Apple pushes for iTunes rentals of movies still on big screen

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited May 2017
Apple could potentially offer iTunes rentals for movies that are still in theatres, a report said on Wednesday, which would give it a rare advantage over other rental platforms.




Apple is currently pressing studios for earlier access, according to Bloomberg sources. This coincides with 21st Century Fox, Warner Bros., and Universal confirming that they'd like to offer rentals shortly after a movie premieres -- the Bloomberg sources indicated that some executives are aiming for a gap as little as two weeks, and considering a deal with Apple as an option.

Regardless, Apple has been pursuing shorter windows for a while, the sources commented. One concern studio executives are believed to have is piracy -- while Apple uses DRM to prevent easy copying, a person could simply record their TV or monitor and share the video online. While this in itself is nothing new, here it would cut into ticket sales and not just the usual Blu-ray, DVD, and/or online numbers.

Early-access rentals would likely come at a high cost. With or without Apple, studios are allegedly considering prices between $25 and $50 -- as much or more than a pair of theater tickets, and far more than it costs to buy many older movies outright.

Under common agreements, theaters typically have the exclusive rights to a movie for 90 days before rental and purchase windows open.

Apple hasn't done much to stand out in the online video market, in spite of iTunes being baked into multiple platforms including iOS devices and the Apple TV. If it became one of the only ways to watch movies in theaters, though, it could gain the loyalty of more customers.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 31
    sog35 said:
    $50 for a rental.........................LOLOLOL

    now that's what I call innovation.

    No way in hell am i paying $50 to rent a movie using my equipment, just to see it 6 months early. Hell no.
    Understand what you're saying, but last week I took my kids to see the non-3D version of moana (sp?) and it cost me $60 plus for the five of us including another adult. Plus the cost of concession purchases. So I can see me using this if I'm less inclined to go out, but I personally think a big part of seeing a new movie is the "going out" aspect of it. Regarding piracy, Apple could probably hide some data on the screen that would help identify the pirate, but that won't stop it being pirated. 
    mike1viclauyycDeelronMikeymikeafrodribrertechcalijony0
  • Reply 2 of 31
    dysamoriadysamoria Posts: 2,140member
    Yeah I can't see the companies going for this... 

    As as for the prices, I don't go to the theatre much at all due to the insane prices. I go to the cheap theatres if I go at all. There's one I can even walk to, if I'm feeling motivated, and it's fine old classic theatre.

    There's zero motivation for me to see a film in a primary release, corporate theatre. It's going to cost me & my companion $30+ for a film we might not like, and we will be PAYING to watch commercials for 20+ minutes. Screw that!

    Dinner at a place we know we will like is a far better use of the disposable income we don't have (and is often cheaper, plus leftovers!). 
    Roger_FingasMikeymikeanantksundaram
  • Reply 3 of 31
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,070member
    I don’t like going to the movie theatre anymore. The big screen is still great but the people sitting around you are rude, noisy, smelly lip smacking neanderthals. Concessions are outrageously priced. My wife and I already typically spend close to $40 to watch a movie at the local theatre, $20 for tickets and $20 for a large soda and large popcorn. Double that for a family of four. So being able to watch a first run movie on the “big” screen at home for $30 or so isn’t that off-putting in my opinion.
    mike1viclauyycDeelronMikeymikeanantksundaram
  • Reply 4 of 31
    That's the point.  Folks will still want to go out to movies occasionally, so if these figures are correct,   Maybe for special occasion parties, like pay per view fights, but it seems like a dubious proposition that substantial numbers of folks would pay that much more for a movie instead of waiting the 90 days or later to rent it as low as $1.00 or free even.  Pay per view fights and other specials are unique events that are seldom streamed soon after, if at all, and they lose much of their appeal when you know the outcome.  Seems very different than first run films.
  • Reply 5 of 31
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,650member
    98.2% of all new movies coming out are complete trash, so I can wait a few months before watching any new movie. What's the rush? I'm in no rush.

