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Warner Bros said to have signed on for iTunes movie rentals

post #1 of 51
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Major motion picture studio Warner Bros, which was reported earlier this month to be mulling a deal with Apple to offer up its catalog for a new iTunes rental service, is now said to have inked a deal with the iTunes operator that will see its films available through the service at launch.

Citing people familiar with the agreements, Bloomberg claims that Warner will join Twentieth Century Fox, Paramount, Walt Disney and Lions Gate as initial content providers for the iTunes movie rental service, which is widely expected to make its debut next Tuesday at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco.

New releases and older titles will both fetch $3.99 for a 24-hour rental, according to the report, which echos claims published last month by the Financial Times.. However, other reports have suggested Apple might adopt a slightly different pricing structure that would charge more nominal fees for older library titles.

Nevertheless, distribution deals with Fox, Disney, Paramount, Warner and Lions Gate would seemingly provide Apple with more than 60 percent of Hollywoods offerings for its new service right off the bat, with those on the Street expecting many of the remaining pieces to fall into place shortly thereafter.

"Once a couple of studios do it, how long can the others resist?'' Richard Greenfield, a Pali Capital analyst, said in an interview with Bloomberg. "It becomes only a matter of minutes before the others come on board too.''

Separately, Bloomberg added that Apple's deal with Fox may also see the studio's movie catalog made available for sale through iTunes, joining Disney which already offers its flicks for permanent download at prices ranging from $9.99 to $14.99.

As was reported by AppleInsider on Tuesday, the iTunes movie rental service will require that customers download and install the still unreleased iTunes 7.6 software.
post #2 of 51
Hi

post #3 of 51
What are the chances that any of this will be available in Canada any time soon?
post #4 of 51
I'm loving the iTunes rental goodness... BUT, I'm still not liking the 24 hours from download aspect and how that relates to portable devices. How can I load up my ipod or iphone for vacation? Hopefully, there is more to this part of the story.
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post #5 of 51
What about TV show rentals???
post #6 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by drummerjoe View Post

What about TV show rentals???

Good question. With the price at $1.99 to BUY an episode, I'm skeptical that studios would be willing to go much lower than that.

Also, to really hook me, Apple would need to offer some sort of subscription plan similar to Netflix. What they're proposing sounds pretty cool (except for the too-short 24 hour window) but I'd likely rarely take advantage, just the odd impulse rent here and there.

If they could come up with a plan that had "unlimited" rentals along with tons of selection (including TV episodes), I'd love to dump my Netflix, buy an aTV, and switch over.

But I don't see that happening, at least not for a LONG time.
post #7 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by rener View Post

What are the chances that any of this will be available in Canada any time soon?

Heh, heh, heh!

What do you think?


By the way, welcome.
post #8 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

Good question. With the price at $1.99 to BUY an episode, I'm skeptical that studios would be willing to go much lower than that.

Also, to really hook me, Apple would need to offer some sort of subscription plan similar to Netflix. What they're proposing sounds pretty cool (except for the too-short 24 hour window) but I'd likely rarely take advantage, just the odd impulse rent here and there.

If they could come up with a plan that had "unlimited" rentals along with tons of selection (including TV episodes), I'd love to dump my Netflix, buy an aTV, and switch over.

But I don't see that happening, at least not for a LONG time.

Yeah, this 24 hour thing gets me. Why 24 hours? Why not 48, or 72?

I suppose a lot of people decide what they want to watch just before they download it, but still...
post #9 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Yeah, this 24 hour thing gets me. Why 24 hours? Why not 48, or 72?

I suppose a lot of people decide what they want to watch just before they download it, but still...

I'm hoping that particular rumored detail turns out to be wrong (at the very least it should at least be 24 from the start of playing it, not from the start of the download). There's no question that if they announce 24 hours, it will get a terrible response from the public and the press. Hopefully they'll extend it to at least 36 or 48 once the official announcement happens and it gets panned...even better would be if they've seen the online backlash that happened before it was even officially announced, and had second thoughts about something so restrictive.

It's not like the studios would make less money with 48 or even 72. It's not like they'd be losing income from people who'd want to rent the same movie again the next night or something.
post #10 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

I'm hoping that particular rumored detail turns out to be wrong (at the very least it should at least be 24 from the start of playing it, not from the start of the download). There's no question that if they announce 24 hours, it will get a terrible response from the public and the press. Hopefully they'll extend it to at least 36 or 48 once the official announcement happens and it gets panned...even better would be if they've seen the online backlash that happened before it was even officially announced, and had second thoughts about something so restrictive.

It's not like the studios would make less money with 48 or even 72. It's not like they'd be losing income from people who'd want to rent the same movie again the next night or something.

I'm sure they must have some reason. I can't believe, that with all the money that's at stake, they would just pull a number out of a hat. Too bad I'm not privy to their reasoning.

