer to choose, especially for those who have something removed that they make good use of.

99c purchases of course would negate the loss. The Cloud version though wil need to be an addition not a lifetime strait jacket.
post #76 of 97
The all you can eat subscription idea bothers me greatly I must say. It is a Trojan Horse used to ensure that we are FORCED to watch ads...think about it with me for a moment:

starting with the idea that almost all professional video media other than cinematic film is done with the express intent of selling commercials, there are many people that don't want to give up that channel of communication -- hell, where would the iPad/Phone/whatever be without the early iPod ads 10 years ago and the Mac Vs PC ads...given the big company need to mind control, er I mean advertise to the mind controlled drones, er I mean modern day intelligent and informed consumers...Of course right out of the gate there will be no ads, that would cause instant platform failure, but once the new subscription service is intrenched, they will "get more content deals" and the price will go up -- people will bitch and moan about paying $50/Mo for the 3 or 4 shows they want - why subsidize the other million episodes on there? The answer from on high will come "You can have it for $20 a month if you will put up with a pre roll and a minute o ad break in the middle, and slowly over time that ad break will grow until 5 years from now Apple is the new Comcast, except without control of the physical pipe.
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post #77 of 97
I think Apple is going to make a move where every studios are onboard. All studios are selling's TV shows but Apple didn't include buying things in AppleTV because of the file management mess it creates.

BUT, with the upcoming iCoulds, you could buy anything (TV, movies) and just stream it when watching it from the AppleTV. So with iClouds, there is no need to keep files on your PC or AppleTV and it removes file management. It would still be possible to keep bought files on a PC and stream it from there via home sharing if you don't want to steam from the net. The beauty of iclouds is if you loose a file, you can re-downloaded it at anytime.

There is also a chance we will get some kind of subscription package on a monthly fee. or maybe Hulu will be added. This is far from over...

Apple is not toying with you, they are probably force by studios. Maybe a studio decided to drop the offer (FOX/ABC?) and Apple just remove everything instead of going on with 1/4 studios onboard. The TV/movies studios are very resilient with keeping old business models. It looks like they are still not being pirated enough yet to care. They will choke at some point if nothing is done on the internet side.
post #78 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lancelot9201 View Post

What a pack of lies. If you believe that "people would rather buy tv shows" I've got some ocean front property in Colorado I'm looking to sell. The fact is that people weren't willing to pay Apple's outrageous pricing for HD. I refuse to support iTunes due to the expense of so many of their offerings. At some point people have to use common sense when it comes to wasting their expendable cash. I'd rather just spend 5 mins. on line & reserve a redbox movie, drive to the nearest box, rent a movie for $1 & copy it if I decide it's worth it. The most current tv shows I just watch on one of the numerous websites that stream for "free" & I have more than I can ever watch.

Apple has nothing to do with pricing on iTunes... blame the studios for selling a dvd 15$ and selling it on iTunes for 20$. Like I said, studios don't like the internet.The studios don't want to hurt there cash cow business model which is cable. Apple do take a 30% cut, but selling physical media probably means losing the same 30% or more to stores and distributers. Same goes for renting.
post #79 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by radiospace View Post

Personally I am far more inclined to rent an episode for .99 than to buy a season from the iTunes Store, or, especially, to buy a single episode. (Why would you ever buy a single episode of a show, other than as an expensive 'rental'?). If I want the whole season, I am going to want it on Blu-Ray or DVD. (I have zero interest in attempting to maintain/backup a huge video library on hard-drive... already got my hands full with music, photography, etc.)

Yes, I was renting shows. It was an effective way of watching a missed episode etc.

I've also bought episodes but since I never rewatch them it's not worthwhile to me - and also now my purchase history (including bought "free" episodes) is actually hard to browse through.

Ahh well, hopefully Apple has a new plan somewhere here.
post #80 of 97
I thought the TV show rental model was the way to go because most TV episodes are only ever watched once. I guess a lot of AppleTV owners either go with the season's pass or get their television from other sources.

I simply can't imagine buying a television show. I remember getting 3 seasons of a favourite show on DVD as a Christmas gift. Years later the boxes are still in their shrink wrap. I rarely watch movies more than once, but have a large collection of DVDs because young kids will watch the same thing over and over until the entire family can quote every line.
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