    To be honest, there are plenty of movies that are decades old that are classics and great movies, and I'd rather watch one of those instead.
    dysamoria
  • Reply 6 of 31
    canukstormcanukstorm Posts: 1,919member
    lkrupp said:
    I don’t like going to the movie theatre anymore. The big screen is still great but the people sitting around you are rude, noisy, smelly lip smacking neanderthals. Concessions are outrageously priced. My wife and I already typically spend close to $40 to watch a movie at the local theatre, $20 for tickets and $20 for a large soda and large popcorn. Double that for a family of four. So being able to watch a first run movie on the “big” screen at home for $30 or so isn’t that off-putting in my opinion.
    Amen to that. My sentiments exactly.
    Deelron
  • Reply 7 of 31
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,650member
    sog35 said:
    I go to movie theaters only once or twice a year.

    And its only for massive films like Star Wars. And I only go to one theater: one of the best IMAX theaters on the planet.


    The rest of the time I rent iTunes and watch it on my 120 inch projector with 7.1 surround sound. IMO, it blows away all those crappy theater screens.
    Same with me, about once or maybe twice a year, that's it, and only for the rare movie, that I know will be good, and that I have been waiting for.

    I also choose to only go to a premium theatre, with expensive ticket prices and nice, comfy seats, because I know that hardly any families with hordes of annoying kids will be there.

    I can not stand rude people and lowlifes with no class or manners talking and being disruptive doing films.

    I also have an ok set up at home, and I far prefer to sit on my couch and view a nice movie, instead of going to the theatre.
    mike1viclauyyc
  • Reply 8 of 31
    macxpressmacxpress Posts: 4,861member
    Now all they need is an AppleTV that supports 4K...still boggles my mind why the current one doesn't. Everyone is buying these 4K TV's yet Apple decides to put out an AppleTV that only supports 1080p. I'd hope they'd release an updated one with something like the A10X in it. I'm sure that will support 4K content. 
    mike1dysamoriaMacsplosion
  • Reply 9 of 31
    I'm a single guy and I like to watch good movies with interesting content. So that right there makes a lot of Hollywood movies a firm "no thanks." I would pay to watch first-run films at home, even $50. But they'd better know right now: I'm going to run some cables through some Chinese HDMI dongles to strip DRM and save to my computer. I don't give anyone $50 for two hours of anything without a little something extra.
    edited December 2016
  • Reply 10 of 31
    mike1mike1 Posts: 1,884member
    My wife and I will go out to movie maybe 2-3 times a year for films we really want to see. It's a treat and often I'll use gift cards I've received to overpay for concessions. More often, I will see movies that my wife doesn't want to see early on a weekend morning. First show of the day. It's much cheaper, the theater is generally pretty empty and devoid of the lowlifes. And it doesn't kill the better part of a day. Even with my big screen TV and sound system, a good theater is still a better experience.

    I can definitely see merit of having the opportunity to see a movie, that's still in the theaters, in the comfort of my home. Those that deride the proposed costs of $25 - $50 have not recently paid to bring a family of 4 or 5 to the movies. My kids are grown and out, but I remember those days.

    The comment "Apple hasn't done much to stand out in the online video market, in spite of iTunes being baked into multiple platforms including iOS devices and the Apple TV." is pretty lame. iTunes still offers the easiest way to rent movies that are unavailable on Prime or Netflix. (Which is almost every recent release.) With rental costs between $.99 and $5.99, it's not too bad.
    Deelronbrucemc
  • Reply 11 of 31
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,062member
    There better be a joint venture with Uber Eats in the works as well to deliver the choc tops and popcorn.
    Oh yes 4K AppleTV is much needed to launch along side this as well. Even better still team up with someone to make an AppleTV 4K+ projector oh and a beats wifi sound bar, beats wifi sub and beats wifi remote speakers that can be moved out the lounge room for movie nights in the works as well.

    It's funny the more you think about the more you realise Apple's iTunes/Music isn't the integrated eco-system Apple pride themselves on.

    Still I know a few families with children who have autism I think they would find this a very valuable service.
    cali
  • Reply 12 of 31
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,160member
    sog35 said:
    I go to movie theaters only once or twice a year.

    And its only for massive films like Star Wars. And I only go to one theater: one of the best IMAX theaters on the planet.


    The rest of the time I rent iTunes and watch it on my 120 inch projector with 7.1 surround sound. IMO, it blows away all those crappy theater screens.
    I'm lucky if I go once a year. Same with me. Only movies I will see are films like Star Wars. Have you ever tried those D-Box seats? Those are pretty cool. 
  • Reply 13 of 31
    sog35 said:
    I go to movie theaters only once or twice a year.

