Movie studios may sidestep theater chains in deals for early Apple iTunes rentals

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV
Movie studios looking to set up early-access rentals with companies like Apple and Comcast may reportedly push ahead with those negotiations and skip revenue sharing with theater chains, if the latter don't reduce their demands.




Early-access rentals would let people stream movies through services like iTunes just weeks after their premieres, possibly while they're still in theaters. To appease exhibitors, studios have discussed a revenue split, but balked at proposed long-term commitments up to 10 years, according to Bloomberg sources. For the end customer, early rentals would likely cost between $30 and $50.

Agreements with the likes of Apple and Comcast could be achieved as soon as next year, the sources added, in which case they might be used to force theater owners to back down. Another advantage in the studios' corner is said to be Disney's upcoming streaming service, even if the company has so far skipped early-access talks because of its success with big theatrical releases like the "Star Wars" and Marvel movies.

Theaters could choose to boycott movies slated for early access if they don't get favorable terms. Indeed some studio executives are allegedly adopting a less aggressive position.

Digital rentals and purchases typically aren't allowed until at least three months after a film's premiere. Some proposals being floated would slap a $50 pricetag on viewing after 17 days, or $30 after 4 to 6 weeks. It's possible that studios could experiment with different windows overseas before bringing one to the U.S.

Apple is meanwhile believed to be preparing a fifth-generation Apple TV with 4K and HDR support, and upgrading its iTunes content to match. Having both could be essential if the company wants to draw in early-access customers.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 30
    irelandireland Posts: 17,671member
    Who gives two hoots. They are overpriced. If they wish to curb piracy they'll price their content in a sensible manner.
    StrangeDaysbsenka
  • Reply 2 of 30
    This makes sense to me and I would jump at paying $30-50 for early access.

     My wife and I recently went out to the movies, for the first time since our child was born in 2016.  The movie was about 2 hours and we went out for ice cream afterward.  In total we were out of the house for close to 4 hours.  The babysitter alone cost us $60.  (I don't have any idea what the 'going rate' for a babysitter is. We pay a family friend $15/hour.  She's 25 and has her degree in Early Childhood Education and she does a great job so...)

    So, paying $50 to stay home to see the same movie sounds like a bargain.  And the more people you add to the mix the cheaper it becomes (relative to going out).

    Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the theater experience and would go more frequently if I could.  But for me and my situation this option would be more affordable most of the time.
    schlackSpamSandwichbshankmike1jony0iqatedo
  • Reply 3 of 30
    schlackschlack Posts: 700member
    This makes sense to me and I would jump at paying $30-50 for early access.

     My wife and I recently went out to the movies, for the first time since our child was born in 2016.  The movie was about 2 hours and we went out for ice cream afterward.  In total we were out of the house for close to 4 hours.  The babysitter alone cost us $60.  (I don't have any idea what the 'going rate' for a babysitter is. We pay a family friend $15/hour.  She's 25 and has her degree in Early Childhood Education and she does a great job so...)

    So, paying $50 to stay home to see the same movie sounds like a bargain.  And the more people you add to the mix the cheaper it becomes (relative to going out).

    Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the theater experience and would go more frequently if I could.  But for me and my situation this option would be more affordable most of the time.
    Same here, I can relate. It costs us $60+ just to get out of the house + whatever we spend while out. But, mostly we're paying to "get out" rather than to see a specific movie. I could see this setup working well if 1) u get to own a copy of the movie u rented once it's officially released on blueray/digital and 2) for people with a lot of friends/family where everyone can throw in $5 and it's a win.
    bshank
  • Reply 4 of 30
    schlack said:
    This makes sense to me and I would jump at paying $30-50 for early access.

     My wife and I recently went out to the movies, for the first time since our child was born in 2016.  The movie was about 2 hours and we went out for ice cream afterward.  In total we were out of the house for close to 4 hours.  The babysitter alone cost us $60.  (I don't have any idea what the 'going rate' for a babysitter is. We pay a family friend $15/hour.  She's 25 and has her degree in Early Childhood Education and she does a great job so...)

    So, paying $50 to stay home to see the same movie sounds like a bargain.  And the more people you add to the mix the cheaper it becomes (relative to going out).

    Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the theater experience and would go more frequently if I could.  But for me and my situation this option would be more affordable most of the time.
    Same here, I can relate. It costs us $60+ just to get out of the house + whatever we spend while out. But, mostly we're paying to "get out" rather than to see a specific movie. I could see this setup working well if 1) u get to own a copy of the movie u rented once it's officially released on blueray/digital and 2) for people with a lot of friends/family where everyone can throw in $5 and it's a win.
    Yeah, no matter what the get-out-of-the-house cost is built in.  Currently our daughter is in bed by 7:30, if we could then rent a new movie we'd be all set.