Though, unless it's streaming, the time must start when the download finishes.
post #11 of 51
as far as i know it IS 24 hrs from the start of play (not download)...

and while i'd guess that they know everyone would like more time, i think the studios must be driving the time limitation...let's not forget that they still are in bed with the brick & mortar rental services...from which i'd expect they generate a significant amt of revenue. that said, there NEEDS to be an easily discernable difference in service to maintain the integrity of the existing rental model. "24 hrs" vs. "no late fees" might be viewed by some as a good reason to drive to the store.

separately, but related, has anyone heard anything on firmware updates to appleTV that will allow the use of itunes 7.6 directly from your couch? seems to be the next significant step to improve user experience...but news on that front is understandably taking a backseat to discussion of lining studios up for rentals...
post #12 of 51
If iTunes movie rentals start out as 24 hours from download, Apple will certainly make the change down the road and spin it as "listening to their customers" again like they did with the iphone rebate and SDK announcement. And why not? ... they'll get more headlines, and more happy customers.

Even an Apple product release that is 50% of expectations can still be better than what competitors are currently offering.
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post #13 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I'm sure they must have some reason. I can't believe, that with all the money that's at stake, they would just pull a number out of a hat. Too bad I'm not privy to their reasoning.

Though, unless it's streaming, the time must start when the download finishes.

think the way they get around the streaming clock is by having the software manage access/availaiblity of the title. itunes7.6 will actually inhibit your ability to use the file after so many mins have passed since you first hit "play."
post #14 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by ratay1 View Post

think the way they get around the streaming clock is by having the software manage access/availaiblity of the title. itunes7.6 will actually inhibit your ability to use the file after so many mins have passed since you first hit "play."

We'll see. no one really knows anything yet. It's all guesswork right now.
post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

I'm sure they must have some reason. I can't believe, that with all the money that's at stake, they would just pull a number out of a hat. Too bad I'm not privy to their reasoning.

Though, unless it's streaming, the time must start when the download finishes.

What if I leave the media downloading whilst I am at work, I get home, it's not done. I go to bed early and it finishes. I'm late home the next day (or had an appointment or something already booked) - it's timed out!

It had better start when I first start to play it past 5 minutes of viewing (so that a test play to see it's okay doesn't affect it).

$3.99 is fine for a rental, especially if the media is HD (although I guess it's going to be AppleTV-friendly rates, so ~5mbps H.264). Hope it would be under £3 in the UK.
post #16 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hattig View Post

What if I leave the media downloading whilst I am at work, I get home, it's not done. I go to bed early and it finishes. I'm late home the next day (or had an appointment or something already booked) - it's timed out!

It had better start when I first start to play it past 5 minutes of viewing (so that a test play to see it's okay doesn't affect it).

$3.99 is fine for a rental, especially if the media is HD (although I guess it's going to be AppleTV-friendly rates, so ~5mbps H.264). Hope it would be under £3 in the UK.

Then I would say that your connection is too slow to be effective. And that's the problem with downloading movies.

I would like to see them stretch the time. But we don't know anything yet.
post #17 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by melgross View Post

Though, unless it's streaming, the time must start when the download finishes.

Why? Is there a technical reason, or would that be a strategic reason on the part of the studios? For people with slower connections, the download could take hours and finish up at who knows what time. I don't see why any app capable of starting a countdown at the end of a download couldn't also start a similar countdown when the file is played for the first time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ratay1 View Post

separately, but related, has anyone heard anything on firmware updates to appleTV that will allow the use of itunes 7.6 directly from your couch?

I don't think anything has leaked, but a rental model would absolutely require an aTV update, possibly an iPod update as well depending how they implement the DRM. I sure hope there are drastic improvements to aTV, the rental announcement next week would be a perfect time to show off an improved aTV as well.
post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

New releases and older titles will both fetch $3.99 for a 24-hour rental, according to the report, which echos claims published last month by the Financial Times.. However, other reports have suggested Apple might adopt a slightly different pricing structure that would charge more nominal fees for older library titles.

As was reported by AppleInsider on Tuesday, the iTunes movie rental service will require that customers download and install the still unreleased iTunes 7.6 software.

Again- for that time period at that p$ice and at the current quality= RIPOFF!
post #19 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

Why? Is there a technical reason, or would that be a strategic reason on the part of the studios? For people with slower connections, the download could take hours and finish up at who knows what time. I don't see why any app capable of starting a countdown at the end of a download couldn't also start a similar countdown when the file is played for the first time.

The computer knows when the download is over. ITunes knows.

I'm not saying that it couldn't start with the beginning of play. Of course it could.

I'm responding to the statement that the counter would start at the beginning of the download. When you said this;

Quote:
not from the start of the download)

All I'm saying is that it wouldn't have to start at the beginning. It could start at the end.