    And its only for massive films like Star Wars. And I only go to one theater: one of the best IMAX theaters on the planet.


    The rest of the time I rent iTunes and watch it on my 120 inch projector with 7.1 surround sound. IMO, it blows away all those crappy theater screens.
    No Atom?
  • Reply 14 of 31
    $50 seems nuts, but then my family went to see Doctor Strange twice in one week, so that would have saved me money.  But I still wanted the big screen experience, so it's not an apples to apples comparison.
    cali
  • Reply 15 of 31
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,650member
    viclauyyc said:
    sog35 said:
    I go to movie theaters only once or twice a year.

    And its only for massive films like Star Wars. And I only go to one theater: one of the best IMAX theaters on the planet.


    The rest of the time I rent iTunes and watch it on my 120 inch projector with 7.1 surround sound. IMO, it blows away all those crappy theater screens.
    No Atom?
    Atom?

    Do you mean Dolby Atmosphere or Atmo?
  • Reply 16 of 31
    Remember in the good old days people used to said there is no point for anyone to carry a mobile phone around.
    But seriously I love the big screen experience.
  • Reply 17 of 31
    Theater release movies in iTunes has been a thought of mine for a very long time. $50 is a little expensive. $35-40 would be more reasonable, but I can see it from the studios perspective. How do you account for how many tickets you'll lose? The sale of that movie would also screw over theaters and I'm not 100% sure distributors would want to do that.

    I think allot of people (myself included) have started to avoid movie theaters partially for the cost, but also the people. All you need is a 60" TV with a decent sound sound system (neither of which is out of reach of your average working class family any longer) and you pretty much have a theater experience. Plus you can drink your wine and smoke your smoke. ;) which is something I miss about the old days of Movies in NYC.

    That said 4k would be the clinch pin.

    Pirating could be a problem, but I'd want to emphasize could because let's be frank, DRM will at least keep honest people honest and what dishonest person is going to spend $50 to pirate a movie? If you don't have $50 to watch it how do you suddenly have $50 to pirate it? Yes people buy BD for that same reason, but even that isn't as expensive and  sure you can share with others, but it seems that scene is dying a slow death in the developed world. 

    Not to mention all of the setup to get that job done for which you'll need a decent computer, hard drives etc etc. it's that kind of crap (in the face of now easily accessed media) that keeps people from pirating these days. It's just a bit too much effort for anyone with a life. 
  • Reply 18 of 31
    apple ][apple ][ Posts: 8,650member
    This is the kind of theatre that I would choose to go to, so as to avoid kids, large families, poor people and rude people.


    mike1spliff monkeyboltsfan17
  • Reply 19 of 31
    sog35 said:
    macxpress said:
    Now all they need is an AppleTV that supports 4K...still boggles my mind why the current one doesn't. Everyone is buying these 4K TV's yet Apple decides to put out an AppleTV that only supports 1080p. I'd hope they'd release an updated one with something like the A10X in it. I'm sure that will support 4K content. 
    Isnt' nuts? really nuts.

    I mean how cool would it be to watch your 4k video's from your 4k iPhone on your 4k Apple TV?

    Just blows my mind. And to think it would probably only cost Apple $2 to add 4k
    It's probably time for Apple to deliver 4K, but 4K content is just hitting the streets. A little patience would be to your benefit. The fact that the current ATV doesn't support 4K isn't exactly "mind blowing" or at least it's not for those of us grounded in reality. 
    cali
  • Reply 20 of 31
    sog35 said:
    I go to movie theaters only once or twice a year.

    And its only for massive films like Star Wars. And I only go to one theater: one of the best IMAX theaters on the planet.


    The rest of the time I rent iTunes and watch it on my 120 inch projector with 7.1 surround sound. IMO, it blows away all those crappy theater screens.
    And let's not forget that there's some absolutely phenomenal stuff on television now, stuff that the pap we get from Hollywood doesn't even come close to.

    Just finished up with Westworld, for example. Absolutely stunning. Nothing in the cinema this year has come close for me.
    dysamoria
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