    As to your point 1) I don't see owning a copy of your rental happening.  Best case they could offer a discount but even that idea is probably far fetched. Kind of along the lines where on iTunes you could pay less than the album cost to complete an album that you had only downloaded a song or 2 from.  Still, I doubt it.  

    People have been wishing for sort of an iTunes Match for movies.  It would be great but I think the studios are so used to having people repurchase movies in different formats that it would not even be considered.  As an example, I got "Enemy of the State" as a free iTunes download a long time ago.  It's in SD, even today.  It never got upgraded to SD and is currently not even available.  So, if even iTunes downloads that were originally in SD to get a bump I don't see that iTunes Match scenario happening any time soon.
  • Reply 5 of 30
    smaffeismaffei Posts: 220member
    schlack said:
    This makes sense to me and I would jump at paying $30-50 for early access.

     My wife and I recently went out to the movies, for the first time since our child was born in 2016.  The movie was about 2 hours and we went out for ice cream afterward.  In total we were out of the house for close to 4 hours.  The babysitter alone cost us $60.  (I don't have any idea what the 'going rate' for a babysitter is. We pay a family friend $15/hour.  She's 25 and has her degree in Early Childhood Education and she does a great job so...)

    So, paying $50 to stay home to see the same movie sounds like a bargain.  And the more people you add to the mix the cheaper it becomes (relative to going out).

    Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the theater experience and would go more frequently if I could.  But for me and my situation this option would be more affordable most of the time.
    Same here, I can relate. It costs us $60+ just to get out of the house + whatever we spend while out. But, mostly we're paying to "get out" rather than to see a specific movie. I could see this setup working well if 1) u get to own a copy of the movie u rented once it's officially released on blueray/digital and 2) for people with a lot of friends/family where everyone can throw in $5 and it's a win.
    Yeah, no matter what the get-out-of-the-house cost is built in.  Currently our daughter is in bed by 7:30, if we could then rent a new movie we'd be all set.

    As to your point 1) I don't see owning a copy of your rental happening.  Best case they could offer a discount but even that idea is probably far fetched. Kind of along the lines where on iTunes you could pay less than the album cost to complete an album that you had only downloaded a song or 2 from.  Still, I doubt it.  

    People have been wishing for sort of an iTunes Match for movies.  It would be great but I think the studios are so used to having people repurchase movies in different formats that it would not even be considered.  As an example, I got "Enemy of the State" as a free iTunes download a long time ago.  It's in SD, even today.  It never got upgraded to SD and is currently not even available.  So, if even iTunes downloads that were originally in SD to get a bump I don't see that iTunes Match scenario happening any time soon.
    Vudu does an "iTunes Match" on occasion and it's on Apple TV next week.
  • Reply 6 of 30
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 2,008member
    On the other hand, presently iTunes movie rentals cost close to a movie theater ticket for a movie that can be many years old.  This is completely lacking of marketing sense. 
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 7 of 30
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,412member
    One thing I've heard theater chains are experimenting with is movie theater subscriptions. You pay a flat fee and can go to one movie per day.

    https://www.inverse.com/article/35556-moviepass-cinema-film-movie-how-to-buy

    Its not without its critics, however: 

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/moviepass-rejects-legal-threats-amc-004600528.html
  • Reply 8 of 30
    smaffei said:
    schlack said:
    This makes sense to me and I would jump at paying $30-50 for early access.

     My wife and I recently went out to the movies, for the first time since our child was born in 2016.  The movie was about 2 hours and we went out for ice cream afterward.  In total we were out of the house for close to 4 hours.  The babysitter alone cost us $60.  (I don't have any idea what the 'going rate' for a babysitter is. We pay a family friend $15/hour.  She's 25 and has her degree in Early Childhood Education and she does a great job so...)

    So, paying $50 to stay home to see the same movie sounds like a bargain.  And the more people you add to the mix the cheaper it becomes (relative to going out).

    Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the theater experience and would go more frequently if I could.  But for me and my situation this option would be more affordable most of the time.
    Same here, I can relate. It costs us $60+ just to get out of the house + whatever we spend while out. But, mostly we're paying to "get out" rather than to see a specific movie. I could see this setup working well if 1) u get to own a copy of the movie u rented once it's officially released on blueray/digital and 2) for people with a lot of friends/family where everyone can throw in $5 and it's a win.
    Yeah, no matter what the get-out-of-the-house cost is built in.  Currently our daughter is in bed by 7:30, if we could then rent a new movie we'd be all set.

    As to your point 1) I don't see owning a copy of your rental happening.  Best case they could offer a discount but even that idea is probably far fetched. Kind of along the lines where on iTunes you could pay less than the album cost to complete an album that you had only downloaded a song or 2 from.  Still, I doubt it.  