It could start at play as well, as you say.
post #20 of 51
Ah, I get it now. Sorry, I misspoke, I meant the end of the download.
post #21 of 51
It will be interesting (w/ smirk on my face) to see how long Universal will stand in the corner w/ its "Apple Is Evil" flag before it comes forward to offer its movies.

Nothing is ever gained in business when you make such emotional and vindictive decisions. As the cliche goes, never burn bridges.

/
post #22 of 51
I've already put forward THESE thoughts on how 24 hours works, but I guess it being at the bottom of the page, most people missed it.
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post #23 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

Why? Is there a technical reason, or would that be a strategic reason on the part of the studios? For people with slower connections, the download could take hours and finish up at who knows what time. I don't see why any app capable of starting a countdown at the end of a download couldn't also start a similar countdown when the file is played for the first time.

Doesn't everyone realise how MUSIC works on iTunes? the file is downloaded FIRST, then iTunes rings home and adds the DRM to the file (loosely speaking) and you can't play the file till thats happened, so the same thing is MORE than likely to happen with a movie, SO simple logic would suggest that the timer will NOT start until the movie is encrypted.

It's not rocket science.
I don't see how an anti M$ stance can be seen as a bad thing on an Apple forum I really can't!

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I don't see how an anti M$ stance can be seen as a bad thing on an Apple forum I really can't!

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post #24 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hattig View Post

Hope it would be under £3 in the UK.

That unfortunately seems to be about right given Apples UK/US pricing, it;'s the MOST I would be willing to pay per single rental thats for sure.
I don't see how an anti M$ stance can be seen as a bad thing on an Apple forum I really can't!

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I don't see how an anti M$ stance can be seen as a bad thing on an Apple forum I really can't!

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post #25 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Again- for that time period at that p$ice and at the current quality= RIPOFF!

Do you just come here to get annoyed?
I don't see how an anti M$ stance can be seen as a bad thing on an Apple forum I really can't!

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I don't see how an anti M$ stance can be seen as a bad thing on an Apple forum I really can't!

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post #26 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

Again- for that time period at that p$ice and at the current quality= RIPOFF!

I agree with you that the quality needs to improve, but I don't think it's a rip-off. When I rent a movie, it costs around $3 and I watch it. When I rent it. I get people throwing out all sorts of different scenarios for why the time could be longer, but really... 24 hours to watch a 2 hour movie is not unreasonable. IF that's the scenario. Which we don't know for sure yet.

But if DVD quality movies at 3.99 for 24 hours is the proposition, it will be enough for me to buy into an aTV. Would I like it to be cheaper... sure. Would I like HD... sure. We may even get some of those things, we won't know until Tuesday. But this is a technology that is just emerging, fighting against Blockbuster, Redbox and Netflix; who are battling against each other with cut-rate prices- attempting to grab onto the tail of the DVD market in what's sure to be it's last years of dominance.

It's a choice, yes, but not a rip-off.
post #27 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Slocombe View Post

Do you just come here to get annoyed?

No but apparently you do. Reply to the thread please.
post #28 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Slocombe View Post

Doesn't everyone realise how MUSIC works on iTunes? the file is downloaded FIRST, then iTunes rings home and adds the DRM to the file (loosely speaking) and you can't play the file till thats happened, so the same thing is MORE than likely to happen with a movie, SO simple logic would suggest that the timer will NOT start until the movie is encrypted.

It's not rocket science.

I don't think anyone is disagreeing that the timer will either start at the end of the download, or when the file is first played. As I've already corrected, my comment about timing off the start of the download was just a typo on my part.

But technically speaking, you can start playing an iTunes video purchase before it's finished, right? That would imply that the DRM/unlock is already in place, not added when the download completes.
post #29 of 51
I'm curious about what happens to the file after the aloted rental time expires. Will the file be removed from iTunes and be deleted automatically, or will iTunes and my hard drive start filling up w/ useless dead space? Also, if I choose to rent the movie again, will I have to download it again, or will a previous version come back to life? I know these questions will have to wait until next week to be answered, but I'm curious as to what the community thinks.

-s
post #30 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by slingshot110 View Post

I'm curious about what happens to the file after the aloted rental time expires. Will the file be removed from iTunes and be deleted automatically, or will iTunes and my hard drive start filling up w/ useless dead space? Also, if I choose to rent the movie again, will I have to download it again, or will a previous version come back to life? I know these questions will have to wait until next week to be answered, but I'm curious as to what the community thinks.

-s

Deleting just means removing the pointer to the file, and disabling the ability to work. Your computer simply writes over it the way it writes over every other deleted file.
post #31 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by slingshot110 View Post

I'm curious about what happens to the file after the aloted rental time expires. Will the file be removed from iTunes and be deleted automatically, or will iTunes and my hard drive start filling up w/ useless dead space? Also, if I choose to rent the movie again, will I have to download it again, or will a previous version come back to life? I know these questions will have to wait until next week to be answered, but I'm curious as to what the community thinks.