    People have been wishing for sort of an iTunes Match for movies.  It would be great but I think the studios are so used to having people repurchase movies in different formats that it would not even be considered.  As an example, I got "Enemy of the State" as a free iTunes download a long time ago.  It's in SD, even today.  It never got upgraded to SD and is currently not even available.  So, if even iTunes downloads that were originally in SD to get a bump I don't see that iTunes Match scenario happening any time soon.
    Vudu does an "iTunes Match" on occasion and it's on Apple TV next week.
    How does it work?  Similarly to iTunes Match?  Are the matches downloadable?
  • Reply 9 of 30
    My wee town had an old-timey theater with a stage, balcony, and band pit. Two extra screens were opened in adjacent storefronts. Toward end of its life in 2016, I attended every week, no matter what dreck was playing. Since then, I'm content to wait nine months and get a Blu-ray from Netflixxx, which seems free since I try to ignore the charge on my credit card. Exceptional movies I may procure in a decade from iTunes when they're 10 bucks. (Or 10 for 10! Although taking advantage of that deal has permanently added really, really horrid movies to my menus. I told the wife that if she has people over, stream the movies from the 2006 iMac (now with 2-terabyte HD) so people don't see gross-out/ribald comedies of sorts thumbnailed to the screen.
    edited August 2017
  • Reply 10 of 30
    sirlance99sirlance99 Posts: 1,155member
    One thing I've heard theater chains are experimenting with is movie theater subscriptions. You pay a flat fee and can go to one movie per day.

    https://www.inverse.com/article/35556-moviepass-cinema-film-movie-how-to-buy

    Its not without its critics, however: 

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/moviepass-rejects-legal-threats-amc-004600528.html
    This is what my girlfriend and I do. We have MoviePass and, for $10 per month each, we can see a movie a day. It’s pretty awesome. 
  • Reply 11 of 30
    Prices may seem ok if you usually go to the movies in twos but what about everyone else?

    I find going to the cinema to see a film a rather primitive and all round worse experience nowadays.  Cinema chairs are awful, screens are old/too small/too big, cinemas are filthy but going from an average of £15 to what could be £40-£50 is ridiculous.  I go to the cinema 3-4 times a month, one cannot pay £40-£50 a pop.

    Up to the same price as going to the cinema (if not lower) would make sense and it would allow Apple to get their cut as well.

    edited August 2017
  • Reply 12 of 30
    irelandireland Posts: 17,671member
    One thing I've heard theater chains are experimenting with is movie theater subscriptions. You pay a flat fee and can go to one movie per day.

    https://www.inverse.com/article/35556-moviepass-cinema-film-movie-how-to-buy

    Its not without its critics, however: 

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/moviepass-rejects-legal-threats-amc-004600528.html
    The problem with movie theatres is they suck.
  • Reply 13 of 30
    holyoneholyone Posts: 391member
    sog35 said:
    ireland said:
    Who gives two hoots. They are overpriced. If they wish to curb piracy they'll price their content in a sensible manner.
    Not really.

    $30 is well worth it for me.

    Even if its only 1 other person watching with me its worth it.  That's $15 a pop, with the comfort and convience of home.   Please note I do have a 120 inch home theater so YMMV

    Something I had thought or hoped who'd be happening by now is that Theatres would start to exclusively show block buster features only, you're, Star Wars, Avengers, and so on, and all the dramas chickflicks and romcoms and the likes get to be the new TV, I pesonaly hate the theatre, theres nothing that ruins a movie more for me that people who cheer or clap hands or abruptly stand infront of me, Fuck !!!!, I've probably only been to an actual cinema maybe 5 times in my entire life and the last time I went to watch something I just had to experience with other people was MJ's "This Is It" and thankfully no one ruined that for me, I got the discs later and it was even more enjoyable. I think an experience that requires you to actually get all dressed up and leave you're house had better be all kinds of awesome, something that can't be recreated at home, with a kickass 120 inch :p, AVETAR was crazy with a "k", and that should be the only type of experiences that people should leave their houses for.
  • Reply 14 of 30
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,117member
    ireland said:
    One thing I've heard theater chains are experimenting with is movie theater subscriptions. You pay a flat fee and can go to one movie per day.

    https://www.inverse.com/article/35556-moviepass-cinema-film-movie-how-to-buy

    Its not without its critics, however: 

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/moviepass-rejects-legal-threats-amc-004600528.html
    The problem with movie theatres is they suck.
    Not all of them IMO. I've visited a few CineMark Theatres that were really enjoyable. There's also a CineBistro kinda/sorta nearby that I've had intention of visiting. But movies out aren't what I consider a regular thing, maybe a couple times a  year. 
  • Reply 15 of 30
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,492member
    ireland said:
    One thing I've heard theater chains are experimenting with is movie theater subscriptions. You pay a flat fee and can go to one movie per day.

    https://www.inverse.com/article/35556-moviepass-cinema-film-movie-how-to-buy

    Its not without its critics, however: 

    https://www.yahoo.com/news/moviepass-rejects-legal-threats-amc-004600528.html
    The problem with movie theatres is they suck.
    I've wondered if boutique theaters might pop up. Have a nice "home" theater set up for rental. UHDTVs are now available in yooge sizes, and while pricey by consumer standards, maybe not by commercial standards. Throw in a sound system. Now the cool part: streaming devices galore. Bring your own content, login and play.

    A dozen or so barcaloungers, a wet bar in the back. Offer catering. Heck, the next room is a little play pen for kiddos. 

    Lots of opportunity here. Just takes someone with some financing and a vision. You're welcome.
  • Reply 16 of 30
    crossladcrosslad Posts: 501member
    The last time my wife and daughters went to the cinema it cost them almost £12 each for a ticket. When the film came out on DVD it cost £10. And they wonder why people don't visit the cinema more often. 
    SpamSandwich
  • Reply 17 of 30
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,184member
    smaffei said:
    schlack said:
    This makes sense to me and I would jump at paying $30-50 for early access.

     My wife and I recently went out to the movies, for the first time since our child was born in 2016.  The movie was about 2 hours and we went out for ice cream afterward.  In total we were out of the house for close to 4 hours.  The babysitter alone cost us $60.  (I don't have any idea what the 'going rate' for a babysitter is. We pay a family friend $15/hour.  She's 25 and has her degree in Early Childhood Education and she does a great job so...)

    So, paying $50 to stay home to see the same movie sounds like a bargain.  And the more people you add to the mix the cheaper it becomes (relative to going out).

    Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the theater experience and would go more frequently if I could.  But for me and my situation this option would be more affordable most of the time.
    Same here, I can relate. It costs us $60+ just to get out of the house + whatever we spend while out. But, mostly we're paying to "get out" rather than to see a specific movie. I could see this setup working well if 1) u get to own a copy of the movie u rented once it's officially released on blueray/digital and 2) for people with a lot of friends/family where everyone can throw in $5 and it's a win.
    Yeah, no matter what the get-out-of-the-house cost is built in.  Currently our daughter is in bed by 7:30, if we could then rent a new movie we'd be all set.

    As to your point 1) I don't see owning a copy of your rental happening.  Best case they could offer a discount but even that idea is probably far fetched. Kind of along the lines where on iTunes you could pay less than the album cost to complete an album that you had only downloaded a song or 2 from.  Still, I doubt it.  

    People have been wishing for sort of an iTunes Match for movies.  It would be great but I think the studios are so used to having people repurchase movies in different formats that it would not even be considered.  As an example, I got "Enemy of the State" as a free iTunes download a long time ago.  It's in SD, even today.  It never got upgraded to SD and is currently not even available.  So, if even iTunes downloads that were originally in SD to get a bump I don't see that iTunes Match scenario happening any time soon.
    Vudu does an "iTunes Match" on occasion and it's on Apple TV next week.
    How does it work?  Similarly to iTunes Match?  Are the matches downloadable?
    Vudu does have a disc to digital feature. You just scan the bar code from a movie and an HD digital version is $2. I know it isn't exactly something like iTunes Match but $2 isn't bad to have an HD digital movie. One thing is if you have Disney digital copies of movies from a while ago that are only SD, those will be upgraded to HD for free if you sign up for Disney Movies Anywhere. It would be nice to see the other movie studios do the same thing as Disney. 
  • Reply 18 of 30
    I'd rather watch a movie on my iPad mini or MacBook than go see a movie at a theatre. American's eat their popcorn like donkeys! (No offense). If they had a section where donkeys aren't allowed, maybe. :) 

    I went to see the Senna documentary a few years back, and some dumbass was eating a cheeseburger, fries and coke next to me! Sheesh!. Never went again. :)
  • Reply 19 of 30
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 2,008member
    london11 said:
    Prices may seem ok if you usually go to the movies in twos but what about everyone else?

    I find going to the cinema to see a film a rather primitive and all round worse experience nowadays.  Cinema chairs are awful, screens are old/too small/too big, cinemas are filthy but going from an average of £15 to what could be £40-£50 is ridiculous.  I go to the cinema 3-4 times a month, one cannot pay £40-£50 a pop.

    Up to the same price as going to the cinema (if not lower) would make sense and it would allow Apple to get their cut as well.

    I agree.  They do this in case people inviting a lot of friends.  To me this is short sighted. 
  • Reply 20 of 30
    rogifan_newrogifan_new Posts: 4,194member
    ireland said:
    Who gives two hoots. They are overpriced. If they wish to curb piracy they'll price their content in a sensible manner.
    Apple will never push for that. Getting 30% or whatever off $30 & $50 movies is way to increase services revenues which Tim Cook has pledged Apple is going to do to Wall Street.
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