-s

Probably keeps the file, but pops up a message saying that it is expired.

If they were smart, the message would offer the user the option to:

1) Delete the file
2) Rent the movie again
3) Pay the difference to upgrade the movie to a bought copy
post #32 of 51
Does anyone else think they should offer a discount to buy the movies you just rented? For instance lets say I rented Pirates of the Caribbean 3 for $4 and I love the movie so much I want to buy it (which is $15). I should then be able to pay the extra $11 and keep the movie for good and iTunes would lift the time limit (since it's already been downloaded). This would be an extremely easy way to turn a rental into extra money. And it only hurts them if they don't install this plan because lets say I spent that $4 and now I want to buy it but it will cost me the full $15. I'm going to have a hard time justifying that because I already blew $4 on a movie that I still don't own. Kinda like "Complete My Album".
post #33 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by dukemeiser View Post

Does anyone else think they should offer a discount to buy the movies you just rented? For instance lets say I rented Pirates of the Caribbean 3 for $4 and I love the movie so much I want to buy it (which is $15). I should then be able to pay the extra $11 and keep the movie for good and iTunes would lift the time limit (since it's already been downloaded). This would be an extremely easy way to turn a rental into extra money. And it only hurts them if they don't install this plan because lets say I spent that $4 and now I want to buy it but it will cost me the full $15. I'm going to have a hard time justifying that because I already blew $4 on a movie that I still don't own. Kinda like "Complete My Album".

I would go for that.
post #34 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by dukemeiser View Post

Does anyone else think they should offer a discount to buy the movies you just rented? For instance lets say I rented Pirates of the Caribbean 3 for $4 and I love the movie so much I want to buy it (which is $15). I should then be able to pay the extra $11 and keep the movie for good and iTunes would lift the time limit (since it's already been downloaded). This would be an extremely easy way to turn a rental into extra money. And it only hurts them if they don't install this plan because lets say I spent that $4 and now I want to buy it but it will cost me the full $15. I'm going to have a hard time justifying that because I already blew $4 on a movie that I still don't own. Kinda like "Complete My Album".

hmm...rent to own? Good idea.
post #35 of 51
I cant see the market for iTunes movie rentals (especially with a 24 expiration) on much of anything but an AppleTV connected system. I have one, its killer, love it, but of course want more content. I would possiblly rent a few movies if I was traveling to watch on my notebook or my iPhone on the plane, but the 24 hour limit kills a lot of that market. I dont know how many would want to sit in front of their cpu to watch full length movies and I cant imagine a ton of people have a good connection to their TV outside of the AppleTV.

There are about 600,000 AppleTVs out in the wild at the moment (best data I could find). Maybe a half of the people use this service 3 times a month or so? This would come out to about a grand total of $44 million per year of gross revenue. That is chump change split among 5 or 6 studios. Wouldnt even be worth the bother of the negotiations that have already gone on.

There has to be more to this. A major push/update to AppleTV? Huge price drop in AppleTV? Something or none of this makes any sense. Heck for this to even be attractive to me there would need to be at least an update so you could browse and purchase from the AppleTV itself.
post #36 of 51
Question is will the downloads be HD as well?
post #37 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by minderbinder View Post

But technically speaking, you can start playing an iTunes video purchase before it's finished, right? That would imply that the DRM/unlock is already in place, not added when the download completes.

With music the DRM is permanently on there with no timer involved. Currently, with TV shows (which is all I have purchased) you can begin playing the video before the download is complete which would indicate a different mechanism would be necessary for the expiration. The play button initiating the timer sounds logical. Most likely there are two types of restrictions, one, it can't be shared outside your network without authorizing it and the other the expiration timer.

m

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post #38 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Olternaut View Post

Question is will the downloads be HD as well?

Doubtful, but I wouldn't say 100% no.
post #39 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Slocombe View Post

It's not rocket science.

You're right, it isn't - rocket science has less guesswork!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Slocombe View Post

Do you just come here to get annoyed?

No, it's because he's 16!
(now, I'm guessing)

McD
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post #40 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by slingshot110 View Post

I'm curious about what happens to the file after the aloted rental time expires. Will the file be removed from iTunes and be deleted automatically, or will iTunes and my hard drive start filling up w/ useless dead space? Also, if I choose to rent the movie again, will I have to download it again, or will a previous version come back to life? I know these questions will have to wait until next week to be answered, but I'm curious as to what the community thinks.

-s

I'd like to think they'll incorporate a rent-to-buy feature so it wouldn't be automatically deleted. Deleting manually isn't so bad - just a click on your AppleTV remote

McD
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